Year Built
Official Number
Avondale Marine Ways
General Type
General Cargo
Specific Type
Break Bulk
Ship Length
540.00 feet
76.00 feet
Mast Height
143.00 feet
Net Tons
6320.00 tons
Gross Tons
10950.00 tons
Cargo Capacity
54033.00 square feet
Draft, Summer
22.00 tons
Draft, Lightweight
12.60 tons
Displacement, Summer
21840.00 tons
Displacement, Lightweight
7178.00 tons
Immersion, Summer
69.00 tons
Immersion, Lightweight
54.00 tons
Still in Govt. Service

Historical Narrative

The break-bulk cargo ship Cape Blanco was originally built as the SS Mason Lykes at the Avondale Shipyards in Avondale, Louisiana in 1965.  The ship was delivered to its owner, Lykes Brothers Steamship Company on September 20, 1966.  The Mason Lykes was a traditional break-bulk cargo vessel that transported cotton and other palletized and bulk cargoes from the Gulf of Mexico to the West Indies, Great Britain, and from the northern border of Portugal to the southern border of Denmark.  

Mason Lykes was one of a number of ships acquired by the Maritime Administration in 1985 and assigned to its Ready Reserve Force (RRF).  The Mason Lykes was renamed Cape Blanco, placed on a five-day activation status, and homeported in Alameda, California. 

Five years later, the Cape Blanco was among the 78 RRF ships activated to support Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM.  The vessel was ordered to activate on December 9, 1990, and placed under the operational control of the Navy’s Military Sealift Command.  It continued in service until September 1991. 

Cape Blanco was maintained in a reduced operating status (partially crewed) in Alameda, California, after which it was laid-up in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet.

The MARAD's National Register Eligibility Assessment for Cape Blanco, available in the Documents section, also contains a detailed history of the vessel.

Vessel Name History

Mason Lykes

Vessel Name History




No Mission for this vessel

Historical Documents
Name Download


Event Date Content
Ship Name Change
(No Date) Ship MASON LYKES changes name to CAPE BLANCO
Interim Movement
8/1/1997 ENRTE: San Francisco Drydock
Interim Movement
8/1/1997 At San Francisco Drydock
Interim Movement
8/15/1997 ENRTE: Alameda Point
Interim Movement
8/15/1997 At Alameda Point
Interim Movement
9/18/1997 Conducting sea trial
Interim Movement
9/19/1997 Completed sea trial
Interim Movement
9/12/1998 No-Notice Turbo Activation 98-4
Interim Movement
9/13/1998 Completed Turbo Activation
Interim Movement
10/25/2000 Conducting annual maintenance sea trial
Interim Movement
10/26/2000 Completed annual maintenance sea trial
Interim Movement
5/28/2001 Conducting TA-01-03 Sea Trial
Interim Movement
5/29/2001 Completed TA-01-03 Sea Trial
Interim Movement
7/1/2002 Under tow to San Franciscoe Drydock
Interim Movement
7/1/2002 At San Francisco Drydock
Interim Movement
7/16/2002 Under tow to Alameda CA
Interim Movement
7/16/2002 Returned from drydocking
Interim Movement
7/31/2002 Conducting sea trial and maintenance act
Interim Movement
8/2/2002 Completed sea trial
Interim Movement
3/27/2003 Under tow to SBRF
Interim Movement
3/27/2003 NDRF downgrade | New homeport is SBRF
9/27/2012 Vessel cleared historic review.
Location Movement
6/16/2016 Vessel departed SBRF, under domestic sale contract with All Star Metals, LLC.

Ship Imagery

Status Cards


Date Type Name Download
9/14/2012 National Regioster Eligibility Assessment Cape Blanco.pdf Default Generic Download Image


No documents for this vessel

Shipwreck Information

No ship wreck information for this vessel