1st Voyage - Quiet after 131 days at sea

  • September 2018 - Preparations

    Starting in September, each fourth grade class at Richmond Elementary School received a boat kit and started planning the construction and launching of Hull #015 of the Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Fleet.

  • Meet the teams

    International Relations and Recovery Team

    Deck Team
    Hull Team
    Keel Team
    Keel Team
    Hull Team













  • Transporting to Japan

    After eights weeks of planning and construction the Red Team at Richmond Elementary School finished their Miniboat and were ready to send it to Japan with the Education Director of the Columbia River Maritime Museum.

    TSA Agents, who are also Miniboat trackers, giving the S/V Takagami Maru getting the star treatment at PDX.Once in Japan Nate Sandel, Education Director at the Columbia River Maritime Museum meet with the mayor of Choshi and then got to works with the students at Takagami Elementary School. The students (and staff) laid the keel, loaded the cargo, sealed the hatch, painted the sail and the boats name on the transom.

    Painting the name on the transom
    5th Grader teacher helping attach the keel
  • November 21, 2018 - Launch Day


    Takagami Maru at Sea

    Launch Day– November 21, 2018
    Location- 15km off the coast of Choshi, Chiba, Japan

    We were joined onboard the FLIPPER for the launch by Sawako Ishi-ge, principal of Takagami Elementary School. Special thanks to Cap-tain Mr. Yukio Miyauchi of the Choshi Ocean Institute for helping use launch the Miniboats safe and successfully.

    The Choshi International Relation Department received word in October that “We got permission from Marine Safety Agency and secure the boat to get out of the coast. The boat〝Flipper” is for watching whales and dolphins. The capacity is 40 people. On 21st November the Flipper will take us 30km (15 miles) off the coast, because we want to place the Miniboat on the ocean currents. The captain of the Flipper advised us that if we do not place the Mini-boat further than 30km offshore, it will increase the possibility of it coming back to Choshi or being crushed by cargo ships.”

    Sawako Ishige
    Captain Yukio Miyauchi and his wife
    Captain Yukio Miyauchi going over the currents with Nate Sandel, Education Director at the Columbia River Maritime Museum
    Koshikawa Shinichi, Mayor of Choshi
  • March 31, 2019 - Quiet at sea

    After 131 days at sea we last received a location on March 31, 2019.


The Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Miniboat Program was developed in partnership with Educational Passages and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland. Students in the Pacific Northwest build unmanned sailboats equipped with GPS transmitters, one to launch from the coast of North America and the other to send to their partner class in Japan for launching.

While the boats are at sea, students on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean will track their movements. Using real-time data on ocean currents and weather, students will share their predictions on where the boats will go next, and hopefully create lasting friendships.

The mission: to get the boats to cross the Pacific Ocean.

The outcome: through hands-on activities and meaningful opportunities, students are enlightened and empowered


Richmond Elementary School is located in Port-land, Oregon and is a Japanese Immersion School. The entire 4th grade is participating in CRMM’s Miniboat Program during the 2018-2019 School Year.

The Japanese Immersion Program began in 1989 with two kindergarten classes at Richmond Elementary School. Now, a complete K-12 language immersion program with students starting at Richmond for kindergarten and stay-ing through 5th grade. At Richmond Elementary, students spend half their day learning in Japanese and the other half in English. Teachers provide lessons in literacy, math, science, and social studies in both languages.


The CRMM Miniboat Program is student driven with all the work and decisions being made in-dependently by the students in their self assigned team.