Hawaiian Chieftain

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Hawaiian Chieftain Commencement Bay.jpg
Hawaiian Chieftain participating in the 2008 Tacoma Tall Ships Festival
United States
Name: Hawaiian Chieftain
Operator: Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority
Builder: Lahaina Welding Co. Ltd. (Drake Thomas)
Laid down: 1985, Lahaina, Hawaii
Launched: June 12, 1988
Homeport: Aberdeen, Washington
Notes: Designed by Raymond H. Richards
General characteristics
Type: Square Topsail Ketch
Displacement: 64 tons
  • 103 ft (31 m) sparred length
  • 65 ft (20 m) on deck
  • 62 ft (19 m) at waterline
Beam: 22 ft (7 m)
Height: 75 ft (23 m)
Draft: 5.5 ft (1.7 m)
  • Sail area is 4,200 sq ft (390 m2)
  • Steel hull

Hawaiian Chieftain is the name of a sailing vessel briefly known as the Spirit of Larinda. Built in 1988 in Lahaina on the island of Maui, the Hawaiian Chieftain is a contemporary interpretation of a traditional design. She is unique with the rig of a 19th-century trading vessel and a modern triple keel, shallow draft hull. Drawing only 5.5 feet (1.7 m), she is highly maneuverable in shallow waters.[1]

The Hawaiian Chieftain was commissioned by Laurence H. Dorcy, Jr., designed by nautical architect Ray Richards, and built by Lahaina Welding Co. Ltd. on the island of Maui; Drake Thomas was the ship's builder. Lofting, initial hull framing and partial hull plating was performed by Morgan Davies (until his departure from the project in December 1986).Completion of hull welding (including bow and topside plating) was performed by ship welders Ken Bear, Bill Purvis, Lionel Clemons and Oliver Pagttie. Additional expert tradesmen were hired for the rigging (George Herbert/Ivan Hope), ship's carpentry, machinery (Alan Fleming, Carl Geringer) and electrical installation. Master Mariner Des Kearns played a key role as a Project Director from early 1987 until launch in June 1988.[2] Under its paint, her bowsprit bears the inscription "Lahaina Welding Co." Her maiden voyage was to French Polynesia on April 1, 1990 and arriving in Papeete on April 20, 1990. She was based in Sausalito, CA for many years, sailing up and down the coast with the Lady Washington on Voyages of ReDiscovery, providing hands-on history programs teaching 4th and 5th graders about the exploration and trade along the West Coast in the 1790s.

Hawaiian Chieftain in her current colors

In the winter of 2004, she was sold to a Cape Cod sailing program and renamed the Spirit of Larinda; however, due to the unexpected death of her owner, she remained inactive. In October 2005, the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, owner of Lady Washington, purchased her to add to its fleet. Returning to her original identity as the Hawaiian Chieftain, she joined up with the Lady Washington on February 25, 2006 and is now providing joint education and sail training up and down the west coast of the United States.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hawaiian Chieftain". Gray's Harbor Historical Seaport. Retrieved 2008-12-01.
  2. ^ "Laurence H. Dorcy Passes, Ceremony Planned". Gray's Harbor Historical Seaport. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
  3. ^ "Hawaiian Chieftain". American Sail Training Association. Retrieved 2008-12-01.

External links[edit]