The Los Angeles Maritime Institute launched the twin brigantines Exy Johnson and Irving Johnson in 2002 for the TopSail Youth Program. With ships named in honor of sail training pioneers and seven-time circumnavigators with youth crew aboard their three ships named Yankee, TopSail recognizes that the shipboard environment is challenging, yet nurturing – encouraging exploration and self-reliance. TopSail is notably effective with youth who are not yet coping well with the demands of society and are at risk of dropping out of school and giving up. With the premise that ‘school is where the kids are…’ TopSail youth engage in building cooperation, courage, confidence and character in the real-world classroom of the sea. LAMI is a volunteer-driven, youth-focused, educational ‘family’ organization. We welcome the skills and enthusiasm of people of all ages and all walks of life to sail with youth, maintain the tall ships, and be involved in many other ways. Visiting tall ships are always welcome to grace LAMI’s berths in the Port of Los Angeles.