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NavSource Online: Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Photo Archive

Black Douglas (PYc 45)

Call sign:
Nan - Yoke - Dog - Nan

ex-Black Douglas (IX 55)

Black Douglas served both the U. S. Navy and Fish and Wildlife Service

Coastal Patrol Yacht:

  • Laid down 22 November 1929 as the 3-masted Staysail Auxiliary Schooner Grenadier by Bath Iron Works, Bath, ME for Robert C. Roebling of Savannah, GA
  • Renamed Black Douglas prior to completion
  • Launched 9 June 1930
  • Delivered 29 July 1930
  • Sold to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in September 1941
  • Acquired by the Navy in 1942 and classified as a Miscellaneous Unclassified Auxiliary, IX-55
  • Placed in service as USS Black Douglas (IX 55), 18 April 1942
  • Reclassified a Coastal Patrol Yacht, PYc-45, 8 April 1943
  • Commissioned USS Black Douglas (PYc 45), 19 April 1943
  • Decommissioned 20 September 1944 at Puget Sound Navy Yard
  • Returned to the Fish and Wildlife Service 4 October 1944
  • Struck from the Navy Register 14 October 1944
  • Transferred to the Bureau of Fisheries in 1960 as a research vessel
  • Sold in 1966 to Louis Black
  • Sold in 1972 to the George Stoll family, owners of the Flint School in Sarasota, FL and renamed teQuest
  • Sold in 1982 to an investment group of investors and renamed Aquarius
  • Renamed Aquarius W
  • Renamed El Boughaz I by her new owner, the King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and is often spotted around Marseille, France
  • She is presently up for sale at a price of $6,000,000 - $7,000,000. This price is a little high for the amount of yacht, but she now carries a $1-2 million "HISTORICAL" premium
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 371 t.
  • Length 133' 5"
  • Beam 32'
  • Draft 12'
  • Speed 9.5 kts.
  • Armament: One 4"/50, four .50 cal. machine guns and one "Mousetrap" depth charge projector
  • Propulsion: Sail (9,111 square feet of canvas) and one 325hp Cooper Bessemer diesel engines, later changed to a 400hp Enterprise diesel engine, and now equipped with two 290hp Volvo diesel engines,
    one shaft.

    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Schooner Black Douglas
    Black Douglas 112

    Sir James Douglas (also known as Good Sir James and the Black Douglas) (c. 1286 25 August 1330) was a Scottish knight and feudal lord. He was one of the chief commanders during the Wars of Scottish Independence

    Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 8 July 2021
    Black Douglas 945 c. 1930
    Diagram showing the layout of of Black Douglas's original below deck plan
    Robert Hurst
    Black Douglas 110 Showing the amid-ships opening for the engine room
    Black Douglas 91 Workmen working amidships
    Black Douglas 60 Black Douglas on the stocks
    Black Douglas 114k c. 1930.
    Bath, ME
    Under construction
    Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
    Black Douglas 44k 9 June 1930.
    Bath, ME
    Black Douglas 44 In the water after her launching Robert Hurst
    Black Douglas 177k c. 1930
    Artists rendition of Black Douglas
    Maine Maritime Museum
    Black Douglas 68k c. 1930 Cooper Bessemer Diesels Advertisement
    Black Douglas 180 Advertisement for Cooper-Bessemer diesel engines from the January 1930 edition of Yachting magazine Robert Hurst
    Black Douglas 45k c. 1938 Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
    Black Douglas 60k c. 1941
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Black Douglas 65k 29 October 1941
    Leaving Savannah, GA
    USS Black Douglas (PYc 45)
    Black Douglas 55k Original photo: 30 March 1943
    U.S. Navy photo
    Replacement photo: Black Douglas (IX 55) photographed on 30 March 1943 after being refitted as a patrol craft and a few days before being reclassified as a coastal patrol yacht (PYc-45). Her new armament was 1-3"/50 gun forward, 2-20mm guns amidships, and depth charge tracks aft
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 83303
    Original photo: Joe Radigan
    Replacement photo: Mike Green
    Black Douglas 87k c. 1942 Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
    Black Douglas 104k c. 1942
    Seattle, WA
    FWS Black Douglas
    Black Douglas 213k Black Douglas as a Fish and Wildlife Service ship on San Diego Bay, with view of Coronado Island and Point Loma in background .
    Black Douglas 93k . Skidaway Institute of Oceanography
    Black Douglas 79k FWS Black Douglas shown circa 1949 shortly after her return to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Except for the removal of her armament and the addition of two cargo booms forward her appearance has changed little since 1943
    NOAA photo ship0309
    Mike Green
    Black Douglas 201k c. 1949
    Channel Islands, California
    Photographer O. Wallis, National Park service image 0311 from the NOAA'S Fleet then and Now - Sailing for Science Collection
    Robert Hurst
    Schooner teQuest
    teQuest 74k c. 1979/80 Flint School
    Schooner Aquarius
    Aquarius 61k c. 1983 Flint School
    Black Douglas 763 c. 1990
    Off the coast of Rhode Island after her restoration in Germany
    Photo courtesy of W.R. Roebling from NOAA Fisheries
    Robert Hurst
    El Boughaz I
    Black Douglas 114

    Tangier, Morocco. The nicknames "El Boughaz" (The Inlet), "Bride of the North" and "Door of Africa" reference its position in far northwestern Africa near the Strait
    of Gibraltar

    Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 8 July 2021
    Black Douglas 90k Maunsel White
    Black Douglas 235 Photo from Live Yacht website Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 8 July 2021
    Black Douglas 552 Casablanca, Morocco
    Photo from Super Yacht Times website

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Robert Witcher Copeland, USNR - Awarded the Navy Cross (1944)
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    18 April 1942
    02Walter K. E. Johanson, FWS1944
    03Clyde I. Dell, FWS1947 - 1948
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    View the Black Douglas (PYc 45)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Auxiliary Ship Index Back to the Miscellaneous Unclassified Auxiliary Ship (IX) Photo Index Back to the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Index Back to the Coastal Patrol Yacht (PYc) Photo Index

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    This page created by Joseph M. Radigan and maintained by Tom Bateman
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