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
31.58 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 Borda was originally built as the SS Howell Lykes at the Avondale Shipyards in Avondale, Louisiana in 1967.  The ship was delivered to its owner, Lykes Brothers Steamship Company later that year.  The Howell 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.  

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

Five years later, Cape Borda 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 U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command.  It continued in service until September 1991. 

Cape Borda 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 Borda, available in the Documents section, also contains a detailed history of the vessel.

Vessel Name History

1967 - 1985: Howell Lykes
1985 - present: Cape Borda

Vessel Name History




No Mission for this vessel

Historical Documents
Name Download


Event Date Content
Ship Name Change
(No Date) Ship HOWELL LYKES changes name to CAPE BORDA
Interim Movement
3/26/1997 ENRTE: San Francisco Drydock
Interim Movement
3/26/1997 At San Francisco Drydock
Interim Movement
4/12/1997 ENRTE: NAS Alameda
Interim Movement
4/12/1997 At NAS Alameda
Interim Movement
5/15/1997 Conducting sea trial
Interim Movement
5/15/1997 Completed sea trial
Interim Movement
3/19/1998 Conducting activation sea trial
Interim Movement
3/21/1998 Completed activation sea trial
Interim Movement
12/9/1999 No Turbo Notice Activation seatrial 00-1
Interim Movement
12/10/1999 Completed TA 00-1
Interim Movement
4/8/2002 ENRTE: San Francisco Drydock
Interim Movement
4/8/2002 In for drydocking at San Francisco DD
Interim Movement
4/29/2002 ENRTE: Alameda Pt. following drydocking
Interim Movement
4/29/2002 Returned from San Francisco Drydock
Interim Movement
5/22/2002 Conducting maintenance sea trial
Interim Movement
5/24/2002 Completed sea trial
Interim Movement
4/29/2003 Shifting from Pier 1 to Pier 3
Interim Movement
4/29/2003 Completed shift to Pier 3
Interim Movement
5/22/2003 Vessel shifting Pier 3 to Pier 2
Interim Movement
5/22/2003 Completed shift to Pier 2
Interim Movement
7/29/2003 ENRTE: SBRF for NDRF Lay-up
Interim Movement
7/29/2003 SBRF is New Homeport
9/27/2012 Vessel cleared historic review.

Ship Imagery

Status Cards


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


No documents for this vessel

Shipwreck Information

No ship wreck information for this vessel