U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet, “Queen of the Fleet,” for Sale

U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Acushnet, oldest commissioned Coast Guard cutter, and the officially designated “Queen of the Fleet” will be sold as surplus at an online auction scheduled to end on March 16th.   Current bidding is $66,000. (Updated 4/04)

US NAVY DIVER CLASS VESSEL (Note the GSA auction site rather oddly does not allow direct linking to individual auctions.  Click the arrow to the right on the GSA auction page to see the  Acushnet auction.)

The Acushnet was originally USS Shackle (ARS-9), a US Navy Diver-class rescue and salvage ship which went into service in 1944. During World War II, she earned three battle stars for coming to the aid of stricken vessels. In 1946 she began her 65 year career in coastal service when she she was transfered to the Coast Guard.   The Acushnet was the sole remaining World War II era ship on active duty in the US fleet.  The cutter is currently based in Ketchikan, AK.

Thanks to Kyle Stubbs for passing the word along.

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45 Responses to U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet, “Queen of the Fleet,” for Sale

  1. At $30,000.00 this is easily afforded by the Sea Shepherds who are looking for a vessel. Can the sale be restricted as to future usage and thus exclude the SSCS.

    Good Watch.

  2. Phil, Ohio says:

    This link leads no where “US NAVY DIVER CLASS VESSEL”

  3. Patriot says:

    I’m sorry you don’t like SSCS. I may not like you, but I certainly don’t manipulate the law to preclude you from purchasing government surplus. This is the United States, civil servants have no business picking which organizations they like and don’t like and changing the rules to reflect those personal feelings!

  4. Rick says:

    On the previous link the cutter is on the last page.

    I still can’t figure out how to link directly to the cutter auction.

    Leave it to the government to come up with an auction website that makes it difficult to find what you are looking for.

  5. Rick says:


    The Sea Shepherds routinely use vigilante violence. They break international law and openly fly a pirate’s flag. They also do nothing whatsoever to save endangered species of whales. While they make for amusing reality TV programming, they are otherwise dangerous and bumbling miscreants.

    It is highly unlikely that Watson’s gang would want the Acushnet under any circumstances.

  6. Patriot says:

    First of all, “international law” governs the interactions of nations with each other, not private individuals or organizations, so its impossible for the Sea Shepards to have violated “international law”. And flying a pirate flag, oh my goodness, they must be pure evil! Do they make people walk the plank too? Can you specify exactly which laws they have been convicted of, or does guilty until proven innocent not apply since you don’t like them and they are “obviously” bad to you. The bottom line is that as long as they haven’t been designated a terrorist organization in the U.S. (they haven’t) they have every much as right to buy a government surplus vessel as you, me, or the retired CAPT. To ask civil servants to subvert the rule of law to prevent them from purchasing it makes you much more of a menace to democracy in my book than the Sea Shepards will ever be.

  7. Rick as you can see you are wasteing your time trying to explain things to ‘Patriot’. Poor chap does not know International Maritime Law to comment but of course still does anyway. Patriot may I respectfully suggest you visit and read NAUTICAL LOG you will have a wonderful time!!
    Good Watch.

  8. Rick says:

    You misunderstand international law. It applies to everyone, even Paul Watson. The Sea Shepherds routinely interfere with lawful navigation, and engage in vigilante violence on the high seas. They sell t-shirts which list the number of ships that they have rammed and sunk! That they are not treated as criminals speaks only to a failure in international law enforcement.

    Your claims about “subvert[ing] the rule of law” are also off base. The government has every right under law to set terms and conditions on the sale of surplus property. I doubt Watson’s gang would want a 60 year old ship under any circumstances. His Hollywood fat cats usually buy him newer toys for his criminal activities/reality TV show.

  9. Patriot says:

    First of all, I think the same about he Sea Shephers as the rest of you, however I also believe in the rule of law. To that end I have a simple request. Please give a reference to the specific “international law” that has been broken here? Not an unsubstantiated reference to “interference with lawful navigation”, but an actual law, the actual code. Another simple request, list the specific code that they actually been convicted of. In my United States, individuals and organizations are innocent until proven guilty and we follow actual laws that can be referenced. I find it ironic that you criticize the “vigilante violence” of the Sea Shepherds, then proceed to “convict” them using your opinion formed from watching a TV show and based on “laws” you can’t cite. Anyone who advocates that federal employees “set terms and conditions” to exclude an organization based on that logic is pretty scary to me. If we can do that, then we can also “set terms and conditions” to exclude you or me, simply because we don’t like you for whatever reason. Fundamental freedom stuff here.

  10. Rick says:

    I see Captain Peter, that you were right. This is looking like a pointless exercise.

    Patriot, you are making lots of demands here, while making numerous wholly unsubstantiated claims. Before I cite the appropriate sections of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, that the Sea Shepherds regularly violate, or list the various charges made against Watson in a half dozen or so countries, why don’t you site the appropriate GSA regs that would prevent the appropriate agencies from specifying reasonable terms and conditions for the sale of a former naval vessel.

    As I’ve said more than once, I doubt Watson would want a sixty year old ship under any circumstances.

  11. Esquire says:

    It is true that both the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation are just agreements between nations that they will each pass national laws that prohibit the mentioned practices, they are not laws themselves since there is no UN enforcement agency or UN courts except war crimes courts. Also, I think it it correct that the Sea Shepherds have never been convicted in the U.S., having charges brought against you is very much not the same as conviction in most countries. Don’t know what GSA can or can’t do, but I’m pretty sure they can’t specify “anyone can buy this but a group that has been charged but not convicted of some laws in other countries”

  12. Rick says:

    Yes and no. You are correct, international law is just an agreement to enact laws to reflect the terms of the specific treaty. On ratifying international treaties, the parties to the treaty are obligated to incorporate the treaty into domestic law. In the US Constitution this is spelled out in Article 6 – “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;…” So the treaty itself does become law, part of the ” the supreme Law of the Land.”

    The practical issue with both Somali pirates and the Sea Shepherds is one of political will. As long as Somali pirate are caught and then released it hardly matters that piracy is, and has been throughout history, a crime. Likewise as long as the illegal violence practiced by the Sea Shepherds is ignored by the nations of the world, they will their criminal acts. At an animal rights convention in 2002, Paul Watson was also quoted as saying, “There’s nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win. Then you write the history.” Sadly, as long as nations choose to look the other way, those who choose violence will win.

  13. Patriot says:

    Point being, they’ve never been convicted. I agree that they should have been prosecuted and from what I see they would most probably have been convicted, but they haven’t been. I also thought OJ Simpson was guilty or murder, but I would have been completely wrong to discriminate against him as a civil servant because of what seemed obvious to me (I know, he’s in jail now but I’m talking about before the latest). Because we have this little thing called “innocent until proven guilty” in the U.S. and they haven’t been proven guilty in a court of law, they are in point of law innocent. Anyone who advocates that the government take action to specifically discriminate against them absent conviction of any crime is decidedly un-American and really pretty scary. Can the GSA make reasonable rules, sure. Can they make rules solely motivated by a desire to block one specific auction participant who would otherwise be lawfully allowed to compete, as advocated by the retired CAPT above? I certainly hope not. Once again, I don’t say this because I love the Sea Shepherds, I don’t. I’m just very disturbed by retired military officers who advocate something that goes against the very fabric of American democracy and don’t even seem to think it is wrong.

  14. Rick says:


    There is no constitutional right to be able to own or purchase a surplus Navy vessel. This has nothing to do with “the very fabric of American democracy” and everything to do with simple common sense.

  15. Kyle Stubbs says:

    She sold last night for $600,825. I don’t know who the buyer was.

  16. Rick says:

    Thanks for the update. At that price it looks like someone may plan on using her for something more interesting than scrap metal. I hope her already long and productive life continues for years to come.

  17. Stephen says:

    Rick, I’m with you on that one. As a former crew member on the Acu I’d hate to see her scrapped after 67 years on active duty…

  18. ExJG says:

    While looking at Google it appeared that the Sea Shepards have been charged with violating certain wildlife protection statutes concerning seal hunting after a confrontation with a Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker and their vessel was seized by the Canadian authorities. Was this ever resolved?

  19. Jo B says:

    who ended up winning the boat?

  20. Buyer Of The Acushnet says:

    I bought this ship with O.P.M and i and the investor’s had hopes of taking her to Belize to give divers world wide opportunity to dive the 189 miles of barrier reef there and the blue hole and have a place to live, it can hold about 75 divers,i bid on the ship with the strategy she would have fuel aboard from the short hop from Alaska to Seattle,where I’m picking her up in a few days from a great bunch of good men i must say in the coast guard …and i thought i could just top her off and make the trip and give her a new home and make America proud by helping to make her Queen of the Caribbean,she would have been the largest dive vessel in the Caribbean… her range is 10,000 n/miles and holds almost 95,000 gallons of fuel
    The ship is being stripped like a cheap hoe including the layout drawings of the boat that shows of its compartments and with all her three levels and all them state rooms i needed them bad,i think there called deck plans,lol you know you use them to get out of harms way in case of a emergency or find the emergency,,,, what does the coast guard need with them,they could of left that it belongs on the ship,there taking it etc. off..the fuel that was aboard when i bought her has been sifled out of her and redistributed to other vessels,i thought when you buy something like this in America whats in the tank is yours,i have never sold somebody a car or a boat or ship after i get there money and give them the title and bill of sale,then say i got to take the fuel out of it,don’t worry i will leave you just enough to get to the fuel station,especially after strategantly bidding for the fuel left in it,i just knew they would fill them tanks like the did thats just the way the military does things,the auction never said it was going to take the fuel out of her and leave me just enough to get her out of the port of Seattle into big water,what a crappy thing to do,what do you think?maybe I’m wrong in my thinking,at least this ship is tight, been rebuilt to the gills when it was dry docked in 2009 i mean everything that looked warn out was fixed or replaced, bebuilt the motors shafts new props seals ect,even a brand new deck it would take millions of dollars to build a ship or buy a ship like this on the open market,and shes sexy to,with the fuel prices as they are I’m forced to resale her now to somebody with deeper pockets than the investors i got to buy her,i pondered on the idea of making her a one of those most deadly catch boats,what do you think fellows on that idea,i have not worked in over 10 years fellows solidly ,all the illeagles,and immigrants from Mexico have dominated the work force in America its not that they work cheaper,i have found if you have hired a immigrant from Mexico that speaks poor English and there native tongue Spanish and put them in H.R Department all they hire is Mexicans and new citizen’s in America and the companys all seem to be doing this in the all the construction trades and the unions have grasped this and have done the same thing,i don’t speak Iraq or Iranian or Spanish,so jobs are what they are, and you got to be creative and think outside the box,so my friends tryed to help me and others by buying this ship just so i could work maybe and make a living doing the good life,well fuel is up 2.50 cents since the auction and now I’m forced to resale her and get the money back to the owners and maybe make them a profit,so that’s the rest of the story like that Paul Harvey fellow use to say back when Walter Cronkite and the rest of America was working….

  21. Greetings,

    The Ketchikan Daily News in Ketchikan, Alaska, the now former homeport of the now former USCG cutter Acushnet, would be interested in contacting the current owner of the vessel.
    As the Acushnet served this area for a number of years, there’s local interest in learning what’s next for the historic ship.


  22. C.P. RYAN says:



  23. Sid Morris says:

    As a former Mighty A crewman, I was disappointed that an American city did not buy this historic ship, and have it docked as a floating museum. Hate to see it torn apart like this; so many memories, so many adventures. I was on when the A went to rescue of two tankers which split in two off Cape Cod in Feb. ’52.
    The Queen of the Fleet deserves a better fate.

  24. Kyle Stubbs says:

    I saw her just a few days ago sitting at Stabbert marine in Seattle. Her racing stripe is gone, but she looks otherwise intact, but without much going on.

  25. Anita Hales says:

    I am the news director for a Ketchikan radio station. We are interested in interviewing the owner of the Acushnet. The ship was ported here for many years in the Coast Guard and is of great local interest. Anita Hales, KFMJ Radio. http://www.kfmj.com

  26. William A. Carlson says:

    I aam fascinated by the brief writings on the Tusitala. My father who left home in Helsinki in 1910 worked his way to Wales where he signed on to the grain trade in which he was involved for several years. He stopped sailing in 1923. He has seen the Tusatala he had seen the ship and considered her to be the most beautiful of the windjamers. I grew up in Larchmont sailind as a bilge boy on Atlantics and International Class sloops prior to WW2. My younger brother and I were brought up to go to sea. I graduated the NY State Maritine Academy in January 1946, went to sea as mate on freighters, returned to the College in 1948 and was degreed in 1949 and passed my Chief Mates License in 1949. My brother retired from Sea-Land serving as Captain of container ships. During the Korean War I served as a LT(sg) and operations officer of US Naval Cargo Handling Battalion 6 in the far east.When I returned home I apprenticed in Average Adjustion (Marine Claims)serving as chairman of the Association of Average Adjusters of the US

    Ps. The name of Felix Riesenberg is well remembered.

    Bill Carlson

  27. Pingback: U. S. Coast Guard Cutter Acushnet, “Queen of the Fleet,” Now for Sale on EBay | Old Salt Blog – a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea

  28. emmet nelson says:

    Dear current owner of the retired U.S.C.G. Acushnet. We are a marine relarted renewable energy group based in Florida with an interest in talking to you about the use of your vessel for our new fuel research for marine diesel fuel and other marine related renewable tecknologies that could be used with your vessel. If you would like to talk further about the possiblity of a purchase or joint venture let us know. NELSON 7279065298

  29. Nona Parham says:

    The Acushnet will be heading to Fla. soon. Are you really interested in this ship? Nona

  30. George says:

    What is the latest of this ship? Perhaps a maritime museum should have a look at it..

    George Marikas
    Shipping Education & Training

  31. Sean Quigley says:

    CP if your still interested in making a reality show about saving and restoring then operating a historic vessel contact me via E-mail may be able to give you the ultimate show of shows as far as as that goes.

  32. James Rovang says:

    I went down and shot a short video of the Acushnet yesterday. You can see the video on YouTube, my page name is: Yachtnerd. It’s at Lovric’s in Anacortes. I first saw the ship anchored in Friday Harbor in September and wondered what it’s story was. Then around January 20 we had a very strong storm out of the south, a friend who lives on the water told me she saw a small ship heading out of the Guemes Channel into the storm. Just leaving the channel it was already taking it hard with water spraying way up over the bow. She thought it was strange,” why were they heading out now? Do they know that it’s going to be 10 times worse in the Straight of Juan De Fuca?” Later another friend told me he had heard about a ship heading out in that storm and that it had gotten into big trouble, tried to anchor, but was dragging. Then the rumors were that the Coast Guard, Home Land Security, and even the Canadian military got involved. Was the ship making a “run for it” in the storm? I don’t know, but it ended up tied up back here at Loveric’s, apparently in some kind of legal trouble. Yesterday when I went down to have a look myself all seemed fine, the generator was running, I saw one person on board. The ship looked like she was ready to get under way again. Any body know any more about the interesting story of this ship since it was sold?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alqTORItip4&context=C3f3886cADOEgsToPDskI51IaDxDNwniudhNZvGZ4Q Here is a link to the video you can cut and paste into your browser.

  33. Raymond Fernandez Jr says:

    I would like to try and find either an investor or a lender that would enable me to bid $75,000 for this cutter. I would like to sail it to Kuwait for transportation duties. Group name would be The U.S. Army. Any info on this ship please email me, fernaray@kean.edu, Raymond
    I would also like to know the cost analysis on fuel consumption and maintaince. Thank you!

  34. Vernon Officer says:

    To fellow American,s Navy & Coast Guard Ret

    My name is Vernon Officer,
    Keeper of the Key to Our Country’s Greatest Untold Story In American Navel History and All the Great Men that Served On Her Deck’s…
    The Acushnet
    I’m the CEO for International Underwater Dive & Exploration,s LLC,
    Myself and Mrs Nona Parham bought this ship to put her down in Fla then to Carrebean as the Worlds Largest Dive & Research Vessel on The Barrier Reef in Belize or sale her down south for she would be very valuable down south,and we could sell and Quadruple Mrs Parhams Money i would make a profit from the sale and she would make a profit on her investment since the crash of the stock markets and the Economy and get all her initial Money she invested back plus some extra,
    We tried to put her to work as security for the Oil industry escorting oil tankers through the Pirate water’s of the coast of Somalia when we tried this there was no body giving any assistance to this very serious problem,word got around moneys were spent promises were made and next thing i know our government instead of using us they knew we were in dire need to Put our History To work in the private Industry,next thing we heard Blackwater Security and the CIA was down there,and all our preperations to present ourselves and our Country once more with a great ship in a private sector went to hell in a hand basket,we put a team of professional soldiers that had already fought in Somalia,been wounded had purple hearts,we had the head engineer from Bowing going to put latest greatest untried new patent pending Pirate ass kicking weapons known to man that were non lethal but would be very effective in disarming,and detaining them and putting these guys out of business and make em pay up for killing those Americans out of Seattle Wa and other Mariners, holding Americans as hostages and ransoming there lives to there family’s,and hijacking tankers and driving these oil prices up were still feeling,how can we keep paying these prices on min wage and no jobs,……
    Acushnet is a great ship,very disappointing it was my chance to fame and glory helping others,well that caused problems for my self and Mrs Parham,were trying to rub two nickles together to make a dime, to get this ship forward on a little bit of money they transferred all the fuel off her after we had purchased her maint is getting very expensive,here in Washington every body is 87.00 to 150 per hour to maint,pick up a screw driver,never seen anything like it ,and they charge you all this and find out there total idiots,that i knew more than they did in most instances electrical and mechanical (I’m a certified Industrial Electrician & Structural Welder),
    I run them off the ship but i’m still ended up paying for there bullshit resumes and i have seen this they will take wire loose and say this system isn’t working but i can fix it,thinking i don’t know nothing,just the money man,wrong…Let me tell you a little something about me,
    i haven’t had a good steady check in America in years living from job site to job site in construction,standing in line till all the illegals and green card workers get there jobs first,the Latino Mexican immigrants have taking over the trades,there people that speak there language are in all the major company’s Human Resources Dept,it isn’t that there working cheaper its there own race of people in the position to be bias on the hiring…while i’m sleeping in my vehicle pawning my jewelry to survive till i can get a check to get it out again,then start saving to get to another job,paying vacationer prices to work in that town….a never ending circle like a drifter in the cowboy days one cattle drive to another never getting there own ranch and cows,its just they way it is….That was me….
    America Mrs Parham game me that chance,putting up all the money letting me drive a nice company vehicle to drive,giving me nice clothes and jewelry to wear to represent this Ship and America on TV or in the Press and in this Corporation to move this ship forward and i look good doing it,eating good isnt a option no more for me,my corporation has went broke from yahoos i pay to do things screwing up,Mrs Parham had faith in me and God to direct me to make all the right moves…
    I have made all the right moves but with the wrong people The Acushnet Has Lost her Anchors, I have paid a lot of people money to help me retrieve them but to no avail,
    America we need help to recover financially and get our history safe in warm waters in Florida so she will have a chance to sell to one of those rich people that this problem would never be a problem too ,if you know what i mean,
    I have sold the Company car,my nice cloths have grease on them and i have had to sell the jewelry to eat and keep this boat moving forward,we really need some of you retired Navy and Coast Guard Serviceman to help us pick the pieces up and get One of Our History’s Greatest Treasures back on her feet and get her south with what we have a wing and a prayer ,we have racks for everybody that wants to stay on board and help out,i can only provide a hot shower and moral support the Acushnet is not a lost cause she dont need to be scrapped she needs a job

    Thanks In Advance
    Vernon Officer

    Looking foward to some possitive results here………
    Vernon Officer

  35. George says:

    I was on the acushnet in 82 and 83….
    went to nola for refit of enginge …the fairbanks morris 38 1/8 op ‘s
    was mostly in B2 but did my share in other eng spaces as well
    I may be able to help with knowledge about systems and such from memorie…….
    She use to have a wonderfull evap system that was a expermential mod. …..
    Thanks for the info on her state as of now …….George

  36. Chris McCoy says:

    I just have to say the hypocrisy here is rather silly. Condemning Sea Shepherd over international law, but not acknowledging the violations of the Norwegians or Japanese of actual treaties they signed is absurd. If you are going to call SS criminals for their actions, why not have the same animosity towards the entire Japanese fishing industry as international criminals or the Norwegian fleet before they curbed their VERY illegal activities. Let’s not forget Korean and Japanese long-line fishers in restricted waters in the Antartic and South Pacfic.

    The ONLY organization enforcing these rules, treaties, and laws in international waters IS Sea Shepard. To that point, how does one enforce laws against the lawless when you can not capture, kill, or put a violator to trial? If you have ever been to sea (which many of you have) you know your options are limited if you can’t board. So this “cry-wold” attitude about ramming is manufactured at best. Every ramming or sinking action they have committed is on tape. The only methods they can use while avoiding prosecution are physical blockade (denying them the fishing grounds) or ship to ship harassment (buteric acid and prop-fouling).

    I have to agree with Patriot here. If you really have an issue with Sea Shepherd but are OK with the cause for their very existence, you are a hypocrite. They aren’t criminals. They are a response to an action that is raping the ocean we old salts love.

  37. Dale says:

    What is the present status of the ship and where is she located?

  38. Dale says:

    The Acushnet is facing seizure for non-payment of dockage fees to Lovrics Sea-Craft, Inc. of Anacortes. Mr. Officer was last reported in jail in Utah, and his present whereabouts are unknown. He is the 51 per cent shareholder in the company which he set up in Nevada, although he apparently did not invest a dime in the purchase. The approximately 15 tons of spare parts included in the sale, which did contain several hundred pounds of highly marketable copper, have disappeared. There is also an approximately $80,000 towing bill, from Ketchikan to Anacortes unpaid. The anchors are missing, along with an unknown length of anchor chain. There is still apparently about 25,000 to 30,000 gallons of fuel onboard, contrary to Mr. Officer’s comments. The Coast Guard is threatening to pump that fuel out as they are afraid of an oil spill. Effectively, the ship has been abandoned.

  39. Kurt says:

    Well my bet is she will go back to auction for a steal of a deal, saw an add for her on ebay today with some wild story much like above, asking millions + value just isn’t there.. sorry about your dreams pal, but back to reality..

  40. Rick Spilman says:

    OK, folks, since a few cannot play nice and have resorted to insult and obscenity, I am cutting off the comments on this thread.

  41. A.K. Manthous says:

    On 7 March 1960 the Acushnet came to the aid of USCGC WSC-140 General Greene in Massachusets Bay. She was severely damaged in that storm by colliding with the Greene which was in distress with fouled propellers, and had to withdraw from the rescue operation.

  42. tadhg j. sarabia says:

    i love sea sheperd tell me were to pick it up maybe my family can save up and i can do donations give me until 2017

  43. Mike says:

    Sorry McCoy SS is a joke and they’re not the only ones doing anything about illegal fishing. The USCG has been doing it legally for forever.