Research Vessel Matthew
F. Maury (formally PCF-2)
Research Vessel Matthew F. Maury (formerly PCF-2)
|The R/V Matthew F. Maury has a unique history.
In the early 1960's, the United States Navy was looking for
new platforms for riverine warfare activities in Vietnam. Sewart
Seacraft in Louisiana had been building an aluminum hull design
for general-purpose use in the Gulf of Mexico. This particular
design was utilized as an oil well support craft. The Navy eventually
adopted and modified its design. They took possession of 104
of the craft commencing in 1965.
length: 51 feet
power: twin 12v71 Detroit diesels
speed: 20+ knots
range: 500 miles
electricity: 24v DC; 110 AC
|depth finder: Raytheon
positioning: Raytheon GPS w/differential
lab facility: sinks, glassware, etc.
lift capability: 500 lb.
Hull #'s 1 and 2 remained stateside at Coronado,
California, where they were used as training craft for the
Navy's new Swift Boat Class (PCF) Mark 1. The other 102 boats
were sent to South Vietnam for service in the U.S. Navy.
In Vietnam, the boats built an impressive record of naval
combat and earned their crews a place in Naval history. Meanwhile,
PCF-1 and PCF-2 continued for years in their training role
Eventually, the Vietnam War ended and PCF-1 and PCF-2 were
transferred to NAVSCIATTS in Panama. Here, they were utilized
to train sailors of foreign naval forces to fight in coastal
areas and rivers. The picture above shows her black paint
job and red bottom coating. As the years went by, the Navy
modified the PCF design and gradually, the two PCF's were
outmoded by newer versions (Mark 2's and 3's) and soon to
|In 1995, Tidewater Community College had a rare opportunity
to acquire one of these boats. It was felt by both the Navy
and the College that we could provide a good "berth" for one
of the old boats. Through the gracious efforts of US Congressman
Owen Pickett (D-Virginia), we acquired the second boat (PCF-2),
beginning with H.R. 1530.
||The ceremony was held at Waterside , in downtown Norfolk,
Virginia. After brief speeches and fanfare, PCF-2 took off from
the quay to move out into the harbor.
|When President Clinton signed the National Defense Authorization
Act (with H.R. 1530 included) for 1996, PCF-2 was officially
the property of Tidewater Community College. She was renamed
the R/V Matthew F. Maury, in honor of the legendary "pathfinder
of the seas." Maury is a proud name in both the Chesapeake
Bay and the Old Dominion.
|Today, the vessel may sport a new coat of paint
but underneath, it's still "Haze Gray." And while her mission
has shifted from a wartime training platform to that of a Research
Vessel, she continues to create a wake in coastal and inland
waters. Her use today as a scientific platform will allow her
to carry on into the next century and provide many individuals
and groups the unique experience of scientific discovery.
Our scientific crews venture out in all
kinds of weather on Chesapeake Bay. Here is one group after
a wet day on the bay.
Maintaining the old girl continues. Since
this picture was taken, we've acquired a dive platform on
The R/V Matthew F. Maury on stands for
the ol' annual bottom paint job.
This is the R/V Matthew F. Maury from
the front as she is getting ready to go back in the water
at Cobb's Marina in Norfolk, Virginia.
Thanks to the Community!
Without the support of our community, this would not have happened.
Some contributors in the last two years:
- Bay Propeller, Chesapeake, Virginia - polished/straightened
- Cobbs Marina, Norfolk, Virginia - donated several lifts and
paint jobs; a lot of good advice
- Global Yachts, Inc., Norfolk, Virginia - constructed/donated
a dive platform to her stern; donated welding work
- Students/friends - too numerous to mention here, but they
indeed put a lot of time and resources into making this happen.