Kaisei (ship)

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STS Kaisei
at the Festival of Sail 2008, San Diego, CA
Name: Kaisei
Builder: Interster Elbląg Shipyard, Gdańsk, Poland
Launched: 1987
Homeport: St. John's, Antigua
Identification: IMO number: 8859366
Status: in active service
General characteristics
Type: Brigantine
Displacement: 180 long tons (183 t)
Length: 151 ft (46 m) sparred
Beam: 25 ft (7.6 m)
Draft: 13 ft (4.0 m)
Propulsion: 8,500 sq ft (790 m²) of sails

The STS Kaisei (海星), meaning “Sea Star” in the Japanese language, is a steel-hulled brigantine designed by designed by Polish naval architect Zygmunt Choreń. It was built in Gdańsk, Poland in 1987. It is a two-masted vessel, square rigged on the foremast, with fore-and-aft sails on the mainmast.


Originally commissioned by the Polish Yachting Association as the Zew, she was acquired by the Sail Training Association of Japan (STAJ) and delivered to Japan via the Panama Canal in 1993 following a 16-month maiden voyage under the United Nations flag in which she saw 100-knot (190 km/h) winds off the coast of Scotland and participated in the American Tall Ship Celebration in 1992.

Name origin[edit]

It has been suggested that the ship's name 'kaisei' could also be a play on words, with the word meaning "reform" in Japanese (written "改正").

The STS Kaisei stowing her sails in preparation for docking.


Under the Japanese flag, she has visited 15 countries and has traveled extensively throughout the Pacific in her mission to promote the global community and bring countries and cultures together through the international language of the sea. She has covered roughly 40,000 nautical miles (around 80,000 km).

In 1992 sailed with the Columbus fleet, flying the UN flag. Kaisei's maiden voyage lasted 16 months throughout Europe, East Coast US, Caribbean, Panama Canal, West Coast US and Pacific Islands covering 57,000 km. During this time period, the vessel flew the United Nations flag. Under Japanese flag she traveled throughout the Pacific and Asia. Carried over 10,000 trainees during the 14-year period.

Ocean Voyages Institute[edit]

Ocean Voyages Institute a California 501(c) 3 organization currently operates the vessel Kaisei and she serves as the figurehead and expedition ship of "Project Kaisei" which is an international program dedicated to implementing solutions to the problem of marine debris.

In August 2009, Kaisei embarked from San Francisco on a month-long voyage for the Ocean Voyages Institute as part of "Project Kaisei", a mission to study the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. She returned again in 2010 to the North Pacific Gyre and also took part in a variety of educational and awareness events.

External links[edit]