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Tall Ships in Los Angeles and Southern California


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Tall Ships in Dana Point, CA
Tall Ship The Curlew

Tall Ship The Curlew

Photo Courtesy of Curlew Charters Inc
In Orange County, Dana Point has the only harbor deep enough to berth a tall ship since the Irvine Company reconfigured the Newport Harbor in 2008, so Dana Point has three tall ships to make up for the deficit in the rest of the county. The Ocean Institute operates the Pilgrim, a replica of an 1825 Boston brig that brought goods from Boston to Alta California, eventually lost in a fire at sea in 1856. The ship was immortalized in the novel Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. The Pilgrim is used as a living history education program and can be visited by the public most Sundays at the Ocean Institute. It is also used during the summer for maritime-themed plays and musicals.

Ship Facts:

Type: Brig
Year Built: 1945, converted to present rig in 1975
Design Year/Period: replica of the 1825 Brig Pilgrim
Where Built: Denmark, converted in 1975 in Lisbon, Portugal
Length (LOA): 130'
Number of Masts: 2
Mast Height: 98'
Number of Sails: 13
Sail Area:
Notable: The Pilgrim portrayed the ship Amistad in the movie of that name.

The Ocean Institute's second historic ship, the Spirit of Dana Point, is a replica of a 1770's privateer (AKA pirate ship) from the American Revolution. The ship was built using original plans and traditional methods and took 13 years to complete. The Spirit of Dana Point sets sail regularly for various public programs including whale-watching excursions and pirate battles. Visit www.ocean-institute.org for the event schedule.

Ship Facts:

Type: Topsail schooner
Year Built: 1983
Design Year/Period: 1770s
Where Built: Newport Beach, CA
Length (LOA): 118'
Number of Masts: 2
Mast Height: 100'
Number of Sails: 3
Sail Area: 5000 sq ft
Notable: Formerly known as the Pilgrim of Newport.

The Curlew is a privately owned tall ship based in Dana Point. Built in the 1920s as a pleasure schooner, she also won her share of yacht races. The Curlew is a much sleeker and more modern-looking incarnation of a tall ship, but as an original wooden-hulled ship from the 1920s, she's actually a bit more fragile than some of the steel-hulled replicas in the area.

Ship Facts:

Type: Schooner
Year Built: 1926
Design Year/Period: 1926
Where Built: Pendleton Boatyard, Wiscasset, Maine, Designed by: John G. Alden and Assoc. of Boston, MA
Length (LOA): 81'6"
Number of Masts: 2
Mast Height:
Number of Sails: 5
Sail Area: 1629 sq ft
Notable: The Curlew was donated to the US Coast Guard in 1940 and served as a sail training ship and coastguard patrol vessel during WWII.

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