Originally named the LCM8537, the boat was built by the U.S. Army for use in the Vietnam War and rated to haul one military tank or 200 personnel (with arms and backpacks). The vessel was mothballed before it was completed and remained in Higgin’s Louisiana shipyard for years. The boat showed up with brand new engines in Tacoma in 1989, working as an Army training boat. Soon afterwards it was bought at auction and went to work around Orcas Island, the owners spent two years and close to $1 million retrofitting the vessel.
During this time, boat was “stretched” from its original length of 74 feet to 98 feet, being cut in half and filled in with engineered steel plates. A crane was added to the bow, a wheelhouse on the stern and accommodations below deck. One of the most expensive parts of the overhaul was getting the vessel U.S. Coast Guard certified to legally haul flammable liquids.