POINT STEELE, 1967
Photo of POINT STEELE
Builder: J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, WA
Commissioned: 26 April 1967
Decommissioned: 9 July 1998
Disposition: Transferred to Antigua-Barbuda, 17 July 1998
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 Steele was originally named Point Buchon. She was stationed at Rockaway, NY. She was used for law enforcement and search and rescue operations. On 25 August 1969, she towed the disabled yacht Cirrus to Sodus Bay, NY.
From 1970 to 1980, she was stationed at Oswego, NY. From 1969 to 1973, she escorted Communist-bloc M/Vs through the St. Lawrence Seaway from Massena, NY, to the Welland Canal.
In 1981, she was stationed at Key West, FL.
From 1982 on, she was stationed at Fort Myers Beach, FL. On 5 January 1984, she fought fire on F/V Skyware 30 miles off Cape Romano, FL. On 19 March 1984, she seized F/V El Principe del Golfo 100 miles west of Fort Myers Beach carrying 10 tons of marijuana. On 10 November 1984, she seized F/V Adriana Belle 30 miles south of Fort Myers Beach with 5 tons of marijuana on board. On 3 December, she seized and destroyed the workboat New Jerusalem due to health hazard 8 miles southeast of Miami carrying 49 illegal migrants and 200 lbs of marijuana. On 28 August 1985, she seized F/V Crusader carrying 10 tons of marijuana. In September 1985, she intercepted 100 Haitian migrants on board of a sailboat 50 miles south of Nassau and delivered them to immigration. On 14 October 1985, she seized the shrimp boat Black and White 34 miles southwest of Sanibel Island carrying 27.5 tons of marijuana. On 31 March 1987, she sustained hull damage in heavy seas and was towed to St. Petersburg, FL, by the cutter Point Swift. On 5 May 1987, she seized F/V My Girls 30 miles west Cape Romano, FL, with 25 tons of marijuana on board.
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