Support the Museum

Support the Museum – Donations & Membership

Please consider giving to the Maritime Museum of San Diego!

Help Us Get Through This Challenging Time

A message from Museum President and CEO Dr. Ray Ashley

Dear Shipmates:

Meteorologists call it the Intertropical Convergence Zone but sailors have long held another name for it: the doldrums. It is a climatic band that circles the earth just north of the equator. To the north of it and to the south of it are the trade winds, but in the doldrums itself … mostly emptiness. It is calms, occasionally squalls, and often a large rolling sea that causes the rig and sails to slam and jar maddingly back and forth, shaking out most of what little wind there is. Big sailing ships tried to cross the doldrums at the spots they judged least extensive: at some places the doldrums were barely present at all, at others the doldrums might be hundreds of miles wide, capable of trapping a ship for weeks as it crept across, trying to squeeze out a few feet or miles more from every breath of wind stirring the surface of a glassy rolling sea.

I have crossed the actual doldrums five times before now, and it is always the same. Along with momentum, you have to conserve every resource you have because you simply don’t know how long it’s going to take to get across. But you know that ultimately you will get across. At some point you simply know the sea will flutter again with cat’s-paws, then white caps, then the trades will fill in and you will be on your way, running once more toward the distant landfall.

This extended closure of the Maritime Museum due to Covid -19 is a metaphorical crossing of doldrums and for me, not only the longest but far the worst. Except this time, it is not just a single vessel, it is a fleet and the empty space we navigate across is far more complex, ominous, and intimidating than a few degrees of latitude ever were. There is simply no way of telling how wide the space we must cross, but cross it we must, by virtue of all our skills, resources, patience, will, and every breath of wind, until we are through it. And we will weather through it.

And of that wind? That would be your generosity as always, with the will and faith in purpose it brings to see us across. You are the breeze which has propelled us thus far, toward that yet undiscerned latitude when the ships come back to life and sail again down that long course they were always meant to run.

For the wind you have sent us thus far, and for whatever more you may be able yet to send, thank you. Your support is what will carry us through to the other side.

Captain Ray Ashley, PhD, KCI
President and CEO, Maritime Museum of San Diego

mid year appeal image 2020

Photo Credit: Mark Albertazzi

To Give: Click Here

Or send your donation to :
Maritime Museum of San Diego
1492 N Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

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.

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

Since the Maritime Museum has been closed due to COVID-19, we are extending your membership. When you renew your membership, it will now expire on December 31, 2021.

Also, our Museum’s Store and online Store are closed at this time. We will let you know when we are able to reopen them.

Thank you for your support.

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 & Bay Tour Tickets (4 guest passes & 2 bay tour tickets with each membership)
  • Maritime journal Mains’l Haul
  • FREE newsletters
  • Crew and upper level memberships, includes 2 children per card (if you have more than 2, you can use guest passes for admittance)
  • 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.

Due to staffing changes necessitated by our current restrictions, we are not accepting requests for ticket donations.

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

“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

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.