USC&GS Matchless

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USC&GS Matchless
USC&GS Matchless. This is the only known photograph of a U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey sailing vessel under sail.
History
Flag of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.svgUnited States
Name: Matchless
Completed: 1859; rebuilt 1895
Commissioned: 1885
Decommissioned: 1919
Fate: Sold June 28, 1919
General characteristics
Type: Survey ship
Length: 99.6 ft (30.4 m)
Beam: 24.9 ft (7.6 m)
Draft: 7.6 ft (2.3 m)
Propulsion: Sails
Sail plan: Schooner-rigged

USC&GS Matchless was a wood, two masted schooner[1] that served as a survey ship in the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1885 to 1919. She was the only Coast and Geodetic Survey ship to bear the name and the last sailing vessel owned and operated by the Survey.

Matchless was built at Key West, Florida, in 1859. The Coast and Geodetic Survey acquired her in 1885 and placed her in service that year. She was rebuilt at a cost of $50,000 (USD) in 1895.

On February 28, 1915, officers and crew of Matchless helped put out a fire on Main Street in Edenton, North Carolina. On September 16, 1917, she helped the steamer White Wings off a shoal.

While returning from Roanoke Island to Elizabeth City, North Carolina after completion of work in Croatan and Roanoke Sounds the Matchless was caught and held in ice from about December 24, 1917 until January 17, 1918. The ship then engaged in surveys requested by the Navy in the lower Chesapeake Bay, the York River and Mattaponi River during the first half of 1918.[2]

In her last years Matchless was used "as a house-boat" from which parties surveyed inland waters. She was surveyed and condemned in 1919, retired from Coast and Geodetic Survey service and sold June 28, 1919. The crew from the Matchless transferred to the steamer USC&GS Onward with the task of continuing the surveys in the York River and west shore of Chesapeake Bay.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b United States Coast And Geodetic Survey (1919). Annual Report of the Superintendent, United States Coast And Geodetic Survey To The Secretary of Commerce For The Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1919. Washington: Government Printing Office. pp. 45, 80. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  2. ^ United States Coast And Geodetic Survey (1918). Annual Report of the Superintendent, United States Coast And Geodetic Survey To The Secretary of Commerce For The Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1918. Washington: Government Printing Office. pp. 47–48. |access-date= requires |url= (help)

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