Call of the Sea built a traditional wooden tall ship, brigantine Matthew Turner, to join our fleet and serve as an experiential learning platform for Bay Area youth.

Matthew Turner is a tall ship designed after the ship Galilee, which was built in the late 1800’s by the ship designer and builder Matthew Turner. The Galilee held the San Francisco to Tahiti passage record of 19 days for many years.

Ship Specifications:

Length Overall: 132′
Length on Deck: 100′
Beam: 25′
Draft: 10′
Sail Area: (11 Sails) 7,200 sq ft
Height of main mast: 100ft
Displacement: 175 tons
38 Berths for voyaging
Constructed with Douglas Fir, Oregon White Oak and Bronze Fastenings
Two 200 KW electric motors regenerating power under sail
Two 50 KWH banks of Lithium batteries
Two 265 KW bio-fuel generators

Project Partners

Partners in developing the collaborative group FLOW in Sausalito. Visit their website here.

The Bay Model has supported our operations since 2005 by allowing its pier to be the home base for schooner Seaward. They have also invited Matthew Turner to operate from their Pier, one of the premier locations in the Bay Area to sail from.

Building our ship on the working waterfront in Sausalito is nothing short of a dream, and it is happening thanks to the Berg family, who generously donated the shipyard site.

The California Heritage Council is dedicated to preserving and honoring those places and buildings which have given quality and distinction to the cultural life of California.

The California State Coastal Conservancy is a state agency established in 1976 to complement the coastal zone regulatory agencies by working to permanently protect coastal resources and improve public access. Their vision is of a beautiful, restored, and accessible coast for current and future generations of Californians. They act with others to protect and restore, and to increase public access to California’s coast, ocean, coastal watersheds, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Their ongoing partnership and support for the educational tall ship brigantine Matthew Turner has played a key role to completing the project. Soon, the vessel will connect thousands of students with on-the-water environmental field trips that take place on a regionally significant tall ship.

For nearly 30 years, The Conservation Fund has been saving special places across America. They have protected 7 million acres of land and water across all 50 states, from neighborhood parks to historic battlefields, wild areas and favorite destinations of all kinds. Working with community, government and business partners, they strive to balance economic and environmental goals. The Conservation Fund donated the Douglas Fir Trees we’ll be using to build the ship.

Construction Enterprises Inc. provided the ship with all needed scaffolding.

Hyde Engineering Services provided the full electrical engineering design pro bono for Matthew Turner, including the design for the diesel-electric BAE hybrid drivetrain. You can visit their website at

Sausalito Yacht ClubSan Francisco Yacht Club, and St FrancisYacht Club and their members have helped to raise money for student scholarships and building Matthew Turner.

Maritime Technical Services offers a wide range of maritime consulting services to assist vessel owners in improving the safety and efficiency of maritime operations.

Michael Rex Associates is an architectural firm dedicated to enriching people’s lives through the creation of environments that are functional, beautiful and enduring. This vision holds true regardless of style, scale or budget. With our staff and clients working together, we enthusiastically strive to produce the best work possible.

New Image Coatings provided ‘Seal-once’ used as the major wood sealing product on Matthew Turner.

Rotary of Marin Sunrise gave generous support and help.

Rotary of Sausalito gave generous support and help.

Andy Davis our N.A. and P.E., MS, Naval Architecture, U.C. Berkeley, 1991. BS., Naval Architecture, 1989. BA., Dickinson College, 1973. Prior to joining Tri Coastal Marine in 1991, Andy worked as a builder and designer of large sailing vessels. He was the builder of the Spirit of Massachusetts. With his unique background, he combines practical building expertise with the theoretical knowledge and insights of a trained engineer. He directs operations at the company headquarters in Richmond, California. Andy is a professional engineer.

West Marine and their management team offer financial and technical support.

West Systems Epoxy sponsors their resins and offers technical help.

Matt Butler of San Rafael Yacht Harbor has provided aid to Call of the Sea free of charge, from stepping the masts to helping make the dock safer for boarding our ships.

Q: How long did it take to build?
A: About 7 years. The keel was set in October, 2013.

Q: How much did the ship cost to build?
A: The total cost of the ship was $6 million dollars. This cost covered the construction of the vessel and the development of educational programs.

: Where did the funding come from?
A: Funds were received, both small and large donations, from individuals and Foundations that share our values and support our mission.

Q: What makes this ship sustainable?
A: All the materials and methods used are of the highest sustainable and recyclable standards available. The ship will produce her own energy and propulsion needs through a state-of-the-art hybrid system using wind power to produce electrical generation.

Q: What’s the historical connection?
A: The vessel is inspired by renowned Bay Area ship builder, Matthew Turner, and his design Galilee, which came to rest at the foot of Napa Street in Sausalito. Her stern is permanently on display at Fort Mason in the GGNRA.

Q: What’s the ship’s purpose, who will sail on her?
A: The ship’s purpose it to connect people of all ages to the sea through sailing. She will serve as an educational platform for Bay Area youth.

Q: Where is the ship be docked?
A: Thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers, she is docked at the Bay Model Visitor Center’s Pier in Sausalito. This location allows students to learn about the Bay’s unique geography and hydrology on shore, and on deck.

Q: Who built it?
A: Educational Tall Ship, Inc., former 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, began the project under the direction of Alan Olson. ETS then merged with Call of the Sea, and the project was lead by Alan Olson. Tri-Coastal Marine, Inc’s naval architects and their engineers oversaw quality control and acted as agents for USCG vessel certification. The building crew was made up of Bay Area shipwrights, carpenters, marine technicians, volunteers and students.

Q: Why are you using wood?
A: Wood is a renewable local resource that is environmentally friendly. We used sustainable timber with a FSC designation. By building with traditional methods, we honor the knowledge, skills and master craftsmanship historically used in our nineteenth century San Francisco ship yards. With proper maintenance, we believe this ship will still be sailing for a hundred years.

Q: Why build in Sausalito?
A: Sausalito was a great place to build due to its central location, easy public access and strong community support. There is also a vibrant boating community with many skilled maritime workers who benefit from the commerce and exposure. Building in Sausalito honors its long-standing maritime traditions and offers opportunity for the waterfront community to be acknowledged as maritime leaders in the Bay Area.

Q: Why so many sails, what’s a brigantine?
A: The eleven sails offer a perfect opportunity to engage many students in an exciting and meaningful hands-on experience. They must use team work and communicate well to power the ship safely. Brigantines have square sails on the fore mast for down wind and beam reach sailing. They were an advanced design and a technologically superior rig in the 19th century for both ocean passages and coastal sailing. They were displaced when steamships became cheaper to operate. Going aloft into the rig to set and take in the square sails is a rite of passage and an experience that is never forgotten.