Zodiac (schooner)

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Zodiac motoring east along the Lake Washington Ship Canal, just east of the Ballard Bridge, Seattle, Washington
Name: Zodiac (1924–1931)
California (1931–1973)
Owner: RW & JS Johnson
San Francisco Bar Pilots Association (1931–1973)
Builder: Hodgson Brothers Shipyard
Launched: 1924
General characteristics
Tonnage: 145 tons (gross) 89 (net)
Displacement: 220 tons
Length: 160 ft (49 m) (LOA) 127 ft (39 m) (on deck)
Beam: 25.2 ft (7.7 m)
Draft: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Depth of hold: 11.5 ft (3.5 m)
Propulsion: Caterpillar 540 hp (400 kW) diesel
Sail plan: Gaff-rigged topsail schooner 7,000 sq ft (650 m2)
Speed: 13.4 knots (24.8 km/h; 15.4 mph) (max), 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph) (powered)
Zodiac (schooner)
Zodiac (schooner) is located in Washington (state)
Zodiac (schooner)
Location Seattle, WA
Coordinates 47°37′56.5″N 122°19′38.1″W / 47.632361°N 122.327250°W / 47.632361; -122.327250Coordinates: 47°37′56.5″N 122°19′38.1″W / 47.632361°N 122.327250°W / 47.632361; -122.327250
Built 1924
Architect William Hand, Jr.
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 82004248[1]
Added to NRHP 29 April 1982

Zodiac is a two-masted schooner designed by William H. Hand, Jr. for Robert Wood Johnson and J. Seward Johnson, heirs to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceuticals fortune. Hand intended to epitomize the best features of the American fishing schooner. The 160-foot-long (49 m) (sparred length; 127 feet on deck), 145-ton vessel competed in transatlantic races before being sold to the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association during the Great Depression. Renamed California, she served actively as a pilot boat before being retired in 1972.[2] This makes her one of the last three sail-powered pilot vessels in the United States, along with the Boston-based schooner Roseway, which was retired sometime between 1971 and 1973,[3] and Adventuress, also once a San Francisco pilot boat, which was retired in 1952, and is also a registered National Historic Landmark.[4][5]

Zodiac was sold in 1973 and, in the late 1970s, the private Vessel Zodiac Corporation was formed to operate and maintain her. She was professionally restored, and her rig, which had been altered during her time as a pilot boat, was returned to its original configuration.[6] Zodiac now operates for charter in Washington State's San Juan Islands and British Columbia's Gulf Islands. The not-for-profit Northwest Schooner Society partners with the corporation to provide sail training programs for youth and adults. Trips such as the Brewery, Winery and Nautigals tours are currently the most popular.

There was a large gap in her history until recently.[when?] It has been discovered that the schooner was sold to a family in Canada and renamed .[citation needed]

Recently the Schooner was dismasted while sailing with "Edmunds Homeschool". At 13:25 her main mast shattered and fell to the leeward side of the vessel. The main and fore masts were replaced and she is now homeported, staying there winter and summer, in Bellingham Washington.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ships To Visit Listed By Name - Valley Camp to Zodiac". Maritime Heritage Program. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ Cunliffe & Osler 2001, p. 240.
  3. ^ "History of the Schooner Roseway". World Ocean School. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  4. ^ Delgado, James P. (11 April 1989). "Schooner Adventuress National Historic Landmark Study". National Park Service accessdate=2012-09-30. 
  5. ^ Cunliffe & Osler 2001, p. 137.
  6. ^ Cunliffe & Osler 2001, p. 241.

External links[edit]