Barque Elissa
Splicing up a new main brace
timenoguy and setting it up in the
rig.  Notice the brass "star" on the
block - a touch of BALCLUTHA
in Texas
Both above and below deck, the ELISSA is a
beautiful vessel, with teak and birds eye
maple in abundance ~ along with that canny
and beautiful Scottish shipbuilding aesthetic
as shown in the beautiful "Aberdeen" hollow
bow of hers.
Karl Kortum at the wheel of ELISSA.  Karl had sailed around the Horn on the last American
square rigger to haul cargo, the Barque
KAIULANI,ex Star of FINLAND in 1941.  They were
underway when Pearl Harbor was bombed.
From the NY Times:
Mr. Kortum's love of ships and the sea dated from his 1941 passage in the Barque KAIULANI
from Gray's Harbor, Wash., east around both Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope to
Durban, South Africa, and Hobart, Tasmania. The voyage, on which Mr. Kortum served as
acting mate, was the last for an American merchant ship under sail.
I really looked forward to the
annual series of day sails -
especially after being told that one
of my mentors, Karl Kortum, was
to be a special guest
Serving up a new footrope after having
spliced it in the rigging loft.
As extras during the filing of "Pancho
Barnes".  Quite a bit different than my
filming experience on the BOUNTY in
During the 1988 day sails, we carried
away the main royal yard.  It sounded
like a shotgun when it sprung.  The
only thing holding it together was the
jackstay and oak batten/gate.
Sending the sprung/broken main
royal to deck.
1877 3 masted Barque ELISSA

length on deck       152'       
length overall         205'
beam                       28'
Hull Material         Iron

gross tonnage         411 Tons
draft                       10' 6"

Sails                       19 sails - 12,000 sq.
Standing                2.5 miles of wire rope
Running                 174 lines @ 4.5 miles
I became director of 1877 barque ELISSA and the
Texas Seaport Museum on October 1, 2010 after
serving as master rigger and historic ships rigging
supervisor at San Francisco Maritime National
Historical Park.  During my tenure as director from
October 2010 to April 2016, I  planned and led the
over $2.5 million second restoration of ELISSA’s
hull and decking in 2012-13 as a result of damage
form Hurricane Ike.

ELISSA is a special sailing ship with her Victorian
pedigree and Scottish soul. There is a story in every
rivet and music in each strand of her rigging. I
enjoyed listening to her song during my watch as
her director and now as an admirer.