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. She is the only ship that can claim this title.
The Californian has been owned by the Maritime Museum of San Diego since 2002. The Californian is used for educational programs including an annual summer tour of the California coast.
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.
The Californian is a replica of the 1847 Revenue Cutter C.W. Lawrence, that 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.
Designed for speed, Californian has nine sails, carries 7,000 square feet of canvas, measures 145 feet in length, weighs 130 tons and is armed with four six-pound deck guns. She casts a distinctive and instantly recognizable silhouette and has become one of the most well known tall ships in America.
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 law designating "The Californian" as the official California state tall ship is found in the California Government Code, specifically Title 1, Division 2, Chapter 2, Section 423.5.
Government Code - GOV
TITLE 1. GENERAL [100 - 7914]
( Title 1 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )
DIVISION 2. STATE SEAL, FLAG, AND EMBLEMS [399 - 447]
( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )
CHAPTER 2. State Flag and Emblems [420 - 429.9]
( Chapter 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )
"The Californian" is the official state tall ship.
(Added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 113, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2004.)