Topsail Schooner Swift of Ipswich
Swift of Ipswich

Year built: 1938
Designer: Howard I. Chapelle
Builder: W.A. Robinson Shipyard
Length on deck: 70 feet 5 inches
Length on waterline: 59 feet 4 inches
Beam: 18 feet 3 inches
Draft: 9 feet 11 inches
Sail area: 5,166 square feet
2006 shipyard - notice the trunnel
fastened hull planks and stout frames.
photo: Los Angeles Maritime Institute
December 2018 - I am looking over the project and
developing a rig restoration plan.  At least she is a lot
smaller than the full rigged ship Wavertree!
Brochure advertising the building
of Swift by her builder William
Robinson of Ipswich, Mass.
Support Los Angeles
Maritime Institute
James Cagney era - Newport Beach, Calif.
1990's off Los Angeles, Calif.
Originally named Swift and built in Ipswich, Massachusetts as a private yacht, Swift of Ipswich is a 70-foot wooden
topsail schooner designed by Howard Chappelle and built in 1938 by William Robinson.  Chappelle designed her as a
reduced-scale replica of
Swift an American privateer from the Revolutionary War which was captured by the Royal
Navy, transported to Britain, and documented. The drawings produced from the original
Swift have been used as the
basis for several tall ship designs, mostly due to their completeness in an era which produced few detailed drawings
(most ship designs having been scale models which have not survived intact).  The original
Swift was rigged as a brig,
Swift of Ipswich carries a square topsail schooner rig.   
Soon after completion, Swift was sold in 1940 to actor James Cagney and transported to Newport Beach, where she
served as his private yacht and appeared in numerous Hollywood films.  After being sold by Cagney in 1958,
was used for various purposes, such as harbor tours, before being acquired by the Los Angeles Maritime Institute in
1991and renamed
Swift of Ipswich.  She is currently undergoing an extensive restoration to return to youth sail training
in Los Angeles harbor.
I have been hired to restore Swift of Ipswich's rigging and plan on beginning
the task sometime in June 2019.  I hope folks interested in learning traditional
rigging stop by
Swift of Ipswich and volunteer in this interesting and rewarding
rigging effort.  Please call the Los Angeles Maritime Institute for information on
volunteering at:

Los Angeles Maritime Institute
Berth 73, Suite 2
San Pedro, CA 90731
Tel: 310.833.6055
General Inquiries:
Learn Traditional Rigging with master rigger Jamie White