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 List of schooners and other sailing ships

 List of schooners and other Sailing ships
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Amerigo Vespucci

3 mast full rigged sailing  ship

Amerigo Vespucci

3 mast full rigged sailing  ship

Displacement 4,100 Tons
Sparred Length 333 Feet
Beam 51 Feet
Draft  21 Feet
Sail Surface 28,000 Sq. Feet

Amerigo Vespucci 3 mast full rigged sailing  ship takes its name from the famous Italian sailor and cartographer who also lent his name to the new world. Built 1930-31, Royal Shipyard (formerly), Castellamare di Stabia. and carried out many voyages before World War II. The period of the war was the only time the ship has not been active. The elegant, three-mated full rigger serves as the training vessel of the Italian Naval Academy.



Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 09:04:16 +1300
From: Rob Isaac <>
Subject: Amerigo Vespucci

I spent Friday morning aboard Amerigo Vespucci (currently at anchor in Auckland, New Zealand).
Some trivia for your page, if you're interested:

The standard crew is around 300 people.  This swells to 450 during the Italian summer, when they embark naval cadets.  The full crew is needed if all the sails are hoisted.
Amerigo Vespucci makes about 4-5 knots.
The entire rig and all the sheets are traditional materials:  Canvas sails and hemp ropes.  The only synthetic on board is the mooring lines, which have to be an approved type for some of the ports they visit. 
The sheets, laid end to end, span 35 km.

Amerigo Vespucci had a sister ship, the "Christopher Columbus" (named in Italian, and I can't do it justice).  Both were built as replicas of an 18th century vessel (sorry, not sure of it's name).  This sister ship was given to Russia as war reparations immediately after WWII.  The Russians (apparently) had no interest in maintaining such an impractical "warship", and decommissioned it shortly afterwards.  The Italians preserved two paintings from the other vessel, and these now hang at opposite ends of the wardroom at the stern of Amerigo Vespucci.

The crew take the vessel very seriously.  They're highly aware that (ignorant) people consider it anachronistic and silly, and have well-developed and well-reasoned explanations as to why it is not true.  Other than it's training duties, they visit other countries and take dignitaries aboard, to promote diplomatic understanding.

It's run as a warship.  Naval dress, armed sailors and so on.  This only adds to the disorienting sensation when you're on board.

It has twin steering, one manual and one hydraulically assisted.  The hydraulics are used to shift the rudder with the smaller crew aboard, and are driven by a wheel about 75cm in diameter.  The manual steering is used when the vessel has a full crew aboard, and are driven by four parallel wheels of about 150cm in diameter.  Two men are assigned to each wheel at all times.  Twelve turns of the large wheels is one degree of rudder.

Decking is tar-bonded teak, scrubbed daily and replaced every three years.

All of the winches aboard are man-powered, with reduction gearing in the capstan.  The one exception is the anchor winch, which has an (optional) hydraulic assist.  The main winches are the size of a birdbath (80cm diameter), with an ornate brass plate embossed with an image of the ship under sail.

Everything aboard is immaculately clean and polished.  Sailors carefully carry their cigarette ash to ornate brass ashtrays in the shape of the prow of a man-o-war hung on the sides of the deckhouses

Photo above taken by  Dave Schmaus of the Amerigo Vespucci Christmas 2002 in Auckland, N.Z. during
its America's Cup port call.

1953 Spithead Review by Capt JM Parsons who was in command of BP Protector, an Ocean going salvage tug, and was there to ensure the good passage of dignitaries.  copyright Capt JM Parsons Submitted by. Mike Parsons

Photo above was taken at the 1953 Spithead Review by Capt JM Parsons who was in command of BP Protector, an Ocean going salvage tug, and was there to ensure the good passage of dignitaries.  copyright Capt JM Parsons Submitted by. Mike Parsons

If you have information you would like to add to this page please Email me at

Amerigo Vespucci Born: 1454, Died: 1512. Italian navigator Explorer.

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