Cast Off All Lines – Swift Boat on Patrol. A Southern California Coastal Voyage.
July 27, 2016 update: added additional news links & photo gallery.
Tuesday July 12, 2016, the Vietnam War era Swift Boat PCF-816 has departed the Maritime Museum for a extended cruise up the coast of California. The captains and crew will be comprised of Vietnam War veterans.
The cruise is stopping at many ports along the way before returning to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. At each port visitors will be able to meet Swift Boat Sailors, listen to educational talks regarding the ships history and the history of the Swift Boat Sailors during the Vietnam War. You’ll even be able to tour aboard the Swift Boat!
In the news:
• NBC San Diego
• Los Angeles Times
• Los Angeles Times
• Daily Breeze News
• Vietnam Veteran News
• KEYT News
Click on image for larger photo
The scheduled dates and ports for the cruise are below.
- Leg 1: July 12-July 14
Depart: Maritime Museum of San Diego
Destination: Oceanside Marina Suites, Oceanside Harbor
- Leg 2: July 14-July 17
Depart: Oceanside Harbor
Destination: American Legion Yacht Club (ALYC), Newport Beach
- Leg 3: July 17-July 21
Depart: American Legion Yacht Club
Destination: Los Angeles Maritime Museum, San Pedro
- Leg 4: July 21-July 23
Depart: Los Angeles Maritime Museum
Destination: NCBC Port Hueneme, Located near the Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme
- Leg 5: July 23-July 26
Depart: NCBC Port Hueneme
Destination: Santa Barbara Yacht Club
- Leg 6: July 26-July 29
Depart: Santa Barbara Yacht Club
Destination: Channel Islands Maritime Museum, Oxnard
- Leg 7: July 29-July 31
Depart: Channel Islands Maritime Museum
Destination: Burton W. Chace Park, Marina del Rey
- Leg 8: July 31-Aug 3
Depart: Burton W. Chace Park
Destination: Rainbow Harbor and Marina, Long Beach
- Leg 9: Aug 3-Aug 6
Depart: Rainbow Harbor and Marina
Destination: Ocean Institute Dana Point
- Leg 10: Aug 6
Depart: Ocean Institute
Destination: Maritime Museum of San Diego
All scheduled departures times are 9:00 a.m. and destination arrival times are approximately 12:00 noon. The Swift Boat will be available for tours and interviews shortly after docking and until dusk while in each port.
Schedule subject to change.
Swift Boats were in Vietnam from 1965 thru 1970 and were fifty feet long constructed of ¼ inch aluminum alloy and had a crew of six. The initial mission was to maintain a continuous 24 hour sea surveillance of the 1,200 mile South Vietnam coastline, including boarding and search, to deny infiltration of arms and contraband by sea. Its’ later mission was to conduct inshore raider operations on enemy redoubts and sanctuaries boarding the deep water rivers and canals of South Vietnam to keep the enemy on the defensive and denying these vital waterways for their operations, supply and communications.
PCF 816 was one of ten Swift Boats used to train Swift Boat Sailors at Naval Amphibious Base in Coronado, CA. In February 1971, the U.S. Navy donated PCF 816 (and PCF 813) to the Republic of Malta and renamed P24 (and P23, respectively). Her duties included coast guard duty, interdicting smugglers, harbor security, and search & rescue. She served for 40 years and was finally decommissioned in 2011. She was one of the last two PCF’s to be in service. The Swift Boat Sailors Association received PCF 816 from the Maltese Government in 2012 and she is currently restored, on display, and available for sea tours, at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
The arrival of PCF 816 from Malta to her home port of California in 2012 was just the beginning of her restoration. She needed a complete overhaul to restore her back to original. Swift Boat Sailors answered the call and returned once again to bring her back to her natural beauty.
Testing rebuild engines before the voyage.