Tallship Tour: Hawaiian Chieftain

Last week the historical museum ship Hawaiian Chieftain sailed into Squalicum Harbor in the city of Bellingham. The Hawaiian Chieftain is a 103′ ketch displacing 64 tons. Although her rigging is based on 19th-century designs, the hull is steel and features a triple keel design. This makes the craft very maneuverable in shallow waters, drawing only 5.5′.

Hawaiian chieftan 23

It’s been more than a decade since I last sailed, however, I sailed quite a bit when I was a teenager. The family owned a 21′ sailboat which we took throughout the San Juan Islands in summertime, and I spent several years in the local Sea Explorer chapter, piloting a 55-ton ex-Army transport into various locals like Victoria harbor and the Gulf Islands. Needless to say, I miss being on the water. This little tour was a refreshing reminder of the mariners’ world.

Because I found so many interesting pieces of the ship, there are a lot of images. I present them broken down thematically. Click on them for a larger look.


Hawaiian chieftan 22
The crew furl sails for the night after an evening cruise.


Hull Fore and Aft at Dusk

Brass Martitime Equipment

Polished Wood

Above Decks





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