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NOAA Vessels (Before 1970)

Most recent update: March 28, 2010.


NOAA was created in 1970 from the combination of the Coast and Geodetic Survey (formed in 1807 as the Coast Survey), the Weather Bureau (formed in 1870 as a unit of the Army Signal Corps) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (formed in 1871 as the Commission of Fish and Fisheries and later called the Bureau of Fisheries).

This table attempts to list all the powered vessels over 100 feet in length that served the Coast and Geodetic Survey prior to the merger in 1970.  The other two agencies will be added later.  Those vessels that have served NOAA since 1970, whether still active or now inactive, are listed here.

Name Shipbuilder Hull # Feet Built In Service History
From To
Active        172 1836 1841 1861 Built as Goldhunter, sold 1862
Arctic      172   1856 1857 Built for USN, sold to Lighthouse Service
A. D. Bache Pusey & Jones 92 153 1871 1871 1927 Later Bache 1901, sold as Kingfisher 1927, scrapped 1940
Bowen  Calderwood   111 1943 1945 1957 Built as SC 1361, scrapped 1957
Bowie  Greenport Construction   136 1943 1946 1967 Built as PCS 1405, sold 1965
Carlile P. Patterson  James D. Leary   163 1883 1883 1918 Sold 1919
Corwin     125   1850 1867  
Curlew     159   1864 1865 Built as Mississippi River gunboat
Daisy      100 1869 1885 1891 Sold 1891
Derickson  Ballard Marine   136 1944 1946 1954 Built as PC 1458, sold 1954
Discoverer Todd Brooklyn 9 180 1918 1918 1922 Built as Auk (AM 38), later Discoverer (ARS 3), sold 1947 as Felipe Larrazabal
Endeavor In Norfolk VA   117 1862 1867 1883 Built as a CSA gunboat
Explorer  Pusey & Jones 316 135 1904 1904 1939 To National Youth Authority 1939
Explorer  Lake Washington SY   220 1940 1940 1968  
Fathomer  Hong Kong & Whampoa DY   152 1904 1906 1941 Built for USCG, lost 1942
Ferdinand R. Hassler  Dialogue & Wood   160 1871 1871 1895  
George D. Cowie  Great Lakes Boatbuilding   103   1941 1962 Built as yacht Rhea III
George S. Blake E. J. Fardy   148 1874 1874 1905  
Guide  New Jersey Dry Dock   188 1919 1923 1953 Built as Flamingo (AM 32), later Viking (ARS 1), scrapped 1953
Guide      140   1941 1942 Built as yacht Anthradite, acquired from and returned to USN
Hetzel      150   1849 1874 Built for US Army, abandoned 1874
Hodgson  Burger & Burger   136 1944 1946 1967 Built as PCS 1450, sold 1967
Hydrographer  James Reilly Supply Co.   101 1901 1901 1928  
Hydrographer  Spear Engineering   165 1930 1931 1967 Built as yacht
Isis      180   1915 1920 Built as yacht, sank 1920
Jefferson  Charles Knapp   160 1845 1849 1851 Acquired from USCG, sank 1851
Legare  R. & G. Schuyler   160 1843 1847 1854 Acquired from USCG
Lincoln  John T. Fardy & Brother   165 1864      
Lydonia  Pusey & Jones 348 185 1911 1919 1947 Built as yacht
Marinduque      132 1901 1905 1932  
Marmer Spedden SB   100 1932 1957 1968 Acquired from USPHS
Mcarthur Mare Island NSY   121 1874 1876 1915  
Natoma  Seabury   119 1913 1919 1935  
Oceanographer T. S. Marvel   304 1899 1930 1942 Built as yacht Corsair, scrapped 1942
Parker Elizabeth City SY   111 1943 1846 1957 Built as SC 1277, scrapped 1957
Pathfinder  Crescent SY   193 1898 1899 1940 Lost 1942
Pathfinder  Lake Washington SY   229 1942 1946 1971 Built for USN, scrapped 1972
Pioneer  Gas Engine & Power   187 1918 1922 1941 Built as Osprey (AM 28), later Crusader (ARS 2)
Pioneer  Germania Werft   208 1919 1941 1942 Acquired from and returned to USN
Pioneer  Lake Washington SY   312   1946 1966 Built as Mobjack (AGP 7)
Robert J. Walker Joseph Tomlinson   133 1844 1848 1860 Lost 1860
Romblon      132   1905 1921 Served in the Philippines
Sialia  Pusey & Jones   207 1914 1919 1920 Built as a yacht, sold 1920 as Yankee Clipper
Stirni  Calderwood   111 1943 1946 1957 Built as SC 1358
Surveyor Manitowoc SB   186 1917 1917 1956  
Thomas R. Gedney  Delamater SY   140 1875 1875 1915  
Tulip Hong Kong & Whampoa DY   190 1904 1947 1950  
Wenonah George S. Lawley   163   1919 1922 Built as a yacht, acquired from and returned to USN