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Amerigo Vesspucci ship history

Nautical stories > Edition 2014

Tall ship Amerigo Vespucci took its name from the famous Italian sailor and cartographer who also lent his name to the new world. Its home port is La Spezia, Italy, and it is in use as a school ship. The elegant, three-mated full rigger serves as the training vessel of the Italian Naval Academy.

Amerigo Vesspucci ship stern (victoryshipmodels.com)
Amerigo Vesspucci ship stern

Tall ship Amerigo Vespucci took its name from the famous Italian sailor and cartographer who also lent his name to the new world. Its home port is La Spezia, Italy, and it is in use as a school ship. The elegant, three-mated full rigger serves as the training vessel of the Italian Naval Academy.
The Amerigo Vespucci is continually active. Most of her training cruises are in European waters, but she has also sailed to North and South America, and navigated the Pacific. In 2002, she undertook a voyage around the world. The period of the war was the only time the ship has not been active.
Amerigo Vespucci had a sister ship, the Cristoforo Colombo.  Both were built as replicas of an 18th century vessel.
The vessel is a full rigged three-masted steel hull 82.4 m (270.34 ft) long, with an overall length of 101 m (331 ft) including the bowsprit and a maximum width of 15.5 m (51 ft). She has a draught of about seven meters (23 ft) and a displacement at full load of 4146 tons. Under auxiliary diesel-electric propulsion the Amerigo Vespucci can reach 10 knots (19 km/h) and has a range of 5450 km at 6.5 knots.
The standard crew is around 300 people. This full crew is needed if all the sails are hoisted. This swells to 450 during the Italian summer, when they embark naval cadets.  
The hull is painted black with two white stripes, harking back to the two gun decks of the ships her design is based on, but she carries only two 6pdr saluting guns in pivot mountings on the deck, forward of the mainmast. The deck planks are of teak wood and must be replaced every three years. Everything aboard is immaculately clean and polished.
Bow and stern are decorated with intricate ornaments; she has a life-size figurehead of Amerigo Vespucci. The stern gallery is accessible only through the Captain's saloon.

Amerigo Vesspucci tall ship (victoryshipmodels.com)

The Amerigo Vespucci often takes part in sailing parades and Tall Ships' Races, where she is in amicable rivalry with the Gorch Fock. When she is berthed in port, public tours of the beautiful vessel are usually offered.



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