POINT CHICO, 1962
Builder: Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD
Commissioned: 29 October 1962
Decommissioned: 24 June 2001
Disposition: Transferred to Costa Rica
Length: 82’10” oa, 78’ bp
Navigation Draft: 5’11” max (1960)
Beam: 17’7” max
Displacement: 69 fl; 60 light (1960)
Main Engines: 2 Cummins diesel (see class history)
Performance, Maximum Sustained: 18.0 kts, 542-mi radius (1,600 hp, 1963)
Performance, Economic: 9.4 kts, 1,500-mi radius (1,600 hp, 1963)
Maximum Speed: 22.9 kts (1963)
Fuel Capacity: 1,840 gal
Complement: 8 men (1960), 2 officers, 8 men (1965)
Radar: SPN-11, CR-103 (1960), or SPS-64
Armament: 1 x 20mm (1960), 5 x .50 cal mg, 1 x 81 mm mortar (Vietnam service)
Class history—The 82-foot patrol boats have mild steel hulls and aluminum superstructures. Longitudinally framed construction was used to save weight.
These boats were completed with a variety of power plants. 82301 through 82313, 82315 through 82317, and 82319 through 82331 were powered by two Cummins 600-hp diesels. Boats 82318 and 82332 through 82379 received two Cummins 800-hp diesels. The 82314 was fitted with two 1,000-hp gas turbines and controllable-pitch propellers. The purpose of this installation was to permit the service to evaluate the propulsion equipment. All units were eventually fitted with the 800-hp diesels. Units remaining in 1990 were re-equipped with Caterpillar diesels.
WPB 82301 through 82344 were commissioned without names; at that time the Coast Guard did not name patrol craft shorter than 100 feet. In January 1964 they were assigned names.
The Point Chico was stationed at Sausalito, CA, from 1963 to 1965. She was used for law enforcement and search and rescue operations. On 14 June 1965, she escorted the damaged F/V Salmon Queen 18 miles southwest of Point Bonita, CA, to Sausalito.
From 1966 to 1974, she was stationed at Benicia, CA. On 26 September 1966, she helped fight fire on a barge in San Francisco harbor.
The Point Chico was awarded the Coast Guard Unit Commendation for action on 21 September 1975 while combating a raging fire that engulfed Pier 37 on the San Francisco waterfront and saving the historic ferry boat "SAN LEANDRO". The cutter was awarded a second Unit Commendation for rescue and relief operations during the flooding of the Noyo River Basin from 25 to 30 October 1977.
From 1974 to 4 August 1980, she was stationed at Yerba Buena Island, CA. On 7 April 1980, she towed the disabled 633-foot tanker Austin into the wind 35 miles northwest of Morro Bay, buying time for engineers working on damaged wiring as the tanker drifted toward the Piedras Blancas.
From 4 August 1980, she was stationed at Bodega Bay, CA. On 9 September 1983, she towed the disabled pleasure craft Sabra into San Francisco. On 16 September 1983, she towed the disabled F/V Huyne Long from off Farallon Island to San Francisco. On 8 November 1983, she rescued two divers off Mendocino Bay.
The cutter received its third Unit Commendation for participation in the Olympic Task Force during the Los Angeles XXIII Olympiad from 7 July to 15 August 1984. The Point Chico was awarded the Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation for search and rescue and law enforcement operations from 1 January to 9 April 1985, when its crew seized the F/V Oregon Beaver with 45,000 pounds of marijuana on board. On 7 June 1985, the cutter was adopted as the official Coast Guard cutter of the City of Sacramento.
Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.
"The 82-Foot Class Patrol Boat." U.S. Coast Guard Engineer's Digest No. 133 (Mar-Apr 1962), pp. 2-5.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990