POINT ROBERTS, 1962
Builder: Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, MD
Commissioned: 6 June 1962
Decommissioned: February 1992
Disposition: Transferred to EPA as the research vessel Lake Explorer
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 Roberts was stationed at Mayport, FL, from 1962 on. She was used for law enforcement and search and rescue operations. On 26 February 1965, she towed the disabled F/V Cherry Lee 25 miles southeast of St. Augustine, FL, to Mayport during rough weather. On 15 May 1966, she rescued a skin diver off Jacksonville, FL. On 12 May 1968, she rescued three from F/V Kingfisher 5 miles east of St. Johns River mouth. On 21 July 1968, she medevaced injured seamen from the tanker Transhudson. On 12 January 1969, she escorted the distressed F/V Eagle 25 miles northwest of Key West, FL, to that port. On 4 August 1970, she medevaced a crewman from the Japanese Navy training ship Katori off Jacksonville, FL. On 28 November 1982, she helped seize M/V Lago Izabel and F/V Gigi 120 miles east of Georgia carrying 25 tons of marijuana. She fired 50 rounds of 50-cal mg at Lago Izabel. In January and February 1986, she recovered debris from space shuttle Challenger off Cape Canaveral, FL. In August 1988, she escorted the Honduran M/V Unicorn Express into Mayport, where over 1,000lbs of cocaine were found in a secret compartment.
She was decommissioned in 1992 and was transferred to the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA converted her in to the research vessel Lake Explorer. She is homeported in Duluth, MN.
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