Want to fly a historic boat? (As-is-where-is)

This bad boy is the experimental “hydrofoil sub chaser” USS High Point (PCH-1) out of the water on the West Coast going for a flight with her hull above the water.

NHHC L45-125.04.01

Built by Boeing for the Navy, she was constructed by J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corporation, Tacoma, WA and launched 17 August 1962.

The Navy's first hydrofoil submarine chaser, USS High Point (PCH-1), nears completion at the J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corporation, Tacoma, WA. In this photograph the after foil and starboard nacelle are visible. Accession #: L45 Catalog #: L45-125.04.02

The Navy’s first hydrofoil submarine chaser, USS High Point (PCH-1), nears completion at the J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corporation, Tacoma, WA. In this photograph the after foil and starboard nacelle is visible. Accession #: L45 Catalog #: L45-125.04.02

According to DANFS, the 115-foot craft was named after the North Carolina city and:

High Point is the first of a series of hydrofoil craft designed to evaluate the performance of this kind of propulsion in the modern Navy. She has three submerged foils containing propulsion nacelles and propellers and is also capable of riding on her hull like a more conventional ship. On her foils, High Point is capable of very high-speed operation and can add mobility and flexibility to America’s antisubmarine forces. The craft carried out tests in Puget Sound from 1963 through 1967.

"Flying" above the surface of Puget Sound, the United States Navy's first patrol craft - hydrofoil, USS High Point (PCH-1), demonstrates the lift capability of her wholly submerged, wing-like foils. The submarine chased is designed for speeds in excel of 50 miles an hour (80 km-h) and, with an automatic control system closely akin to an airplane's autopilot, provides a swift and stable platform in seas virtually as high as the length of its foil struts. July 5, 1963. Accession #: L45 Catalog #: L45-125.04.04

“Flying” above the surface of Puget Sound, the United States Navy’s first patrol craft – hydrofoil, USS High Point (PCH-1), demonstrates the lift capability of her wholly submerged, wing-like foils. The submarine chased is designed for speeds in excel of 50 miles an hour (80 km-h) and, with an automatic control system closely akin to an airplane’s autopilot, provides a swift and stable platform in seas virtually as high as the length of its foil struts. July 5, 1963. Accession #: L45 Catalog #: L45-125.04.04

She later was used in testing Harpoons off her stern, which would lead to the Pegasus-class PHMs.

Nanoose, Canada – the hydrofoil submarine chaser, USS High Point (PCH-1), launches an AGM-84A harpoon anti-ship missile during a test to evaluate the prototype canister launching system on a hydrofoil platform. January 1974. Catalog #: KN-21507

The Coast Guard even utilized the vessel, then with a lot of miles on her twin Rolls Royce Proteus gas turbines, in a series of tests that ended up with a blown engine.

428-GX-K108129 Patrol Craft, Hydrofoil, USS High Point (PCH-1) underway during a search and rescue exercise off San Francisco by JOC(AC) Warren Grass, 25 April 1975

(428-GX-K108129) Patrol Craft, Hydrofoil, USS High Point (PCH-1) underway during a search and rescue exercise off San Francisco by JOC(AC) Warren Grass, 25 April 1975

Put in mothballs, she was stricken by the Navy in 1980 (although still used off and on for testing and not sold by MARAD until 1991) and has passed through a series of private owners over the past 40 years. Today, she is available for sale in the Portland region (Tounge Point) for what would seem to be a bargain price ($74,900).

The good news is: she floats.

The bad news is: she is an almost 60-year-old experimental craft that hasn’t operated as she was designed for most of that. While she still has her auxiliary 12V-71 450hp Detriot Diesel still installed for propulsion, it is not in working order. Also, the years have not been kind to her.

Still, if you have the dough to buy her and refurb her, she could be the world’s coolest live-aboard yacht. I would pick her up for LSOZI’s West Coast office if I had that kind of cash.

Anyway, full details at POP Yachts. 

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

4 responses to “Want to fly a historic boat? (As-is-where-is)”

  1. tony acabono says :

    There is an old story I heard years ago about this ship or the later PHM ships. I do not know if it’s true but being a veteran I appreciate the bureaucracy.
    When the ship was delivered it sat at the pier for awhile as a Navy unit, and the Navy moved right in, with officers and sailors.
    When sea trials came around the ship could not get on plane, so they called in the shipyard and designers to find out why.
    After their inspection of the ship they discovered in Navy tradition that there were a bunch of filing cabinets on board, containing all sorts of Navy paperwork. So they tell the Navy to remove them. They do so, magically the ship planes. Apparently they weighed 3 tons.

    • laststandonzombieisland says :

      The funny thing about that is High Point has been stripped of just about everything but the hull, deck and bulkheads but still has a couple of huge steel GSA safes on board, complete with combination locks drawers

  2. Tim McCann says :

    Decades ago I use to work on the Navy’s Pegasus-class hydrofoil (PHM) down in their base in Key West Florida. Always a lot of fun.

  3. sam57l0 says :

    It had been in Astoria, but for some years now it’s been in Washington about 2-3 miles east of the north end of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. Last I heard, the DOE wants it removed from the river.

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