When one needs ships, it is usually too late to build them. In mid-February 1898, as tensions heated the diplomatic climate between the United States and Spain in the wake of the destruction of the battleship Maine at Havana, Cuba, the U.S. Navy cast a broad net to acquire suitable vessels to be converted for wartime purposes. A particular yacht of stout Scottish construction—her steel hull being divided into eight watertight compartments—caught the Navy’s eye.
Historic Fleets - More Lives Than a Cat
By Robert J. Cressman