• Draft: 11′
  • Beam: 21′ 9
  • Rig Height: 87′ 8
  • Sail Area: 4,540
  • Tons: 99
  • Hull: wood

Organization: Los Angeles Maritime Institute


In April of 2002, the Los Angeles Maritime Institute launched the twin brigantines Exy Johnson and Irving Johnson. Named in honor of the Johnson’s and their lifelong commitments to character-building sail training, the brigantines were constructed on the waterfront in San Pedro, California. Designed for LAMI’s TopSail Youth Program, the brigantines were especially to meet the needs of middle school youth. The TopSail Youth Program uses sail training to provide youth with real-life challenges that develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to live healthy, productive lives. TopSail enriches, validates and challenges conventional school curricula by bringing biology, history, mathematics, physics, geology, literature and the environment to life in the real world classroom of the sea. Irving McClure Johnson began training for a sailor’s life as a teenager. In 1929 he sailed around Cape Horn on the four-masted barque Peking. Captain Johnson met Electa “Exy” on his next voyage aboard the Wander Bird. The Johnsons sailed around the world seven times in two different Yankees, then cruised European and African waters in their third Yankee, a ketch. In 2006, LAMI hosted a reunion of world-voyagers and Girl Scout Mariners, sailing the twin brigantines with a new generation of youth crew carrying on the Johnson’s tradition through TopSail.


  • USCG Certification: Sailing School Vessel (Subchapter R), Passenger Vessel (Subchapter T)
  • Who Sails: Youth, Adults, Scouts, Elementary School, Middle School, High School, College
  • Program Type: Sail Training, Passenger Daysails, Private Charters, Marine Science, Summer Camp, Scouts
  • Normal Cruising Waters – Winter: Southern California and offshore islands
  • Sailing Season: year-round
  • Year Launched: 2002
  • Number of Crew: 8
  • Name of Contact: Captain Bruce Heyman, Executive Director
  • Website: https://lamitopsail.org