PCF 816 (patrol craft fast)

View of quarterdeck of patrol boat from the rear
PCF 816, California ref# 100002676

Photograph by Scott Baldwin, Courtesy of the California State Historic Preservation Office

Quick Facts
The U.S. Navy-designated PCF-816 (Mk-II), classified as a Patrol Craft-Fast, is a restored Swift Boat listed in the National Register on July 23, 2018.  Located at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, PCF-816 is a Mark II variant and was in service from 1968-1971.  The aluminum-hull patrol boat features a .50 caliber gun mount and an 81 mm mortar mount on its aft deck and two .50 caliber gun mounts and guns above the helm.  The boat was fabricated by Seawart Seacraft in Morgan City, Louisiana, in 1968 and is powered by two Detroit Diesel 12V71 N engines that each generate 480 h.p.  

The PCF-816 is significant under military history for its role in the training and preparation of thousands of sailors who served on this vessel type during the Vietnam War. The vessel is also significant under naval architecture and was designed for speed, maneuverability, and the ability to carry significant armaments including 50 caliber machine guns fore and aft, and a rocket launcher.  Between the years 1965-1970, Swift Boats played major roles in coastal and inland waterway patrols duties during the Vietnam War. The activities of PCF-816, as a training and testing vessel at Coronado Island in San Diego, and then at Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, CA, were essential to preparing American sailors for their roles in a war that offered unprecedented challenges for American military personnel, including Swift Boat sailors’ interdiction activities along the coast and on the inland waterways of Vietnam.

 Swift Boat veterans assisted in the restoration of PCF-816 and it is considered the last fully intact vessel of its type.  

Last updated: November 8, 2019