Replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s flagship nears completion

‘Whiskey Plank’ Installed On San Salvador

A group constructing a $6.2 million replica of the San Salvador at Spanish Landing Park Wednesday installed the final wooden plank in the vessel’s hull, which is considered a major milestone.

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SAN DIEGO — A launching ceremony is scheduled April 19 for a full-scale replica of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo’s flagship when he sailed into San Diego Bay nearly 500 years ago.

Volunteers have been building the $6.2 million, fully operational replica of the San Salvador over the past four years at Spanish Landing Park, according to a report to be delivered tomorrow to the Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners.

The 92-foot-long vessel will be moved around midnight April 17 to an area in front of the County Administration Center for public viewing, and then transported the next night to Broadway Pier, the report says.

Members of the Spanish royal family and Spanish ambassador to the U.S. — who are expected to be in San Diego at the time for a separate event — have been invited to the ceremony, along with honorary counsels of several countries, Gov. Jerry Brown and local elected officials.

The Maritime Museum of San Diego plans to use the vessel as an educational platform for children in Southern California.

Cabrillo, who sailed from Portugal, was the first European to explore the coast of California in 1542. He entered San Diego Bay and named the area San Miguel.

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