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.
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 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
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
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.