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Behind the Scenes: Sailing Exhibit Construction at the Hall of Champions

Moving is never easy. But while couches and mattresses can be unwieldy, a boat is an entirely different story.

The Hall of Champions Sports Museum has starting putting together its new 4,500 square foot sailing exhibit. Set to open in 2012, the exhibit will feature a fully rigged Star Boat, an America’s Cup room with scale models of boats that have raced in San Diego, interactive sailing simulators, and other hands-on exhibits. It will also include displays on the history of sailing in San Diego, bringing together world champions, youth sailors, yacht clubs and Naval architects in a dedicated space.

San Diego hosted the America's Cup in 1988, 1992, and 1995, and recently served as the third stop in the inaugural America's Cup World Series. In addition to serving as a venue for competition, the city has a rich history of sailing innovation because of the Navy presence and the many boat builders and ship designers who call San Diego home.

To celebrate the city's sailing history, the Hall launched a campaign to raise $1 million for the new exhibit, more than $700,000 of which has already been raised, prompting the exhibit team to move ahead with construction.

One of the first steps of building the exhibit involved bringing the Star Boat from the loading dock, through the center court, and down to the lower level—the future home of the sailing exhibit. 

The Star boat is 22’7” long with a beam of 5’7”.  

It weighs nearly 1500 pounds and it has 285 sq. ft. of sail area. 

According to the Hall, many of San Diego’s legendary sailors raced and have won world championships in the Star:
Lowell North, Malin Burnham, Dennis Conner, Mark Reynolds, Vince Brun, Hugo Schreiner, Rod Davis and more.
Vince Brun raced the Star in the exhibit.

The Star is the oldest Olympic class and was first used in the 1932 Olympics.   

The Star is now mounted without any visible supports.

Visible from the lobby and center court, the boat has been mounted in the exhibit at the optimum upwind heel angle of 11 degrees.  


You can donate to the project via the Hall of Champions website. Stay tuned to the Hall's Facebook page for future updates.

--Maren Dougherty

Photos by Michael Jackson.