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Commanding Officer

12, February, 1947


From:        Commanding Officer, CGC MCCULLOCH

To:            Commandant, U. S. Coast Guard

Via:           COMNNORLANT PAT.

Subj:         CGC MCCULLOCH, Suitability for use as CG Cutter.


1.     This letter is submitted because it is understood that there is a possibility that more vessels of this class may be taken from the Navy for conversion to cutters.  Under these circumstances a report on the results obtained so far with the CGC MCCULLOCH under different operation conditions will be of interest.  Internal advantages and disadvantages and the action of the ship as a whole in varying conditions of wind and sea will be discussed.

2.     This particular vessel was constructed at Lake Washington ship yard, Houghton, Washington, a yard well and favorably known to me.  The workmanship on the vessel is generally quite superior to that observed on other vessels constructed during the war.  The vessel has ample space for stores, living accommodations, ships, offices and recreational facilities.  The main engine system is excellent.

3.     The primary internal difficulty is electrical.  The two hundred KW generators theoretically furnish ample power for operation, but nearly all meters through out the ship are squirrel cage induction motors which put a tremendous load on the line when they are started.  If most of the auxiliaries are operating as at sea and one of the fifteen horsepower blower motors are started the instantaneous current surge throws the circuit breakers.  Failure of the gyro compass for this reason occurs every few days.  The gyro has no auxiliary power system and the motor invariably troubles rendering the DRT inoperative for four or five hours.  There is now in effect on this vessel a regular routine for restoring steering power when this occurs.  Steering casualties also occur occasionally from other causes such as overloading the Selsyn motor by too rapidly turning the wheel.  The corrective measure would be to install two (2) three hundred KW.  Generators for operation at sea and keep the two (2) two hundred KW generators for in port use.

4.     Another cause of difficulty is that all the salt water piping is of heterogeneous material and fittings, being cast steel in some sections, copper in others and copper nickel in others.  After only two and a half years of operation the saltwater piping through out the ship is in such deplorable condition that a gang of men are kept busy repairing and re-rewing [sic] sections of the salt water piping.  This can only be corrected by a completely new installation of homogenous material with suitable fittings through out the entire system.

5.     All the drains on the ship discharge in the engine rooms on the tank tops and in the bilges.  In the process the motor controlled rheostats are sprayed with water.  This has caused at least one electrical fire which was promptly handled and did no harm.  The bilges are constantly unsightly and maintenance work is greatly hindered as well as deterioration promoted.  An alteration request has gone in requesting that one three (3) thousand gallon fuel oil tank be converted into a drain discharge tank.

6.     The performance of the vessel in moderate to heavy seas is definitely superior to that of any other cutter.  This vessel can be operated at higher speed without storm damage than other Coast Guard vessels.  In very heavy seas, however, being flat bottomed the vessel pounds very heavily.  She has an expansion joint which permits all the working to be absorbed by the hull.  On heavy pounds I have counted as many as forty distinct vibrations.  Constant check has been kept to observe and tearing away of hull plating from frames but in only one instance has so much as anything heavier than a whole gale so far but constant check will be maintained during the coming patrol on station "C" where winds of storm or hurricane velocity may be expected.  The excessive amount of hull vibration also probably has an adverse effect on the piping although as pointed out above the primary difficulty is due to electrolytic action.

7.     When fully loaded the vessel is down by the stern about two and a half feet.  Under this condition of loading it is necessary to drive the ship into the sea at sufficient speed to cause heavy pounding in order to hold her head up, about eight knots being required for steerage way.  As the tanks were emptied experiments in trim were conducted and it was found that with the head down about six inches to one foot her head could be held up into the sea with out three knots speed.  At this speed only occasional pounding was experienced.  Under both conditions of trim the vessel had to be operated at two thirds speed down wind in order to maintain adequate steerage way.

8.     Stress lines on light metal bulkheads in the ship indicated that slight hogging may have occurred.


W. C. HOGAN, Commander, USCG
Commanding Officer

Last Modified 1/12/2016