The Black Douglas Patrols the U.S. West Coast

The Black Douglas kept it's name and it's hull and little else for war time service.  In 1942 a new 600HP turbo-charged Enterprise Engine from Seattle, Washington was installed.  The large deckhouse structure was added with a gun on the bow.  The masts and bowsprit were removed, also.  Unlike TeVega, the sails didn't contribute that much to speed.  The Black Douglas' basic configuration was not altered much until 1972.

"Designation: PYc-45 Black Douglas  IX-55 Black Douglas Class"  It had a class of it's own.

3-Masted Staysail Auxiliary Schooner Yacht for Robert Roebling.
150'long, 32'beam, 17'-7 1/2"depth, 12'draft, displacement 331 light ship, 416 full load, 3-masted staysail schooner with 2 auxilary diesel engines, 325 horsepower, masts reaching 116' above deck, 9111 sguare feet of canvas, 60 tons of ballast. Keel laid November 22,1929, launched June 9,1930, delivered July 29,1930. Transferred to the United States Navy in 1942 for World War II. Designated PYc-45 and assigned to submarine duty off the Pacific Northwest coast. Returned to owners October 1944. Later to United States Fish and Wildlife Service as a research vessel. To Bureau of Fisheries in 1960 as a research vessel."

(Burk Prael found these splendid photos on the web Dec 2001)

"Fish and Wildlife Service Ship BLACK DOUGLAS. This vessel was used for CALCOFI cruises off California and Baja California."  (Source:

Black Douglas as a Fish and Wildlife Service ship on San Diego Bay, with view of Coronado Island and Point Loma in background.

From: []
Sent: Sunday, March 10, 2002 7:10 PM
Subject: Black Douglas

Dear Mr. Stevens:

I found your excellent site on the Black Douglas when doing a search on the web. I sailed on her when she was a Fish and Wildlife vessel during the summer's of 1962 and 1963. Initially, I was a unpaid deckboy on my first trip to sea. On my second trip the following summer, I was an Ordinary Seaman prior to beginning my education at the California Maritime Academy the following fall.

I have very fond memories of the Black Douglas, and find it amazing that she is still sailing after all these years. I was sure that she had become razor blades or a fishing reef by this time. You've done an excellent job of putting together her long history. My hat goes off to you.

Capt. S. W. Slough