Swift of Ipswich

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Name: Swift of Ipswich
Owner: James Cagney
Builder: W.A. Robinson Inc.
Laid down: 1938
Launched: 1939[1]
Acquired: 1940[2]
Status: Yacht
Notes: Designer, Howard I. Chapelle[3]
Owner: Swift Associates Ltd.
Acquired: 1963
Owner: Los Angeles Maritime Institute
Acquired: 1991
Status: School ship
General characteristics
Type: Topsail Schooner
Length: 70 feet
Beam: 18.2 feet
Draft: 9 feet
Propulsion: 165 h.p. General Motors Diesel [2]

Swift of Ipswich is a topsail schooner owned and operated by the Los Angeles Maritime Insitute's TopSail Youth Program[4] as a sail training vessel for at-risk youth.[5]


Originally built in Ipswich as a private yacht, Swift of Ipswich is a reduced-scale replica of Swift, an American privateer from the Revolutionary War which was captured by the Royal Navy, transported to Britain, and deconstructed. The drawings produced from the original Swift have been used as the basis for several tall ship designs, mostly due to their completeness in an era which produced few detailed drawings (most ship designs having been scale models which have not survived intact). Soon after completion, Swift of Ipswich was sold to actor James Cagney and transported to Newport Beach, where she served as his private yacht and appeared in numerous Hollywood films. [3]

After being sold by Cagney in 1958,[2] the Swift was used for various purposes, such as harbor tours, before being acquired by the Los Angeles Maritime Institute in 1991.[2]

Swift of Ipswich participated in the Clash of the Tall Ships II in Long Beach Harbor in January, 1998.[6]


After the delivery of the twin brigantines Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson, Swift went into semi-retirement while fundraising proceeded to begin an extensive rebuilding, necessary after over 65 years of wear, tear, and exposure to salt water. Currently, work has begun on the reconstruction, although no firm completion date has been given.[4]


  1. Robert's Models. "Swift 2". http://roberts-model-ships-and-boats.com/swift2a.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Tall-Ship Fan. "Swift of Ipswich". http://www.tallship-fan.de/index_e.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Swift Info Page". http://tollway.com/swift/info.htm. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Los Angeles Maritime Insitute. "TopSail Youth Program". http://lamitopsail.org/LAMI/topsail.html. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  5. "Our Fleet, Swift of Ipswich", Los Angeles Maritime Institute, Retrieved on 2010-02-17.
  6. No Quarter Given. "Clash of the Tall Ships II". http://noquartergiven.net/clash.htm. Retrieved 201002-18. 

External links

See also

fr:Swift of Ipswich