USS Zaca (IX-73)
|Acquired:||12 June 1942|
|In service:||19 June 1942|
|Out of service:||6 October 1944|
|Struck:||13 November 1944|
|Length:||118 ft (36 m)|
|Beam:||23 ft 9 in (7.24 m)|
|Draft:||14 ft (4.3 m)|
The second USS Zaca was a wooden-hulled, schooner-rigged yacht with an auxiliary engine. She was designed by Garland Rotch and completed in 1930 at Sausalito, California, built by Nunes Brothers Boat and Ways Co.
Due to the need for local patrol and rescue craft in the busy waters in the San Francisco area during World War II, the schooner was acquired by the Navy from Templeton Crocker on 12 June 1942. Placed in service on 19 June 1942 and assigned to the Western Sea Frontier, Zaca, classified a miscellaneous auxiliary and designated IX-73 operated as a plane-guard ship, standing ready to rescue the crews of any planes downed nearby.
Eventually relieved by the frigates (PF's) of Escort Squadron 41, Zaca was placed out of service at Treasure Island, California on 6 October 1944; and her name was struck from the Navy list on 13 November 1944.
Turned over to the War Shipping Administration on 21 May 1945, Zaca was acquired in 1946 by Errol Flynn, an actor famed for his "swashbuckling" roles in numerous movies. Zaca is featured prominently in the 1947 Orson Welles film The Lady from Shanghai. A documentary short film "Cruise Of The Zaca" which features Errol Flynn aboard his vessel was made in 1952 and has been shown on the Turner Classic Movies TV channel. Flynn owned the yacht until his death in 1959.
As of 2008, Zaca is privately owned and berthed in Monaco. The owner is Roberto Memmo. The skipper is Bruno Dal Pias. A crew of four regularly sail Zaca to ports such as Punta Ala, Gaeta, Capri, Cagliari, and throughout the Aegean Sea. The Zaca is frequently seen at prestigious sailing races in the Mediterranean. Her winter port is in Port de Fontvielle, Monaco. In 2009, the Sailing Channel (now the Nautical Channel) dedicated a program to the entire history of the Zaca from original construction to the present entitled "In the Wake of the Zaca".
According to Richard Winer, the Zaca is supposed to be haunted. Witnesses have reported seeing the visage of Errol Flynn's frustrated ghost pacing on board. Others have described the sounds of voices and laughter as if a wild party was happening on board.
- Richard Winer and Nancy Osborn-Ishmael, (1980), More Haunted Houses, Bantam Books, pp. 69-72
- In the Wake of the Zaca, 2009