After four years of construction by 500 volunteers in a San Diego parking lot so that the work could be easily viewed by the public, the 92 foot San Salvador, a representation of Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo’s ship, was “launched” on 22 July onto a barge by her owners San Diego Maritime Museum.
She is a typical galleon rig, drawing ten feet with three masts and a bowsprit, carrying two square sails on the fore and main masts, a lateen sail on the mizzen and a small square spritsail on the bowsprit.
Built to plans drawn by naval architect and superyacht designer, Doug Sharp, the US$6.2 million project incorporated materials and tools true to her era with other resources available to the original Cabrillo expedition. There are actually no known depictions or historical records of the ship other than a notation in the official report of the voyage to the Spanish Imperial Court mentioning that the ship was a merchant galleon of approximately 200 ‘toneladas’.
The lift aboard a shallow draft barge was necessary for her transfer to a yard in Chula Vista for inspection by the US Coast Guard before her debut on Labor Day weekend at the Port of San Diego’s 2015 San Diego Festival of Sail, hosted by the Maritime Museum where she will leading a parade into the harbour.
Eventually she will join Manx-built Star of India on the San Diego waterfront as an educational platform for children in Southern California.