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Tall Ships in Los Angeles and Southern California

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Tall Ships in Southern California
Rainbow over a Tall Ship

Rainbow over the brigantine Irving Johnson, a flagship of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute, seen from the Hawaiian Chieftain off the coast of Long Beach, CA

Photo © 2007 Kayte Deioma, used with permission
The Los Angeles area is home to a number of tall ships - those square and classic-rigged sailing vessels that look so majestic on the water. You know, the ones where you instantly think - pirates! You often see them sailing off the Southern California coast and you may wonder who is out there on those historic barques.

Most of the time, the answer is local teenagers. The majority of tall ships in the Southland and around the country are operated as floating classrooms where young people in middle school and high school learn not just sailing, but life skills and teamwork.

When not out on the water full of kids, the ships make impressive landmarks that can be seen dockside in their local ports. Some can only be admired from shore. Others offer public tours and cruises on the weekends.

In addition to the tall ships stationed at each port, the local ships visit each other for special events like the Tall Ship Festival in Dana Point and some Holiday Boat Parades. LA is also a port of call for several touring classic ships that offer public visits, adventure cruises and battle sails.

Click through the following pages to view photos and details of tall ships based in Southern California ports as well as tall ship events and visiting ships.

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