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U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morris

WSC-147   /  WMEC-147


Morris underway in Rio Vista 5/8/2017





Morris cruising down the Sacramento River in April 2015. Airica Dryden photos

Video by Bob and Yasmin West: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz1kW91vSYs&feature=youtu.be

Originally built in 1927, Morris had a major overhaul between 2000 and 2010.

Total spent on the hull and deck, electronics, steering, bow thruster and other repairs / upgrades was approximately $2 million.

Misc. Morris photos taken by Lina Mendoza and Capt. Jim West - November 2019








The section below (under construction) contains Morris' history, condition and sales info.


USCG site - Morris history:  www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/Morris1927.pdf



June 2016 - Draft, Speed, Fuel Consumption


In response to recent questions re draft, speed and fuel consumption the previous owner had this to say:

The after draft of the Morris, with full fuel, water AND ballast, is 9' 6"  Keep in mind that the 15 plus tons of zinc ballast put the stern almost 18" lower in the water aft then when she had no ballast aboard.

The ballast is there because after speaking with a few of the old Coasties, they were adamant that the stern needs the ballast, otherwise, in a follow sea she will fall off pretty quickly.  I built the ship to go to sea, and not be a "bay only" boat, so she is set up for sea.

As I recall, every inch of draft midships equates to approximately 10,000 pounds more displacement. She is near her maximum draft marks as ballasted, and with full fuel tanks, I think that she can safely add 50-60,000 more pounds of weight,  This would lower her draft to the draft mark on the side of the hull, located midships.

Regarding cruising speed, I would normally cruise her at 10 knots. As I recall, she used 22 gallons per hour at 10 knots, including her generators running. This was also calculated when the ship had a clean bottom.

As to maximum cruising speed, I was quite surprised to see that fresh out of the ship yard, with a clean bottom, no ballast (her after draft was 7' 3", she made 14.3 knots. Actually, I was shocked. Her hull speed is 14.6 knots.  The ballast does slow the girl down a bit, and there was not a lot of fuel aboard when I got the 14.3 knots, so that is not a realistic estimate.  As to what it will do, if you wanted to have a clean bottom, and put the pedal to the metal, she will do 12.5+ fully ballasted


April 2015 Hull Report


April 13, 2015

Mr. Jim West

Liberty-Maritime Association

Sent my email  Liberty-Maritime@MSN.COM

Re: Motor Vessel Morris

Dear Jim,

In regards to your question about the hull of the Morris, please be advised that the plate thickness of the steel on the garboard strakes and the wind-water line is 7/16” thick. The rest of the hull, and the main deck is 3/8” thick.

In 2000, I took the Morris to Fulton Shipyard in Antioch to have the hull brought up to an “as new” condition. Fulton Shipyard gauged the entire hull, and bulkheads.  They replaced 800 square feet of plating and 24 lineal feet of the stem/keel. They also sand blasted the entire hull, inside and outside, then painted it with three coats of Devoe 235 Epoxy paint, as well as two coats of an ablative bottom paint.

The main deck, the 01 deck and the 02 deck material was also replaced. The main deck has 3/8” ABS steel plating. The 01 and 02 decks have ABS ¼” steel plating. 

The anchors were removed, as were both anchor chains. Both were sandblasted, painted and re installed in the ship.

All rivets below the water line were ring welded. The fuel tank rivets were also seal welded, and the top of the fuel tanks were seal welded. The plating at the wind/water line was also seal welded.  The fuel tanks were tested by use of a stand pipe test and all three passed Inspection.

The propellers shafts and rudders were removed for testing. Three of the stub shafts were replaced. The muff couplings were re machined. The rudders were blasted, air tested and reinstalled.

The old steering system was removed and a Wagner ABS approved hydraulic steering system was installed.

I witnessed all of the repair work and tested all of the equipment myself. My experience in the nautical field includes having a masters license since 1969, and employment at Todd’s Shipyard as a ship fitter and lead ship fitter. In that last field, I built a number of ships including a frigate for the Navy.



Vessel Info (6-2015)


          Main Engines: 2002 - Cummins KTA, 6 cyl, 573 HP
          Cooling System type: Heat exchanger

          Marine Gears: Twin Disc Model 10521 Serial Number: 22510916. Gear Ratio:4.087:1  
          Four inch stainless steel shafts (
packing gland access in galley)

          Stbd Gen Set (#1): (ck kw) 40KW, 24v start
          Port Gen Set (#2)
: 65KW, 24v start


Diesel Fuel Capacity: 4,000 gals ctr tank + 2ea 1,700 gal wing tanks = 7,400 gals total

Diesel Onboard (approx.): 2,500 gals ctr tank + 800 gal in wing tanks = 3,300 gals total


Potable Water Tanks Capacity: 2ea 400 gal tanks in galley + 4 ea 220 gals fwd = 1,680 total

9kw, 3-phase, 240v hot water heater


Septic Tanks Capacity: 2 ea. 220 gals fwd + 1ea 180 gals in ER = 620 gals total

Gray Water Tank: in galley, under old boiler room


Bow Anchors: 2 ea 800 lb. Navy, one with 6 shots chain, one with 7 shots chain, last shot of each painted red

                       Windlass control cable and wrench stowed in lazarette

Stern Anchor: 410 lb. Navy, 600’ 5/8" galvanized chain (new 4-2015)

                        Capstan control cable stowed in lazarette


Searchlight: 1 million candlepower (cost $11,000)



ER Blower Switches: On panel by screen (ck this)

Hydraulic Pump Switch: By Port Generator, controls steering and anchor windlass

Inverter for emergency lights: above ladder port side

                                                  for Pilot House: hit button 2nd from left when indicator says “on”

                                                  Press red button to turn inverter off

            Bilge / Fire pumps:

Smaller pump (bilge) port forward, larger pump (fire) stbd aft

Double diaphragm pump may also be used for pumping bilges

Davit controls (electric hoist) : on 01 deck aft

Air Compressor: Always on. Used for main engine start, whistle and shifting .

                             Drain for air system on stbd side below deck plate

Fire damper on after end of stack

Spares: Nav gear spares under pilot house bench seat

            ER spares under old CWOs

            2 spare impellors in cabinet ($600 ea)

                        Misc. spares in Captain’s quarters


June 2019 - Good to go, recent repairs

Approximately 2,400 gallons of red #2 diesel on board.

Both mains and gens fully operational, switchboards and hydraulic pumps operating well.

Steering using helm and NFU working well, auto pilot should be tested, but is thought to be good to go.

Morris is clean and seaworthy, capable of getting underway with short notice.

Decks, railings, piping, wiring all in very good condition.

Morris's stern capstan motor is in need of replacement. - Done - New motor installed and tested, good to go.


June 2016 - Known Issues

Morris is due for a haul-out. She has been kept in fresh water since her last haul-out and her hull was inspected by a diver in late 2015. No issues were found.

Her starboard propeller has a bent blade and will need repair. She was cruised from Sacramento to Rio Vista in this condition and when that side was limited to 1200 RPMs no vibration was noticeable.

Port-side davit fairlead blocks need replacement. - Forward davit done, sheave purchased for after davit.

Furuno FA-150 AIS monitor missing - test with known good part and replace.

Stbd. gen set, 40kw remote shut down is non-op, have been shutting down manually.




Text and images (c) 2003-2020 Liberty Maritime Museum unless otherwise stated