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Sea Fighter Mystery Looms

December 10, 2009

What is the impending fate of the Navy’s experimental and recently upgraded Sea Fighter FSF-1? Last we heard she was headed for the Caribbean and Southern Command, but rumors abound that she may have been seriously damaged in port during a recent storm, as we mentioned last week. The following obscure paragraph from an obscure article in the Daily Astorian apparently confirms this:

heard reports of November storm damage to the foundation of the Bornstein Seafoods processing plant between piers 1 and 2 and to the Navy’s Sea Fighter vessel, which was docked on the end of Pier 2, where the wind and swells sent it banging up against the pier and punched a 3-foot by 8-foot hole in the hull.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill permalink
    December 11, 2009 10:00 am

    The short list. Design ‘oops’, prototype issues, operational failures, bad karma…? Draw your own conclusions

    1. Water intrusion back through exhaust and subsequent ‘destruction’ of all four DD gensets: Total overhaul in place, all four.

    2. Premature failure of ‘experimental’ CODOG GB.

    3. Repeated failures of shaft seals on water jets and lube oil leakage..a seal system previsouly proven quite reliable overall.

    4. Total overhaul of MTU main diesel after multiple restarts overriding a known crankcase pressure alarm/auto-shutdown condition.

    5. Proceeding in heavy seas at excessive speed to meet mission schedule , exceeding ABS OE. With one main engine down, transit on GTs only..requiring/forcing higher speeds. And with the anchor nicely suspended on a good length of rode below the wet deck…

    6. Mooring casualty; failure of ‘non-organic’ fendering system in very high winds..

  2. CBD permalink
    December 11, 2009 9:46 am

    Bill, Much thanks for the reassurance and education!

  3. Mike Burleson permalink*
    December 11, 2009 9:08 am

    Thanks Bill! Hoping you would weigh in.

  4. Bill permalink
    December 11, 2009 9:03 am

    Yes, Sea Fighter has had a rough go of her short life, but I am confident that the only intentional damage ever inflicted on her was ‘verbal’ in nature. The rest (and its a list getting longer), the result of bad ship handling or inattention, and/or just plain old bad luck. In the case of the recent accident while moored, the structural failure of the fendering (camels or Yokohama’s of some kind) was a key factor…going mostly in to the ‘bad luck’ pot.

    Only when somebody with some stars on their collar takes an active interest in cutting through the defensive BS shield that currently protects the vessel’s status as ‘private yacht’ will we ever see anything else done with her. Plus-ups have made her in to a potentially good platform to date..but plus-ups don’t get surface assets fully equipped, commisioned, crewed or deployed. COMSURFWHEREVERS and their boss(es) do that.

  5. CBD permalink
    December 11, 2009 9:03 am

    Bill/IslandBill has experience and made some comments about abuse of FSF-1 at ID.

  6. Mike Burleson permalink*
    December 11, 2009 4:49 am

    I always get suspicious when new, likely transformational sea platform are sent to the Caribbean. This happened to the Pegasus hydrofoils in the 1980s, and it seemed no one ever considered sending them to the Gulf, where we were in major combat, and still are to an extent.

  7. Distiller permalink
    December 11, 2009 12:48 am

    No idea about wanting to ruin her, but whoever put her into Astoria was either an idiot or desperate. With the right wind and tide conditions huge waves build up on the Columbia, and the piers are totally exposed.

  8. D. E. Reddick permalink
    December 11, 2009 12:39 am


    I believe your comment regarding “almost as though they were trying to break her” has been brought up on this blog or over at ID, previously. There have been many informative threads relating to Sea Fighter at both NW and ID. It’s simply difficult to recall what has been stated – at whichever blog…

    I would like to hear what some of our knowledgeable or even -expert- commentators (with especially relevant knowledge regarding FSF-1) might have to contribute as comments regarding this possibility. Is it possible that such is a real-world outcome of unstated policy relating to ‘unwanted’ non-blue water vessels?

  9. CBD permalink
    December 11, 2009 12:10 am

    Isn’t it sorta unusual to give a ship enough leeway and little enough in the way of padding to have that much damage occur?

    First an unsecured anchor while riding head on into rough waves, then this?

    Rough year that little ship has had, almost as though they were trying to break her.

  10. December 11, 2009 12:01 am

    D.E. totally agree. Just been away from reading this blog for a long, long time.

  11. D. E. Reddick permalink
    December 10, 2009 10:54 pm


    You’re barking up a tree discussed on many occasions, here. Six squadrons of four each would be better (the more, the merrier – IMHO). Oh, don’t forget some 25 / 27 / 30 / 35 / 57 mm cannon… A pair of the Oerlikon Millennium 35 mm Naval Revolver Gun Systems would provide both surface warfare capability along with CIWS functionality. Pirate skiff… Piff!


    You used an image of the older Sea Fighter configuration. You need to use a pic of the new, stealthy (or, whatever) FSF-1.

  12. December 10, 2009 9:59 pm

    I’ve always had a soft spot for this ship. I’m sure just off the coast of Somalia we can find a slot in the order of battle for it.

    Figure put a Blackhawk or a Seahawk for troop transport + a Unmanned Little Bird demo for recon & strike on board and you’ve got yourself a very fast, very deployable & very credible reply to piracy. If we could get say five of these ships built ASAP, that’d be enough to severely cripple the problem of piracy. Ten would be spectacular.

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