7210 History


 


 

 

 

PBR-7210 HISTORY

 
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The hull number tells us the creation date of the boat. It is 31RP7210. That indicates it was 31 feet long and the 10th boat built in 1972 by Uniflite, Bellingham, WA. It was sold to the Navy and put into operation at Special Boat Unit XI at Mare Island, CA.  Read about SBU-11.
         
   
  PBR-7210 with SBU-XI, at Mare Island, showing her stuff. Images from Jerry Popovitch, Mill Creek, WA.  

Operation Northern Hawk, WA state.
Over the course of time the hull was getting water logged and weakened from so much training  use. In 1986, during Operation Northern Hawk, in the Puget Sound there was a collision with a Swift boat that seriously affected her operation. Later in 1986 it was decided to replace the hulls of several of the boats. In 1987 the replacement hull arrived from Uniflite and all of the on-board equipment was transferred over to the ?new? 210 hull.

The tired 7210 hull was then acquired from the Navy by General Propulsion in March 1995 where it sat in Desert Hot Springs, CA on the cradle for several years.  It had a square section of the port stern corner cut out by the Navy to test materials. It was stripped of all gauges, engines, electronics, weapons, well, everything.

The boat had been advertised on the Unifliteworld.com website for several years. The original add still appears HERE. ?    


I
n April/May of 2004 the boat was discovered and in July 2004, Mike Granat from the Bellingham International Maritime Museum acquired the hull, cradle and lifting cable hardware. She was transported up to Padden Creek Marine, Bellingham Wa in July of 2004 and was placed in one of the open work bays of the site operated by Mr. Vic Duppenthaler. In August a Padden Creek Marine employee, Mike Granat and Bob Brower began the hull and superstructure restoration. By the middle of September it was ready for paint.

 
In the beginning. Lots of sanding. The cutout corner section. New Paint. Ready to go.

 
Later an organizational dispute split up BIMM and the Gamewardens Association who had been promoting the boat restoration with their volunteers.

After the split of the organizations in 2007, BIMM continued to restore the boat but in late 2014 they realized they were unable to fully support the activity as effectively as they once wished. 

BMM (now Bellingham Maritime Museum) decided to close down the facility it had with the Port of Bellingham and put many of the artifacts in storage. In January 2015, I took possession of the 7210 and moved her to Arlington for storage and restoration.  Although a schedule for the restoration of her has not yet been developed, we are looking forward to the day we will launch her once again upon the waters of Puget Sound.