Welcome Aboard! Which program(s) would YOU like to support?

General Support

General support allows SBMM to use your donation in the area of greatest need. Admissions, special events, boating programs and facility rental activities help to generate some of the income necessary to operate SBMM, but it is not enough to cover all the costs entailed in running the Museum. It takes additional resources to ensure that educational programs, exhibits, and historic ship preservation meet the highest standards possible. We’re asking for your help to ensure the ongoing efforts of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Every gift—large or small—helps, so please take a moment to complete the Online Gift form below and know that your acts of generosity are what make the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum a special place.

Education Programs

The mission of the Museum’s Education Department is to encourage the curiosity of children through the use of interactive exhibits, experiential learning, and community outreach programs with special emphasis on California’s maritime history. Our education programs include the Tall Ship Program, Marine Science Program, Family Nights at the Museum, Science Nights, and monthly Lectures. More info

Ranger Restoration

Ranger, the flagship of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, is a classic big-game fishing yacht. In 1917, she was the first private sport fishing boat built on the West Coast and played a major role in the early popularity and growth of sport fishing in Southern California and Baja California. The 42-foot vessel served as the flagship of the Catalina Island Tuna Club for over 50 years, hosting celebrities and setting records—two of which still stand today for tuna and broad-bill swordfish.

Ranger needs your help! 
You can volunteer to become a member of Ranger’s maintenance crew. We need crew members with skills in mechanical systems, electrical systems, marine plumbing, woodworking, varnishing, and general cleaning.  Become a part of the proud tradition that is Santa Barbara maritime history.
Ranger volunteers meet on board the first Saturday of every month from noon to 2:00 pm to maintain the grandeur of this yacht. If you would like to help as a Ranger volunteer, please submit a Volunteer Application.

History of Oil in the Santa Barbara Channel

Oil has been a part of our maritime history for thousands of years. The Chumash utilized the natural seeps in our channel for their Tomols and baskets, the world’s first offshore oil well stood off Summerland Beach, commercial diving technology flourished in Santa Barbara due to oil production, and the modern environmental movement grew out of the 1969 Oil Spill. Today oil affects every facet of our lives, even as we move towards renewable energy sources.

Journey through time on a self-guided tour exploring The History of Oil in the Santa Barbara Channel at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

Geology of Oil in the Channel and the Chumash use of Asphaltum

Oil in Demand

Diving Deep for Oil

Life On & Below the Platform

Oil in Our Everday Lives

Oil and The Environment

Bombardment of Ellwood Oil Field

Military Exhibit Upgrade

SBMM’s major undertaking for 2019 is to upgrade and expand the Wilson Family Military Area. Additions to the area will include The Great White Fleet’s visit to Santa Barbara in 1908 when sailors marched down Cabrillo Boulevard sending a message to the world of the budding power of the United States Navy.  In addition, we will highlight “Old Ironsides” – USS Constitution on its 1933 visit to Santa Barbara, the oldest active working ship in the US Navy and marking the last time the ship was in the Pacific Ocean.  Plans to enhance the popular interactive Periscope exhibit, one of only 6 open to the public in the United States, include the installation of overhead piping, sonar sounds, a launch torpedo button and completing launch maneuvers.  Completing the area, will be the addition of an exhibit on the Waterfront Building which houses the Museum, a WPA works project, sold to the US Navy and served as a Navy training center where many local residents were stationed.