PORT LUDLOW — After a winter of restoration, the historic 83-foot former Coast Guard cutter 83527 is gearing up for a new mission — appearing at maritime events around Puget Sound.
Believed to be the sole survivor of more than 200 wooden patrol boats built at the end of World War II, the vessel now is moored at Port Ludlow Marina.
The onetime Tacoma-based cutter was brought back to the Pacific Northwest by its owner, the nonprofit military heritage group Combatant Craft of America.
It was decommissioned at its Tacoma base 40 years ago and taken to Alameda, Calif.
With a mission to recognize and honor the history of the vessel, the group envisions 83527 as an interactive historical exhibit and an active participant in Northwest Coast Guard events.
Trip to Port Ludlow
Dan Withers, president of Combatant Craft and a Port Ludlow resident, shared an epic story of the vessel’s two-month journey back to Puget Sound.
Withers on Wednesday addressed the Port Ludlow Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Harbormaster Restaurant, not far from where 83527 is docked.
Two years ago, wanting to have some fun with his idea for a Coast Guard historical exhibit, Withers formed Combatant Craft of America.
“If you get a boat from the Navy, you can’t play with it — it has to sit on display,” he said.“So we created a nonprofit.”