Year Built
Official Number
General Dynamics (Quincy)
General Type
Specific Type
Ship Length
875.90 feet
105.83 feet
Mast Height
155.00 feet
Net Tons
12130.00 tons
Gross Tons
21670.00 tons
Cargo Capacity
77459.00 square feet
Draft, Summer
23.50 tons
Draft, Lightweight
18.30 tons
Displacement, Summer
55660.00 tons
Displacement, Lightweight
18900.00 tons
Immersion, Summer
172.00 tons
Immersion, Lightweight
119.00 tons
Still in Govt. Service

Historical Narrative

SS Cape Mendocino is a Sea Barge (SEABEE) carrier, originally built as SS Doctor Lykes by General Dynamics Shipyard for the Lykes Brothers Steamship Company in June 1972. 

The U.S. Navy’s Naval Construction Force, or SeaBees, primarily uses the SEABEE barges.  The barges are loaded with cargo and floated to and from a mother ship, which allows loading and unloading of containerized cargo off-shore.  SEABEE barge ships are equipped with a stern cargo elevator for loading the barges from the water onto the vessel; loaded barges can then be moved toward the vessel’s bow using an internal track system.  The barges are stowed on internal decks and are not stacked.  SEABEE barges are larger and heavier than their counterpart, LASH barges.

The Maritime Administration purchasedDoctor Lykes on October 2, 1986 and placed it in the Ready Reserve Force (RRF), and renamed it Cape Mendocino

As part of the RRF, Cape Mendocino participated in activities supporting Operations DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM from 1990-1991. The ship made two trips between Dammam, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. ports of Wilmington, North Carolina and Oakland, California, respectively, to return cargo following military operations.  After discharging its retrograde cargo at the port of Oakland, Cape Mendocino transported empty barges between New Orleans and Norfolk before the Navy’s Military Sealift Command returned the vessel to MARAD control.

The vessel was downgraded to NDRF retention (emergency sealift) status on September 1, 2004, and has not been activated since that time.  In October, 2011, Cape Mendocino was towed from the James River Reserve Fleet to the Beaumont Reserve Fleet, where it is now berthed.

Vessel Name History
1972 - 1986: Doctor Lykes
1986 - present: Cape Mendocino

Photo Descriptions
1.) Cape Mendocino, underway, MARAD file photo.
2.) Cape Mendocino, portside, MARAD file photo.
3.) Cape Mendocino, underway, MARAD file photo.
4.) Cape Mendocino, underway, MARAD file photo.

Vessel Name History




No Mission for this vessel

Historical Documents
Name Download


Event Date Content
Ship Name Change
10/6/1986 Ship DOCTOR LYKES changes name to CAPE MENDOCINO
10/6/1986 Ex DOCTOR LYKES
Interim Movement
Interim Movement
9/4/1997 At NOSHIPCO
Interim Movement
9/10/1997 Conducting sea trial
Interim Movement
9/13/1997 Completed sea trial
Interim Movement
11/18/1997 Under tow to JRRF
Interim Movement
Interim Movement
6/2/1999 Under tow to CSX Piers/ Turbo Act 99-3
Interim Movement
6/2/1999 At CSX Piers for Turbo Activation 99-3
Interim Movement
6/9/1999 Conducting Turbo Activation sea trial
Interim Movement
6/10/1999 Completed Turbo Activation 99-3 S/T
Interim Movement
7/26/1999 Tow to JRRF following deactivation
Interim Movement
7/26/1999 Returned from deactivation site CSX Pier
Interim Movement
8/2/2001 Under tow to BMI S/Y for drydocking
Interim Movement
8/2/2001 At BMI S/Y for repairs
Interim Movement
10/18/2001 Conducting Maintenance Activation S/T
Interim Movement
10/20/2001 Completed Maintenance Activation S/T
Interim Movement
1/15/2002 Under tow to JRRF w/ ETA 01/18/02
Interim Movement
1/18/2002 Returned from repairs
Interim Movement
9/30/2003 Tow to Moon Engineering for TA-03-7
Interim Movement
9/30/2003 At Moon Engineering for Turbo Activation
Interim Movement
10/8/2003 Turbo Activation 03-7 sea trial
Interim Movement
10/11/2003 Completed Turbo Activation S/T 03-7
Interim Movement
11/18/2003 Under tow to JRRF
Interim Movement
11/18/2003 Completed deactivation
10/15/2011 Moved from JRRF to BRF.

Ship Imagery

Status Cards


Date Type Name Download
10/13/2016 C8-S-82a Profile and Decks.pdf Default Generic Download Image


No documents for this vessel

Shipwreck Information

No ship wreck information for this vessel