THE UNITED STATES NAVY no longer depends upon sails for primary motive power. Nevertheless, it would take a bold man to say that sails are of no further value to the service. If it became necessary to abandon ship far out at sea, for many a man of the Navy sails might easily mean the difference between life and death. Proceeding from San Diego to Balboa, Canal Zone, for the 1929 Fleet Concentration, the mine sweeper Partridge bent on some auxiliary sail power in the interest of fuel economy. During the 1924 maneuvers of the U.S. Fleet, the commander of the Scouting Fleet granted permission to certain of his commissioned officers to proceed to Panama at personal discretion to try theoretically to disable one of the Battle Fleet’s battleships in a Panama Canal lock. Taking a small boat under sail, they reached Panama undiscovered, and while the U.S.S. New York was in a lock at Gatun, had the satisfaction of informing the New York’s commander that then and there the ship’s magazines had been exploded.
Small-Boat Sailing as a Character-Builder in the United States Navy
By Commander John Warner Moore (Ch.C.), U. S. Navy and Lieutenant Commander Alfred P. H. Tawresey, U. S. Navy