May 25 2009
As the redevelopment of Channel Islands Harbor, in Oxnard, inches along, we have a new neighbor and hopefully, a long term attraction; Tall Ship, Bill of Rights. She is an absolute beauty. A replica of a 19th century Schooner which was built in Maine in 1971. She is 136 feet long and has nearly 25 feet of beam. Her mainmast stands 115 feet above the deck and has a tonnage of 160 gross.
Bill of Rights had the distinction of being the lead Tall Ship through New York Harbor during the 1976 Bicentennial Celebration. The boats’ current owner, Stephen Taylor, is also her Captain and the founder of the American Tall Ships institute. She is nowÂ berthed near the Marina Emporium Landing, 3600 S. Harbor Blvd., next to the Scarlett Belle, a Mississippi River paddle-wheel replica that provides private and public party tours of the harbor. If all goes well, she is here to stay and will provide a variety of “immersion type” student programs during the week and through Island Packers, offers day sails to the public on the weekends.
Thanks to Member, Larry Pruitt, for capturing this grand photo of her out yesterday! Im trying to track down her history… She spent her early years in and around the sailing centers of New England. In 1986, a group called Vision Quest bought her and installed an engine. Her history, online at least, is spotty in the 90′s. It appears she nearly went the way of a lot of neglected wooden boats, down in San Pedro, around 2003. But after a “frantic” refit in 2005 participated in some West Coast Tall Ship events. Alas, she could not find a permanent berth to work from on the West Coast, until this recent offering from our harbor and the Marine Emporium folks who redeveloped their commercial docks last year to accommodate a tall ship.
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