HMCS Oriole is the oldest ship in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). It was built in 1921 as the flag ship for the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, ON and commissioned into the RCN in 1952. It weighs approximately 92 tonnes, has a beam of 19.5 feet, and sleeping accommodations for 22. Ketch-rigged, the HMCS 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 sets 13,133 square feet of Dacron sail. These tremendous sails are all manhandled; there is not a winch on the ship. HMCS Oriole’s hull is steel, however its decks, cabin house, skylights and hatches are all made of teak; it 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.