HMCS Oriole

HMCS Oriole badge

Related links

Commissioned in 1954, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Oriole is the oldest ship in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). HMCS Oriole is a tall ship, used by the RCN for training and public outreach.

It was built in 1921 as the flag ship for the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) in Toronto. In 2021, both the RCN and the RCYC are celebrating Oriole’s 100th anniversary.

Oriole is a sturdy ocean cruiser and valuable for team work and seamanship training. Its participation in racing is primarily to give inexperienced crews further opportunities for training.

Ketch-rigged, Oriole is a near relative to a schooner, but differs in that its mizzen mast is smaller than its mainmast and is steeped further aft.

When fully rigged, HMCS Oriole set 13,133 square feet of Dacron sail. These tremendous sails are all manhandled; there is not a winch on the ship. Oriole’s hull is steel, however its decks, cabin house, skylights and hatches are all made of teak.


  • Length: 31.1 metres (102 feet)
  • Beam: 5.94 metres (19.5 feet)
  • Draught: 2.7 metres (9 feet)
  • Height of Main Mast: 31.4 metres (103 feet)
  • Height of Mizzen Mast: 21.3 metres (70 feet)
  • Working Sails: 560 square metres (6,000 square feet)
  • Spinnaker: 650 square metres (7,000 square feet)
  • Displacement: 92 tonnes (101.4 tons)
  • Accommodations: 21 people