The Amerigo Vespucci is a world-famous tall ship of the Marina Militare, named after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Her home port is Livorno, Italy. As of 2007, she is still in use as a school ship.
In 1925, the Regia Marina ordered two school ships to be built following a design by Lieutenant Colonel Francesco Rotundi of the Italian Navy Engineering Corps, inspired by the style of large late 18th century 74-cannon ships of the line. The first of these two ships, the Cristoforo Colombo, was put into service in 1928 and was used by the Italian Navy until 1943. After World War II, this ship was handed over to the USSR as part of the war reparations and was shortly afterwards decommissioned.
The second ship of the design was the Amerigo Vespucci. The ship was built in 1930 at the (formerly Royal) Naval Shipyard of Castellammare di Stabia (Naples). She was launched on February 22, 1931, and was put into service in July of that year.
The vessel is a full rigged three masted steel hull 82.4 m long, with an overall length of 101 m (331 ft) including the bowsprit and a maximum width of 15.5 m (51 ft). She has a draught of about 7 metres (23 ft) and a displacement at full load of 4146 tons. Under auxiliary engine power, the Amerigo Vespucci reaches a top speed of 10 knots and has an autonomy of 5450 nm (at 6.5 knots).
The three steel masts are 50, 54, and 43 metres high, respectively, and carry sails that total 2824 m2 (30400 ft2) In total, the Amerigo Vespucci has 26 sails – square sails, staysails, and jibs: all are traditional canvas sails. The rig, some 30 km of rope, entirely uses traditional hemp ropes, too. Only the mooring lines are synthetic in order to comply with port regulations. Currently, she is the only existing three decked square rigger.
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