Charles N. Curtis
Tacoma Sea Scout Ship 110
A program of the Pacific Harbors Council Boy Scouts of America
call (253) 572-2666
fax (253) 597-7353
820 East D Street, Tacoma, Washington 98421
Since 1924 Sea Scout Ship 110 has worked to fulfil the BSA vision of preparing every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.
Through service projects Scouts learn to engage and support their community. Ship 110 annually participates in the Land and Maritime Daffodil Parades, the Special People’s Cruise, the Lighted Boat Parade, several Scouting events, Seattle’s Yacht Club’s Opening Day, the Tacoma Maritime Fest, and many, many more community events and projects.
Hands on training teaches important life skills and gives Scouts the opportunity to discover what they are truly capable of. Scouts can choose to work and train in navigation, the engine room or on deck crew. All regularly participate in and learn to direct onboard fire-suppression and man-overboard drills. They learn first-aid, CPR and lifeguarding skills, not to mention painting and sanding when the Curtis goes in for its annual dry-dock.
By being given real-life responsibilities, everything from handling a line or training another scout to leading a flag ceremony, keeping engine maintenance logs or planning an overnight cruise, Ship 110’s youth learn the importance of responsibility. Responsibility to their ship, their leadership, their crew and themselves.
At 78’ 9” long and 14’ 8” wide, she was one of six sister Coast Guard patrol boats constructed in June of 1932 in Southern Ship Yards in Newport News, Virginia to chase down Prohibition-era rum runners off the East Coast. With her two Sterling Viking II inline 8-cylindger gasoline engines and shaft horse power of 1,130 HP, giving her a top speed of 24 knots, she was more than up to the task.
From 1931 to the end of Prohibition in 1933 she served in the Upper Long Island Sound/Chesapeake Bay region. In June of 1937, all six ships were transferred to the Pacific Coast and CG 402 was permanently assigned to the harbor of Tacoma, WA. She was the fastest ship craft in all Tacoma.
That “permanent assignment” in Tacoma Harbor came to an abrupt end in 1942 after the US entered WWII. CG 402 was renamed CG 78302 and reassigned as an off-shore patrol boat covering the area between Port Angles, WA and the Columbia River.
After the war ended the #CG 78302 was decommissioned by the Coast Guard and put up for sale as war surplus. On July 17th 1945 it was purchased by the Mount Rainier Council (now Pacific Harbors Council BSA) for the sum of $10, given to Sea Scout Ship 110 and rechristened with its current name of “Charles N. Curtis” after the serving Chief Scout Executive who assisted with the acquisition.
For the first two decades of its existence the unit’s water activities consisted mainly in the sailing of small and private boats. Its onshore undertakings included a basketball team, a drum and bugle core, regional competitions and community services.
In 1945 that all changed when the Rainier Council purchased, for the bargain price of $10, the surplus WWII Coast Guard ship CG78302. It was renamed after the current Chief Scout Executive Mr. Charles N. Curtis, and given to the unit.
Initially Sea Scouts was an all-male program, but in 1986, when the Girl Scout Mariner program with which Sea Scouts had often coordinated activities was eliminated, Ship 110 became co-ed.
Around the same time, in concert with the U.S. Coast Guard, the Charles N. Curtis was licensed as a commercial vessel which required a much higher standard of professionalism. Becoming a Small Passenger Vessel under Subchapter “T” gave the unit a flexibility to teach skills they would not get as an unlicensed vessel.
Continuing a tradition of over 90 years, Ship 110 serves the community by training youth in Character, Conduct and Leadership using both marine related programs and community service projects. Annually the unit participates in 50-60 service projects in addition to a large amount of hands-on shipboard an classroom training.