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San Diego County Digest

San Diego

December 07, 1985

The Star of India's new main royal sail was dedicated Friday morning.

The sail measures nearly 700 square feet and is made of a synthetic sailcloth that should last about four times as long as the original cotton sails, said Paul Kettenburg, president of the Maritime Museum board of trustees.

It took sail maker Robert Henderson 3 1/2 weeks to make the sail, which cost $3,200. The money was donated by Robert Sharp, a past president of the Maritime Museum board.

Built in England in 1863, the 200-foot ship is the oldest merchant ship afloat. It has been docked in San Diego Harbor since 1926 and is the museum's centerpiece, Kettenburg said.

The museum maintains the ship at a cost of $100,000 a year, which is raised by donations and museum membership and admission fees. It costs $75,000 each time the ship is taken out to sail, which has happened three times since 1963. The ship is scheduled to sail next on Memorial Day, 1986, by which time it should have a complete suit of sails, said Carl Bowman, the ship's captain.

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