The phrase “tall ships” means tall-mast rigged sailing ships. Historically important … modernly fascinating … and just plain fun. These ships remind us of the golden age of sail, before the rise of motor power.
The largest tall ships are referred to as Class A, having a length more than 40 meters. (The bowsprit is Not included in that measure.) Vessels shorter than Class A are designated as Class B, C, and D; these are not the largest but are still very impressive.
Today, we have more than sixty Class A tall ships across the globe. More than half are European and eight are American. This includes the U.S.S. Constitution, which is based here in Massachussetts. U.S.S. Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides (a nickname earned in active battle), is retired from service but retains the title “the world’s oldest commissioned naval ship”, meaning it is officially staffed with Navy officers and sailors.
A gathering of tall ships is often referred to as Operation Sail or OpSail; but these events do not happen very often. The largest gathering in my memory occurred in 2000 under the moniker Sail Boston. We last saw OpSail on the east coast in 2012, in part to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the War of 1812.
Sail Boston happens once again in 2017 – more than fifty tall ships!
Upcoming 2015 tall ship events
Philadelphia PA … June 25 – 28, 2015 … more than a dozen ships
• Boston MA … July 1 – July 5
Maybe four ships (Liberty Clipper, Liberty Star, USCG Eagle, USS Constitution)
• Baltimore MD … June 19 – 21, 2015
• NYC … July 2 – 4, 2015
Kalmar Nyckel :
• Provincetown MA … July 10 – 19, 2015