• Draft: 10′
  • Beam: 28′
  • Rig Height: 110′
  • Freeboard: 10′
  • Sail Area: 12000 square feet
  • Tons: 411
  • Hull: iron


In 1975, a rusted iron hulk lay in the waters of Piraeus, Greece. Nearly 100 years earlier, she had sailed the world’s oceans as a proud square-rigged sailing ship. Cut down, leaking and decrepit, she waited a cable’s length from the scrap yard. Today, Elissa remains one of the hallmarks of maritime preservation. Lovingly restored and maintained, she sails again, continuing a far longer life than most ships are ever granted. She tests her readiness annually in a series of sea trials amid the oil rigs and shrimpers off Galveston Island. Working under professional officers, her volunteer crew completes an extensive dockside-training program. As funds allow, she makes longer voyages.


  • USCG Certification: Sailing School Vessel (Subchapter R)
  • Who Sails: Middle School, High School, College
  • Program Type: Sail Training, Maritime History, Museum Education
  • Normal Cruising Waters – Winter: Coastal waters near Galveston
  • Sailing Season: April to November
  • Year Launched: 1877
  • Number of Crew: 40
  • Name of Contact: Mark Scibinico Port Captain/Director
  • Website: http://www.galvestonhistory.org/attractions/maritime-heritage/1877-tall-ship-elissa-3

Tall Ships Challenge Years