Support the Museum

Gift Membership

Give the Gift of membership. As a member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, you support our preservation and education efforts, and in return receive many benefits! Bring the adventure and discovery to life as often as you would like – choose the membership plan that is right for you.

Gift Membership, CLICK HERE

Membership and Donations

“Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made, for somewhere deep in their oaken hearts the soul of a song is laid.”
– Robert N. Rose
Update: Star of India Haul Out and Steel Belt Project

As many of you know, Star of India is slated to undergo a haul out, inspection and repair to the steel belt encircling her hull at the waterline.

BAE Systems Ship Repair – San Diego is the top ship repair site in San Diego. BAE services U.S. Navy ships at the Naval Station San Diego, and has the capacity and equipment necessary to haul out Star of India. To maximize our project budget, we plan to share dry dock space with another ship that is also being repaired. Because BAE repairs, overhauls, and modernizes U.S. Navy surface warfare ships as well as commercial vessels we are at the mercy of their availability and their need for discretion around scheduling. We appreciate the valuable work they do and the importance of the Navy vessels that they repair, so as we wait for our turn, MMSD crew is hard at work replacing rigging and overhauling foremast yards here at the Museum. We will continue to keep you updated on this project as it unfolds.

Thank you again for helping to preserve Star of India as a precious artifact for future generations.

Our next restoration project is the deck and weather side of HMS Surprise. As always, we appreciate any gifts to help cover these costs.

To Donate Today, CLICK HERE

Dear Shipmates,

Ships are dreams. They endure because the voices of those who build them, of those who go to sea in them, of those who take care of them and most of all, of those who hear their song, resonate through the years and give them life. We can say that Star of India is the most recognized symbol of our community, or the oldest active ship in existence. We can say that she has circumnavigated the earth twenty-one times, that she has transported thousands to new lands, or was a vital part of the sea faring economy. We can say that in modern times, as many as two million people view her annually and thousands of school-age children stay aboard for living history programs. All would be true. But it would never be the whole truth. Because, fundamentally, she is a dream, a conduit of all these voices.

  • At five years of age I was visiting my Grandparents and my Grandfather pointed to an old hull across the harbor. He told me that she was the Star of India and that San Diego was going to restore her back to glory. My Grandfather’s generation made good on their promise. Star was the site of my son’s wedding and this year my 13 yr. old grandson sailed aboard – Four generations of memories so far, and more to come. – Ben Clay, community leader and Maritime Museum board member
  • For over thirty years Star of India has provided the opportunity to experience, first-hand the great age of sail instead of just reading about it in books. Star is a time capsule, a window into the past, and a way to preserve the arts of a sailor and skills of a seaman for the next generation. – Bob Ross, crew, volunteer and seamanship instructor
  • I began bringing my fifth graders to the Star of India for the living history program in 1999 and continued for the next 16 years. The program brought life to our social studies curriculum and facilitated tremendous growth in my students. They had to problem solve, help, and rely on each other in order to achieve. They would bond during the voyage, and the friendships carried over to the classroom and beyond. They would leave the next morning with a great sense of accomplishment and remember the program far beyond their school careers. – Jim Francois, educator
  • On the decks of the Star of India, I have found something precious, the one thing I had spent a lifetime trying to discover, the one thing that always seemed just out of reach – my truest self. —John J. Walsh IV, sail crew

This year, our Star will need to undergo a permanent repair to the steel belt, applied almost seventy years ago. This is deemed essential to her longevity and our ability to keep her operational. Generous gifts from donors like you have provided half of that we need to complete this expensive project. Additional contributions can still be matched dollar for dollar by the National Maritime Heritage Grant Program, but we will not be able to realize these matching funds much longer.

Star of India, she is a dream manifest and her song a harmony of all the many voices that care for her. Won’t you add yours?

Ray Ashley,
Ph.D., K.C. I., President /CEO

Contribute Today, CLICK HERE

Photo by Mark Albertazzi

Star of India

Photo by Mark Albertazzi

Star of India

Photo by Ted Walton

The project has been financed (in part) with Federal funds from the National Maritime Heritage Program administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior. However, the contents and opinions contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior. This program received Federal financial assistance for preservation of historic maritime resources and for increasing public awareness and appreciation for the maritime heritage of the United States. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age of Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally funded assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against, or if you desire further information, please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity National Park Service 1849 C Street, NW Washington, DC 20240

To learn more about the many opportunities to contribute to the Maritime Museum. Contact Development at 619-234-9153 x 126
or click here to send email.

To Join, Renew, and Gift Memberships, CLICK HERE

Museum Membership

As a member of the Maritime Museum of San Diego, you support our preservation and education efforts, and in return receive many benefits! Bring the adventure and discovery to life as often as you would like – choose the membership plan that is right for you.

Membership packages include these benefits:

  • FREE admission
  • FREE guest passes
  • Maritime journal Mains’l Haul
  • FREE newsletters
  • 10% discount at Museum gift shop
  • FREE or reduced admission to Museum events
  • Plus so much more

Museum Membership Grid

Join, renew, and gift Memberships.

For more information contact our Membership Coordinator at 619-234-9153 x128
or click here to send email.

Through your membership, you support the Maritime Museum of San Diego, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and presenting our rich Pacific maritime heritage.

Maritime Museum of San Diego is supported by Amazon using Amazon Smile

amazon smile supporting the maritime museum of san diego
Click the Amazon Smile logo and it will direct you to, choose Maritime Museum Association of San Diego as the place you want to support, shop as usual, and the Museum gets a percentage of the sale. It’s that easy.


Maritime Museum of San Diego is proud to introduce an exciting new promotional partnership with WoodenBoat Magazine, the premier publication worldwide for wooden boat owners, builders, enthusiasts and designers.

When you use our exclusive website to subscribe, WoodenBoat Magazine will donate $10 to the Maritime Museum of San Diego per new subscriber!

You can support the Museum’s restoration efforts, ongoing educational programs, exhibits and fun-filled cruise events, while enjoying all the exclusive content that WoodenBoat Magazine has to offer.

For more than forty years, WoodenBoat Magazine has provided generations of readers with all the latest news, innovations and thoughtful commentary on traditional methods of boat design, construction and repair, with vibrant photography, engaging feature articles, and detailed project, design and maintenance advice. A one-year subscription includes six unique print issues delivered to your home – save up to 29% off the cost of buying on newsstands!

Subscribe for yourself, or give a gift to a friend, and take advantage of this special offer supporting Maritime Museum of San Diego!

You can follow the link below, call toll-free 800-877-5284 (use the promo code 99MMSD), or stop by the Maritime Museum Gift Store to subscribe in person.

Click Here to take advantage of the Special Offer


Planned Giving

Welcome! We are pleased that you are interested in learning about the many benefits of gift plans. If you have any questions about the best way for you to benefit through a planned gift, please call. A member of our Planned Giving Team will be glad to help you. Contact Development at 619-234-9153 x 126

To learn about:

  • Donor Stories
  • Gift Options
  • Personal Planner
  • Washington News
Click Here

Vehicle Donation Program

A San Diego treasure, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is more than a collection of world-class exhibits and ships. It is a family of volunteers, members, and supporters like you, who are joined together by their passion for the sea, maritime history, and creating an inspiring and enlightening experience for children and adults alike. Thank you for your support.

Donating Is Easy!

Donating a car is easy! And so is donating other vehicles. We accept all types of vehicles nationwide — cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, ATVs, and even boats.

To get started: Click Here
or call 844-790-GIVE (4483) to speak to a representative.

All that you will need to provide is the Certificate of Title upon pickup of your donated vehicle.

Ticket Donations

Thank you for considering the Maritime Museum of San Diego as an item for your fundraising event. We take pride in our support of local nonprofit organizations for such events benefiting our San Diego community. As a nonprofit organization we reviewed the large number of tickets we donate and found the need to re-evaluate the criteria we use for ticket donation selection.

These guidelines are recently updated and your organization’s request will be considered based on the following criteria:

  • You must be located within San Diego County.
  • Your organization must be a nonprofit and will be using Maritime Museum of San Diego tickets as a fundraising item.
  • Preference will be given to organizations that:
    • align with the Maritime Museum’s Mission (see below statement)
    • are an affiliate organization
    • a partner organization
    • or an organization that has participated in our education programs, or had an event on one of our ships.
  • Four general admission tickets are provided per conforming organization and/or event, and are limited to (1) one request per year. Please avoid submitting multiple requests, including mailed submissions, to avoid duplications.
  • Donated admission tickets are limited to the value of General Admission only and are not valid to use for special events, exhibit surcharges, or any event deemed exempt by the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
  • Value of ticket donations are subject to change at the sole discretion of the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
  • No cash value is applicable for donated tickets although they are fully transferable.
  • The Maritime Museum of San Diego requests that any organization that receives donated tickets place an acknowledgment within any marketing materials or programs that support the event.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the Maritime Museum of San Diego is to serve as the community memory of our seafaring experience by collecting, preserving, and presenting our rich maritime heritage and historic connections with the Pacific world.

CLICK HERE for online application requesting a donation.
Regular mail, send your request for donations to:

Maritime Museum of San Diego

Attn: Request for Donations

1492 North Harbor Drive

San Diego, CA 92101-3309

All donation requests will be reviewed within two weeks.

Looking for a venue to host your future fundraising event? Please call or email our Special Events Department to discuss your needs. Click here to send email or 619-234-9153 ext 102 or 106.

For a look at our venues, visit Event Venues San Diego.

Make a 100% tax-deductible investment the Maritime Museum’s mission of preserving our history and you are investing in your communities future.


To Donate Today, Click Here

Join in the adventure! The Maritime Museum of San Diego is home to the maritime story of the West Coast and beyond with one of the most extensive collections of historic ships in the world. Donations & membership helps to tell the maritime story and to preserve these ships.

Every single gift matters. Taken in the aggregate, all gifts, large and small, are essential to the overall goal. So join us at whatever level you can.

Federal ID # 95-2130325