Cape Mendocino Port Bow
Cape Mendocino Port Bow Underway
Cape Mendocino Underway
Cape Mendocino Port Docked
Cape Mendocino Starboard Docked
Cape Mendocino Starboard Bow Underway
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SS Cape Mendocino

Vessel History

The SS Cape Mendocino is a Sea Barge (SEABEE) carrier, originally built as SS Doctor Lykes by General Dynamics Shipyard for the Lykes Brothers Steamship Company in June 1972. 

The U.S. Navy’s Naval Construction Force, or SeaBees, primarily uses the SEABEE barges.  The barges are loaded with cargo and floated to and from a mother ship, which allows loading and unloading of containerized cargo off-shore.  SEABEE barge ships are equipped with a stern cargo elevator for loading the barges from the water onto the vessel; loaded barges can then be moved toward the vessel’s bow using an internal track system.  The barges are stowed on internal decks and are not stacked.  SEABEE barges are larger and heavier than their counterpart, LASH barges.

The Maritime Administration purchasedDoctor Lykes on October 2, 1986 and placed it in the Ready Reserve Force (RRF), and renamed it Cape Mendocino

As part of the RRF, Cape Mendocino participated in activities supporting Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM from 1990-1991. The ship made two trips between Dammam, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. ports of Wilmington, North Carolina and Oakland, California, respectively, to return cargo following military operations.  After discharging its retrograde cargo at the port of Oakland, Cape Mendocino transported empty barges between New Orleans and Norfolk before the Navy’s Military Sealift Command returned the vessel to MARAD control.

The vessel was downgraded to NDRF retention (emergency sealift) status on September 1, 2004, and has not been activated since that time.  In October, 2011, Cape Mendocino was towed from the James River Reserve Fleet to the Beaumont Reserve Fleet, where it is now berthed.

Vessel Specifications

Vessel Name Year Built Ship Yard Official Number General Type Specific Type
Cape Mendocino 1972 Quincy Shipbuilding Co. 536500 General Type SEABEE
Length Beam Mast Height Net Tons Gross Tons Cargo Capacity
875.9 105.83 155 12130 21670 77459
Draft (Summer) Draft (Lightweight) Displacement (Summer) Displacement (Lightweight) Immersion (Summer) Immersion (Lightweight)
23.5 18.3 57370 18960 172 119

 

Fleet Entry and Exit

Fleet Entry Date Fleet Exit Date
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Vessel Status Cards

Photographs

 

Cape Mendocino Port Astern Underway
Cape Mendocino Port Astern Underway Cape Mendocino Port Bow Cape Mendocino Port Bow Underway Cape Mendocino Underway Cape Mendocino Port Docked Cape Mendocino Starboard Docked Cape Mendocino Starboard Bow Underway