Dock Find: 1958 Navy Mine Hunter!


Now this isn’t something you see every day! This former US Navy 81′ mine hunter has been converted into a residence, but it’s been deteriorating for a while now. Thanks go to Jim S. for sending us this nautical find! It’s docked in Corpus Christi, Texas and is available here on eBay with no reserve.


I believe this is a picture of the ship when it was in active service. A little bit of searching found this record online of the ship’s history. It was taken out of active Naval service in 1994, and is reported as “derelict” since 2011. Imagine a find that you can live in, or as the advertisement states, take you to Cuba and back on a single tank of fuel! It has four, yes four 6V-71N Detroit Diesel engines, 2 propellers and a horsepower rating of 437 shaft horsepower @ 2,100 RPM!


If this is a current picture, the side of the ship towards the dock is in much better shape than the other side. Unfortunately, its the bottom of the hull that’s in the worst shape. The hull is leaking from a valve somewhere, and the hull needs to be pulled out of the water and repaired. The owner has gotten an estimate of around $12,000 for the repairs. However, the previous owner did spend some money on the engines, so there’s some potentially good news.


Here’s two of the engines (I think). It sure looks like a lot of possible work, doesn’t it? I wonder how many folks it would take to actually keep this ship running?


I wouldn’t know the first thing to do with this wheel! And I’m thinking this one’s a bit big to take on our local lake! But think of it as a houseboat, and it’s making a little more sense–maybe?


  1. Jim

    Looks cool and might be worth more than the ask in scrap as long as you have a place and the time to cut it up. Not many bidders with more than double digit feedbacks. The wood hull would concern me. It will be interesting to see if it actually sells.

  2. Walt

    This is a very large and deep hole in the ocean in which some one or more
    than one would be pouring a whole bunch of money. Remember a minesweeper’s
    hull is made of wood.

    • Wayne Thomas


      Honest inquiry – if a guy had the space and skills and wanted a project to work on for say 1 to 2 years, how would this be pouring a lot of money into as opposed to a Chris Craft cabin cruiser in a similar condition? Sure, the CC is smaller, but sourcing interior from non-boat suppliers…well, a little bit of grit and ingenuity can go a long way.

      Granted, the market for skilled guys with time and imagination is quite small in comparison to the general population.

      • Dave Wright

        There is no comparison there. There isn’t a boatyard in the country that would let this thing near the ways without at least a 100,000 cash deposit or bond along with another bond for dealing with hazardous material generated by the project.Then 1.00 a foot per day and most will not allow you to do your own work. Boatyards are frequently left with this type of project after the dreamers run out of money and the bill. Then we go in and demo the remaining hulk. A Chris Craft can sit in a shop or garage for little cost without the monthly overhead. The last steel tug we dry docked was in good shape, just needed pressure washed, bottom paint and new zincs. It is 101 feet long. The bill for a weeks work was close to 60,000. Off course, that was California and it could be done for less in Vancouver, Mexico or Louisiana but still a sizable investment. So, 30,000 a year just to sit……you would probably get a discount on that every day the yard personnel worked on it but a 2 man crew will cost in the neighborhood of 1500-2000 a day. To leave it in the water you will have to find a commercial dock, another .60 cents to 1.00 a day per foot, and they will require liability insurance probably starting at 10,000,000 these days. If it will not pass a survey….it won’t… can not buy insurance. I have cut some magnificent old yachts, it breaks your heart but there is nothing else to be done. I remember a nice man in California that had a waterfront home with a large dock. I think he was on Vacation when his son towed home a 90 foot 1920’s rum runner type motor yacht. It had been derrilect for several decades. The city had a fit, it was in constant danger of sinking if the pumps quit. We charged him 20,000 to cut the old girl. My cost to insure it for the tow to the yard we cut it in was 3,000. We left a 50,000 performance bond with the boatyard and spent 2 weeks with a 4 man crew to finish the job. We salvaged some of the wonderful old cabinetry and fittings for sale to my nautical antique store contacts…….otherwise it went to the landfill.

      • Matt Tritt

        If you are OK with moving down Mexico way you could restore it for less than the national budget. If it’s seaworthy and could make the trip, that is. Mexico, as well as all the other Latin-American countries, has lax environmental laws and virtually no enforcement – plus labor costs are very reasonable for skilled boatwrights. I assembled and ran a drydock in Santa Barbara in the late 60’s when there were virtually no restrictions on what went into the State’s waterways. But now, fortunately, lead and copper-based paints have to be bagged and removed. Some of the boats we hauled had years of growth on them – even small crabs and some octopii – that we attempted to return to the harbor as intact as possible, but I always felt guilty about all the crap that went along with it. The longer a vessel goes without growth removal the harder it is to do a proper job of it. Business is booming for in-the-water bottom cleaning in these parts.

  3. S.S. McDonald

    The boat is YP660. YP means yard patrol. It was used for Midshipman’s training at the US Naval Academy in the 1960’s and later surplused out as newer YP’s came on board. It was never a minesweeper or mine hunter. Yes, as a Midshipman I trained aboard this very YP in the early 1960’s

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Actually, if you check the link in the story, it was repurposed as a mine hunter about 5 years before it was decommissioned. :-)

      Like 1
  4. Cassidy

    How big was the barn that this was stored in?

  5. sunbeamdon

    I’m still chuckling – another (w)hole in the wallet is coming! I’m reminded of the boat owning cliche – “the two best days of my life – – – “

  6. Rancho Bella

    Thank you S.S McDonald…….what are the odds you trained on this very boat/ship, pretty neat I say. I met guys that trained on the USS Neversail in San Diego during the 50’s. I still cannot for the life of me figure out when a boat becomes a ship……..everyone I ask at the docks has a different answer.

    I’ve been around boats/ships my entire life…… thank you.

    • Jim

      Former Coast Guardsman here, Anything under one hundred feet is considered a boat, over is a ship.


  7. Danno

    Mii-iine? Mi-ine! Mine-mine-mine…

  8. socaljoe

    Let’s keep this site car focused….

  9. Dutch 1960

    Bring a Sailor

  10. Woodie Man

    That wooden hull is going to be mighty rotted . Didn’t John Wayne have a converted minesweeper for a yacht?

    • MSG Bob

      He did, and there were reportedly some monumental parties on board when he lived aboard at film locations.

    • Rancho Bella

      Right here in San Diego it was. Don’t know now

  11. Robert White

    It’s derelict because of the aspestos wrap around the pipes too I’ll bet. This ship ain’t worth the time given fuel costs, and maintenance. Frankly, it’s a money pit
    compared to all the ships that are surplus on the markets right now.

    • Wayne Thomas

      On the market right now? As someone who is obviously ignorant….where?

  12. Jim Marshall

    I was in the Coast Guard in the 50’s and did some duty on a search and rescue 83 ft cutter. It had a wooden hull and was powered by to gasoline marine engines. It was CG 83346. These boats were built in the late 30’s and early 40’s and some did duty in the D- Day invasion.

  13. Donnie

    this is a new one

  14. The Chucker

    B.O.A.T.=Bust Out Another TenThousand

  15. Dave Wright

    You have strayed off recreation (cars) back into my trade. This boat has been knocking around the market for some time. There are another one or two on the east coast for sale in similar shape. The 12,000 quoted for repairs is ludicrous. It will cost that just to haul it out, then the work begins. I have cut several real minesweepers and as S.S said this is a Yard patrol boat. They were used as training craft. Real minesweepers were non magnetic. They had little or no ferrous metal in them. The engines were even made of non magnetic stainless steel. The costs of demolition on these old hulks exceeds any salvage value by 100 fold. A good twin pac 6-71 is worth top retail maby 5,000. There were many around. They are two Detroit 6-71 engines attached to a Faulk combining gearbox. They were also used in oilfield equipment and various landing craft including the LCM 8’s. Faulk built combining gears that attached up to 4 6-71’s together, I had an old buddy in the busisness in San Diego. He would buy a real minesweeper at auction for maby 1000.00. He would pull everything he could off from it for scrap. It would mysteriously come free of the dock one night and ground itself in the Chula Vista mud flat and catch fire, all the fasteners and fittings were brass or bronz. If he was lucky, he would have little more than a pile of sellable bronz scrap left over with some cupronickel thrown in for good measure. He is the only guy I ever knew that really made a profit on minesweepers. Many were bought by dreamers and when the dock fees became too much were taken by municipalities for the back fees. They rarely sold again. That is when they would call me and pay many many tens of thousands of dollars to have them demoed. I know of 2 of them (real MSO’s) lying in the SF Bay Area waiting for government funding to be demoed. I also know the Wild Goose (John Wayne’s boat) well. She used to lay derrilect in one of my buddies floating boatyards near Willimgton. She was also a sister ship to Jaque Cousteaus boat the Calypso. Eventually a LA lawyer put together a group and bought the Goose. They litterlay spent millons of dollars referbishing her hoping to make some return chartering her out. Last I knew she was for sale again for a small fraction of there investment with no takers. The Calypso some how burned in the Hong Kong harbor, also a derelict a dozen years or more ago. On a similar note, a mother friend of mine used to cut a lot of big vessels in LA harbor. Mostly old diesel powered submarines. He bought the Carrier Oriskany to cut from the government……purportedly for 1,000,000. He moved her from the mooring in Suisun bay to Mare Island where they were going to use one of the graving docks to cut her. The fed was all on board with the idea and all appeared to be moving forward. The old girl layed there for years while he attempted to get all the final permits together to do the job. Finally the California Air Quality Management people put the last nail in the coffin for the project. They refused to allow the work….even though he would have employed 300 semi skilled people in the Vallejo community that is wracked by unemployment. Eventually, he got his money back, probably lost a couple of mill with lawyers in the process. The boat was towed through the Panama Cannel and had more millons spent to strip before being sunk off Florida as the largest artificial reef and dive spot, all with taxpayer money. The only people that have the formula in the US to make a profit on major scraping of ships is Esco in Brownsville where this boat is located. They are cutting the old reserve fleet. They take tens of millons of dollars from the FED for the priviledg of doing the work. With labor and environmental costs what they are now, there is no profit in heavy scrap work. So…….this old girl probably sold at auction for slip rent (maby 5.00 a month per foot) to some dreamer for a few dollars and he is trying to make a buck turning it. I have seen these kind of boats sell many times at auction and never move until the people that own the dock it is moored at finally get afraid of it sinking and causing an environmental disaster. Then they call someone like me………and open there checkbook.

    • Newport Pagnell

      Actually the Calypso sits in a French shipyard apart. It was struck by a barge in Singapore and sank,but was salvaged and returned to France.

      • Dave Wright

        Financed by donors and rich benefactors. She was in poor shape when we worked with her in the 90’s.

    • Wayne Thomas

      The Wild Goose is listed as available for charters…

      • Dave Wright

        Another great example of how to make a small fortune starting with a big one.

  16. Dave Wright

    Sorry for the spelling…….sometimes spell check is a good thing….sometimes not.

  17. Horse Radish

    “Vessel has a leaking thru-hull valve and is taking on water. Needs a bottom job ASAP.”

  18. Matt Tritt

    Oh brother. This happens to be up one of my alleys as well, having been a yacht and ship broker at one time. You’re all right: Stay Away as fast as you can. Still – a copper-clad doug fir bottom immersed in salt water isn’t likely to have rotted: it’s the OTHER stuff made of iron (like those bleeders indicate), bronze and brass – like that leaking through-hull that’ll give you grief. These boats were well ventillated so dry rot might not even be too bad. I’ll survey it for only $8,200.00 plus travel expenses. ;-) What a bargain!!

  19. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    Barnacle Finds.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      The best line of the day! Happy Thanksgiving to All!

  20. Dan h

    Let me see…boat purchase-$$$, dry dock/redo the bottem-$$$$, divorce costs-$$$, misc. repairs-$$$, fuel to go to Cuba-$$$$$$, Booze costs-$$$ (you would be a raging alcoholic by this point), optional outcome-imprisonment or death(free)

    It’s cool, I’ll pass.

  21. Geoff A

    This is like a BMW 2800 or 911s with minimal rust. I have worked on wooden boats all my life professionally and owned a few. Runaway! All you have to do is look at the pictures. Nothing there to save or sell. No historical value. Like the BMW or Porsche hiding many problems. Now the real question is why or who in their right mind would buy this or the overvalued hopped up Volkswagen oh I mean Porsche. Don’t understand the current insanity in pricing for 356 or 912-911 not even pretty like the 2800 or 3.0

  22. Mark S

    Who in there right mind would want this tub, clean out the hazardous materials and then pull it out to sea an sink it.

    • Cassidy

      Truly is the best thing to do with it. It will make an excellent artificial reef!

  23. John

    McHale’s Navy reboot?? ….anyone??……anyone???

  24. Marc

    Too bad so far away. I would been interested. But she is a wood hull. Oh the work. She would look good sailing on Lake Superior.

  25. Dan10

    SOLD!!! for $5100 dollars. It took all my will power not to press the bid button. I have lost thousands of dollars on boats and have not yet learned my lesson.

  26. Matt Tritt

    Consider yourself a lucky man.

  27. Joseph W. Shaw Jr

    Capt. Buck: Joe P. you and I most likely trained on this one. Didn’t bruise the hull or sink it. But, as you know I didn’t have to shoot stars or work a Nav. test.

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