The Tall Ships Fleet tracker is an electronic device that uses global positioning satellites and Google Earth to pinpoint the exact location of any vessel forming the Tall Ships fleet. These vessels, which are ships docked in ports all over the world, assemble annually for friendly racing competitions under the auspices of Sail Training International.
Yellowbrick Adventure Trackers provide updates on each vessel’s location every two hours during racing events, regattas and other events held by the organization. Sail Training International equipped the vessels with trackers while docked in Antwerp before the races held in 2010. Prior to installing the trackers, the organization could only determine the location of vessels at sea by radio communications.
The trackers, which are fully automated and self-powered with a user-friendly interface, have waterproof cases that can endure harsh marine conditions. Friends, relatives and supporters can view tracking reports transmitted by the trackers at TallShips.org. The reports, which list each vessel by name, include the latitude and longitude of each ship, along with the date and time of the report and the vessel’s radio call signals. The website also features an interactive map that indicates the position of each vessel.
The Tall Ships database lists more than 700 vessels. To qualify for the Tall Ships designation, a vessel must be a mono-hull, square-rigged vessel, exceed 40 feet in length, and have a crew with at least half of its members between the ages of 15 and 25.