NOAAS John N. Cobb (R 552)

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NOAA Ship John N. Cobb
John N. Cobb (R 552)
Career (United States) 60px
Name: John N. Cobb (R 552)
Namesake: John N. Cobb (1868-1930), a fisheries researcher and first dean of the University of Washington College of Fisheries
Builder: Western Boatbuilding Company, Tacoma, Washington
Launched: 16 January 1950
Commissioned: 18 February 1950
Decommissioned: 13 August 2008
Notes: Served in Bureau of Commercial Fisheries 1950-1970
Served in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 1970 until 2008
General characteristics
Type: Fisheries research ship
Tonnage: 185 gross register tons
78 net register tons
Displacement: 250 tons (full load)
Length: 93 ft (28 m)
Beam: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Draft: 10 ft 10 in (3.30 m)
Installed power: 325 brake horsepower (0.24 megawatt)
Propulsion: One Fairbanks-Morse diesel engine, 1 shaft, 25 tons fuel
Speed: 9.3 knots (sustained)
Range: 2,900 nautical miles (5,371 kilometers) at 9.3 knots
Endurance: 13 days
Boats and landing
craft carried:
1 x fiberglass utility boat
Complement: 10 (2 NOAA Corps officers, 2 licensed engineers, and 4 other crew members) plus up to 4 scientists[1]
Notes: 60 kilowatts electrical power
JOHN N. COBB (fisheries research vessel)
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Governing body: NOAA NW Regional Office
Added to NRHP: February 11, 2009
NRHP Reference#: 09000047

NOAA Ship John N. Cobb (R 552) was a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel.

She was built at Western Boatbuilding Company in Tacoma, Washington. She was launched on January 16, 1950 and commissioned on February 18, 1950, by the Fish and Wildlife Service. When NOAA was established in 1970, she became a part of its fleet.

She had a wooden hull and a total of 13 bunk spaces. The mess room could serve eight for meals. She carried a complement of two NOAA Corps officers, two licensed engineers, and four other crew members, and could accommodate up to four scientists.

The deck equipment featured three winches and one boom crane. This equipment gave John N. Cobb a lifting capacity of up to 4,800 pounds (2,200 kg) as well as 7,200 feet (2,200 m) of cable that could pull up to 14,000 pounds (6,400 kg).

In support of her primary mission of fishery and living marine resource research for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) division of NOAA, the ship was equipped with a shallow-water echo sounder, a fishfinder, forward-looking sonar, and netsonde. She had a single laboratory of 150 square feet (14 m2). She carried a 17-foot (5.2 m) fiberglass boat for utility and rescue purposes. She could conduct bottom trawls down to depths of over 300 fathoms (1,800 feet or 549 meters).

With her home port at NOAA's Marine Operations Center-Pacific (MOC-P) in Seattle, Washington, and operated by NOAA's Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, John N. Cobb conducted research off southeastern Alaska and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. She supported research of the NMFS Auke Bay Laboratory in Juneau, Alaska, collecting fish and crustacean specimens using trawls and benthic longlines and fish larvae, fish eggs, and plankton using plankton nets and surface and mid-water larval nets. Scientists from the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle also conducted surveys of whales, porpoise, and seals while aboard John N. Cobb.

John N. Cobb's 50th anniversary in the fleets of NOAA and its predecessors was celebrated in 2000, and she was the oldest NOAA ship when she was finally decommissioned on August 13, 2008.

John N. Cobb was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 11, 2009. She is located at the NOAA NW Regional Office, 7600 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, Washington.[2]


  1. Combat Fleets of the World 1990/1991, p. 917, claims her complement was 8 (4 civilian officers and 4 other other crew members) plus up to 4 scientists.
  2. Weekly List, February 20, 2009,, retrieved 20 February 2009 

See also

NOAA ships and aircraft

External links