Chieftain is the name of a sailing vessel briefly known as the
Spirit of Larinda. Built in 1988 in Lahaina on the island of Maui,
the Hawaiian Chieftain is a contemporary interpretation of a
traditional design. She is unique with the rig of a 19th-century
trading vessel and a modern triple keel, shallow draft hull. Drawing
only 5.5 feet (1.7 m), she is highly maneuverable in shallow waters.
The Hawaiian Chieftain was commissioned by Laurence H. Dorcy, Jr.,
designed by nautical architect Ray Richards, and built for Lahaina
Welding by Captain Morgan Davies for project manager Gaylord Drake
Thomas on the island of Maui; under its paint, her bowsprit bears
the inscription "Lahaina Welding Co." She was based in Sausalito, CA
for many years, sailing up and down the coast with the Lady
Washington on Voyages of ReDiscovery, providing hands-on history
programs teaching 4th and 5th graders about the exploration and
trade along the West Coast in the 1790s.
Hawaiian Chieftain in her current colors
In the winter of 2004, she was sold to a Cape Cod sailing program
and renamed the Spirit of Larinda; however, due to the unexpected
death of her owner, she remained inactive. In October 2005, the
Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Authority, owner of Lady Washington,
purchased her to add to its fleet. Returning to her original
identity as the Hawaiian Chieftain, she joined up with the Lady
Washington on February 25, 2006 and is now providing joint education
and sail training up and down the west coast of the United States.