USS High Point underway
|Namesake:||High Point, North Carolina|
|Awarded:||14 June 1960|
|Builder:||J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp.|
|Laid down:||27 February 1961|
|Launched:||17 August 1962|
|Commissioned:||15 August 1963 (US Navy)|
|In service:||15 August 1963|
|Class and type:||High Point-class patrol craft|
|Length:||115 ft (35 m)|
|Beam:||32 ft (9.8 m)|
|Draft:||17 ft (5.2 m) with foils down|
|Propulsion:||General Electric turbine (foil-borne)|
|Speed:||Maximum 48 knots (foil-borne) |
USS High Point (PCH-1) was a High Point-class patrol craft of the United States Navy, and was launched 17 August 1962 by J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. in Tacoma, Washington as a sub-contractor to Boeing in Seattle, Washington at a cost of $2.08 million, together with Vickers, Inc. Marine and Ordnance Department in Waterbury, Connecticut, which provided hydraulic components and controls. Electronic equipment aboard, including automatic stabilization equipment, dead reckoning navigation system, was developed and manufactured by the United Aircraft Corp. Hamilton Standard Division.
High Point was the first of a series of hydrofoil craft designed to evaluate the performance of this kind of craft for the US Navy. She has three submerged foils containing propulsion nacelles and propellers, and was also capable of riding on her hull like a more conventional ship. On her foils, High Point obtained very high-speed and was evaluated for mobility and flexibility as an antisubmarine force. The craft carried out tests in Puget Sound during 1963-1967.
High Point was decommissioned in March 1975 from the US Navy and transferred to the United States Coast Guard on 4 April 1975 and commissioned as USCGC High Point (WMEH-1). The Coast Guard acquired the ship to evaluate hydrofoil characteristics for use in law enforcement, search and rescue and marine environmental protection missions. After a first round of tests in Puget Sound, she was transferred to San Francisco. While attempting to moor at Treasure Island Naval Base, the turbine exploded. The $300,000 cost of repair was not in the Coast Guard budget so she was again decommissioned 5 May 1975 and returned to the Navy. High Point was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register sometime in 1980. In 2002 she was purchased by a private owner intent on restoring the craft, but the effort did not succeed. In 2005 Terence Orme purchased High Point to save it from scrap. Currently docked at Tongue Point near Astoria, Oregon, volunteers are restoring the vessel as a future museum.
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