Tall Ship Californian

The Official Tall Ship of the State of California


Californian was built from the ground up in 1984 at Spanish Landing in San Diego Bay. She was launched with great fanfare for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. In July 2003, the Governor signed a bill into law designating the Californian as the official tall ship of the State of California. She is the only ship to carry this prestigious title.

Since her launching in San Diego the ship has played host to thousands of adventure travelers, sailing enthusiasts, students and history buffs up and down the West coast. She has also made voyages to Hawaii, Mexico and the East coast of the United States. Californian casts a distinctive and instantly recognizable silhouette and has become one of the most well known tall ships in America.

The Californian is a replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence, which patrolled the coast of California enforcing federal law during the gold rush. The Revenue Cutter Service, along with four other federal maritime agencies, was consolidated into the United States Coast Guard in 1915.

The acquisition of the Californian by the Maritime Museum of San Diego in June 2002 was made possible by the Hughes and Sheila Potiker Family Foundation. In the winter and spring of 2003, she underwent a complete overhaul including a haul out, re-stepping the masts, replacing the standing rigging, new sails and mechanical systems and a re-design and re-furbishing of the areas below deck. The work was completed with a grant from the California Coastal Conservancy.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego uses her for a variety of dockside and at sea educational programs along with public adventure sails ranging from a half-day to more than a week. Her annual tour of the California coast each summer offers residents and visitors throughout the state an opportunity to enjoy the State’s Official Tall Ship.

  • Designed for speed, Californian has seven sails, carries 7,000 square feet of canvas, and is armed with four six-pound deck guns.
  • Californian hosts students from all over the Southwest in overnight Living History programs. Several times each year these special overnight adventures are also offered to the general public.
  • Tall Ship Adventures and charters are available to take you and your guests out for a experience that few ever thought possible.
LOA 130’
Sparred Length 145’
Beam 24’
Maximum Draft 9’ 5”
Gross Tonnage 130
Rig Topsail Schooner
Auxiliary Engine Diesel 100hp

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