Visiting Vessels: Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain
The Lady Washington is the Official Ship of the State of Washington. The Hawaiian Chieftain accompanies her on her voyages and goodwill missions. Both ships will be moored at Lake Union Park for Opening Day of boating season, from April 30th through May 2. They will be open for dockside tours, and will stage a Battle Sail at 3pm on Saturday, May 1.
What is a Battle Sail? A Battle Sail is a recreation of a typical 18th century naval action. Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain maneuver around each other for the best position to fire small, butloud cannons. Which boat will survive? Of course, both boats use blanks, and it's all in good fun!
About Lady Washington: Launched on March 7, 1989, the Lady Washington was built in Aberdeen, Wash. by Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public development authority. The new Lady Washington is a full-scale reproduction of the original Lady Washington.
Built in the British Colony of Massachusetts in the 1750's, the original vessel carried freight between colonial ports until the American Revolutionary War, when she became an American privateer. In 1787, after the war, she was given a major refit to prepare her for a unprecedented trading voyage around Cape Horn. In 1788, she became the first American vessel to make landfall on the west coast of North America.
A pioneer in Pan-Pacific trade, she was the first American ship to visit Honolulu, Hong Kong and Japan. Lady Washington opened the black pearl and sandalwood trade between Hawaii and the Orient when King Kamehameha became a partner in the ship.
The modern Lady Washington was thoroughly researched by historians and constructed by skilled shipwrights. She was launched as part of the 1989 Washington State Centennial celebration. The new Lady Washington meets all of the U.S. Coast Guard safety requirements for a 21st century ship.
About Hawaiian Chieftain: The topsail ketch Hawaiian Chieftain is a replica of a typical European merchant trader of the turn of the
nineteenth century. Her hull shape and rigging are similar to those of Spanish explorer's ships used in the expeditions of the late 18th
century along the Washington, Oregon, and California coasts. Built of steel in Hawaii in 1988 and originally designed for cargo trade among the Hawaiian Islands, her design was influenced by the early colonial passenger and coastal packets that carried on coastal trade along the Atlantic coastal cities and towns.
Purchased in 2004 by the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, the Hawaiian Chieftain joins the Lady Washington, the Official Ship of the State of Washington, in educational cruises and ambassadorial visits along the west coast throughout the year.
Learn more about these vessels at Gray's Harbor Historical Seaport.