Shakedown cruise

Shakedown cruise is a nautical term in which the performance of a ship is tested. Generally, shakedown cruises are performed before a ship enters service or after major changes such as a crew change, repair or overhaul. The shakedown cruise simulates working conditions for the vessel, for various reasons. For most new ships, the major reasons are to familiarise a crew with a new vessel and to ensure all of the ship's systems are functional.

If the ship is the first of its class, it will likely also be performing its sea trials, a test of its performance. In this context, 'shakedown cruise' and 'sea trials' may be used interchangeably, though each has a slightly different meaning. In such a case, it is likely that the ship's systems will be pushed to redline, or maximum capacity, to demonstrate the class's speed and other important traits. Until bested by another ship of the same class, this shakedown performance will be the standard of the class's capabilities, and its success may determine whether the class is to enter full production.

In the travel industry a shakedown cruise is also undertaken to test the ship and service crew. These test cruises are sometimes made with passengers travelling at a discount.

It has been suggested that the origin of “shakedown cruise” comes from the need to settle (or literally shake down) the ballast in the hold of a ship to ensure it is level in the water. However, this would only apply to very granular ballast material such as sand. The term is more likely to have arisen due to the transition from sail to power. The advent of engines within the hull of a ship caused severe vibration. Such vibration would be aggravated by uneven running and different sea conditions. A new ship had many fixtures and fittings throughout its accommodation and work spaces. As the maiden voyage progressed, these would become loose, and in many cases fall to the deck (shaken down). For this reason, it was common for the shipyard to send a 'shake-down' team with the ship on her maiden voyage. These men would be specialists equipped with the proper tools and spares to relocate or replace any displaced fixtures or fittings.

USS Independence (CVA-62) during shakedown cruise 1959
USS Independence during her initial shakedown cruise in 1959


A vessel is typically not committed to any timetables or tasks until it completes its shakedown cruise. As such, problems detected during the shakedown cruise can be fixed at minimal cost. While the ship is assigned to the industrial activity for this purpose, this period is known as an "availability". In the US Navy, the typical length of an availability is 45 to 120 days, and per regulation, must be completed no less than eleven months after the month the ship was first delivered. This is also known as a "post-shakedown availability".[1][2]

Famous examples

The USS Triton, a nuclear-powered radar picket submarine, was the first vessel to execute a submerged circumnavigation of Earth while on its shakedown cruise in early 1960. Triton is the only U.S. Navy ship to receive a Presidential Unit Citation for its shakedown cruise.


  1. ^ "ISR Glossary of Terms". Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  2. ^ "Postshakedown Availability". Retrieved 8 February 2018.
Daggers (seaQuest DSV)

"Daggers" is the first episode of seaQuest DSV`s second season. It was originally shown on September 18, 1994, and originally aired as a two-hour television movie.

The episode introduces a plethora of new elements into the canon of seaQuest DSV, such as new characters like Seaman Lonnie Henderson, Lieutenant James Brody, Seaman Tony Piccolo, Dr. Wendy Smith, and Dagwood. This episode was also the first seaQuest DSV episode filmed in Florida after production had changed locations from Los Angeles from the previous season, and the change in direction, having more of a sci fi/fantasy style to the episodes.

Quick Overview: The new seaQuest DSV 4600 shoves off from New Cape Quest in Florida, bound for a parade in New York City, however, the shakedown cruise is soon interrupted when Genetically Engineered Life Forms (G.E.L.F.s or "Daggers") revolt and seize control of their UEO colony. The GELFs then infiltrate the main headquarters complex of the entire UEO with a speedboat and two small, motorized inflatable rafts.

Sea trial

A sea trial is the testing phase of a watercraft (including boats, ships, and submarines). It is also referred to as a "shakedown cruise" by many naval personnel. It is usually the last phase of construction and takes place on open water, and it can last from a few hours to many days.

Sea trials are conducted to measure a vessel’s performance and general seaworthiness. Testing of a vessel’s speed, maneuverability, equipment and safety features are usually conducted. Usually in attendance are technical representatives from the builder (and from builders of major systems), governing and certification officials, and representatives of the owners. Successful sea trials subsequently lead to a vessel’s certification for commissioning and acceptance by its owner.

Although sea trials are commonly thought to be conducted only on new-built vessels (referred by shipbuilders as 'builders trials'), they are regularly conducted on commissioned vessels as well. In new vessels, they are used to determine conformance to construction specifications. On commissioned vessels, they are generally used to confirm the impact of any modifications.

Sea trials can also refer to a short test trip undertaken by a prospective buyer of a new or used vessel as one determining factor in whether to purchase the vessel.

Shakedown (testing)

A shakedown is a period of testing or a trial journey undergone by a ship, aircraft or other craft and its crew before being declared operational. Statistically, a proportion of the components will fail after a relatively short period of use, and those that survive this period can be expected to last for a much longer, and more importantly, predictable life-span. For example, if a bolt has a hidden flaw introduced during manufacturing, it will not be as reliable as other bolts of the same type.

Thunder Island (song)

"Thunder Island" is the lead single off of the album Thunder Island by American musician Jay Ferguson. The song peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of April 1, 1978. The recording features Joe Walsh on guitar.

As this was Ferguson's highest-ranking song on the charts, he is sometimes tagged a one-hit wonder. However, he achieved an additional hit with the song "Shakedown Cruise" which reached as high as #31 on the Hot 100 the week of June 23, 1979.

USS Albert W. Grant (DD-649)

USS Albert W. Grant (DD-649) was a Fletcher-class destroyer in the United States Navy during World War II. She was the only ship named for Vice Admiral Albert W. Grant (1856–1930), an admiral during World War I.

Albert W. Grant was laid down on 30 December 1942 at North Charleston, South Carolina, by the Charleston Navy Yard; launched on 29 May 1943, sponsored by Miss Nell Preston Grant, granddaughter of Admiral Grant; and commissioned on 24 November 1943, Commander T. A. Nisewaner in command. That day, the destroyer departed Charleston Navy Yard for a shakedown cruise to Bermuda and returned to Charleston Navy Yard on 29 January 1944 for minor alterations.

USS Erie (PG-50)

USS Erie (PG-50) was the lead ship of the Erie-class gunboats of the United States Navy. Erie was the second US Navy ship to bear the name. The first, Erie, was named after Lake Erie, while this Erie followed the US Navy naming practices of gunboats, like cruisers, being named after US cities.

Erie protected US interests during the Spanish Civil War, operated as a training ship for the United States Naval Academy, and was a convoy escort ship during World War II. She operated in the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Caribbean Sea until torpedoed and fatally damaged by U-163, off Curaçao, in 1942.

USS Greenfish (SS-351)

USS Greenfish (SS-351) was a Balao-class submarine of the United States Navy. It was named for the greenfish, one of various labroid fishes, Florida bluefish or ladyfish.

Greenfish (SS-351) was launched by the Electric Boat Co., Groton, Connecticut, 21 December 1945; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas J. Doyle; and commissioned 7 June 1946, Comdr. R. M. Metcalf commanding.

Greenfish's shakedown cruise 22 July to 13 September 1946, took her to Barranquilla, Colombia; the Canal Zone; Callao, Peru; and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Exercises out of New London and in Chesapeake Bay carried her through the year, and the early months of 1947 found Greenfish back in the Caribbean for fleet exercises. On 11 February 1947 she effected one of the first transfers of personnel from an aircraft carrier, Franklin D. Roosevelt, to a submarine by helicopter.

Various exercises along the American coast and in the Caribbean occupied Greenfish until 8 January 1948, when she entered the Electric Boat Co. yards for a GUPPY II conversion. This included the installation of snorkeling equipment on Greenfish, enabling her to run her diesel engines while submerged, which required the enlargement of her "sail". In addition, more batteries were installed to increase her submerged speed and permit the ship to remain completely submerged for longer periods.

Returning to New London 21 August 1948, Greenfish sailed on her "second" shakedown cruise 1 September, with Rear Admiral James J. Fife, Commander, Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet, aboard. She transited the Panama Canal 9 September and engaged in exercises at Balboa before returning to New London 24 September.

The new GUPPY submarine was attached to the Pacific Fleet, and sailed for Pearl Harbor 23 October. She reached her new home 25 November 1948. With the exception of ASW and harbor defense exercises in Puget Sound in 1950 and a subsequent Mare Island overhaul, Greenfish operated out of Pearl Harbor on local exercises through 1951.

Departing Pearl Harbor 15 November 1951, Greenfish sailed to Yokosuka, Japan, for Korean War duty. After a patrol 31 January to 1 March 1952, She participated in exercises at Okinawa and then returned to Hawaii 2 June. Local and special operations filled her time until 5 November 1954, when she entered the Pearl Harbor Shipyard for another modernization overhaul.

Greenfish, overhaul completed 6 July 1955, sailed for deployment with the 7th Fleet 15 September and reached Yokosuka 29 September. From 19 October to 15 November she engaged in special operations, and then embarked on a tour of Southeast Asia. Ports visited by Greenfish during her 2-month cruise included Manila, Singapore, Rangoon, where she was the first submarine ever to visit and was inspected by Burmese Prime Minister U Nu, and Hong Kong. After further exercises off Okinawa and Yokosuka, Greenfish returned to Pearl Harbor 13 March 1956.

The following 5 years fell into a pattern for Greenfish—local operations out of Pearl Harbor, special operations, exercises along the American coast, and periodic overhauls. Greenfish entered Pearl Harbor Shipyard 15 December 1960 for a FRAM (Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization) overhaul and extensive conversion to a GUPPY III class ship. This included cutting Greenfish in half and adding a 15-foot (5 m) section of hull to permit more batteries and other equipment.

Conversion completed, Greenfish departed 28 July 1961 for shakedown, operations at Pearl Harbor, and in December sailed to serve with the 7th Fleet. In addition to special operations, the submarine participated in various fleet and ASW exercises and visited several ports, including Hong Kong, Manila, and Okinawa. Returning to Pearl Harbor June 1962, Greenfish engaged in local operations until October, when the Cuban Missile Crisis sent her to Japan to strengthen the 7th Fleet. Upon return to Hawaii December 1962, she underwent a brief overhaul and then resumed her peace time schedule of local and special operations interspersed with training exercises.

Based at Pearl Harbor, she participated in various ASW exercises while maintaining the high tempo of training and readiness for her crew. From 30 March 1964 to 4 September she underwent overhaul; and, after a cruise to the Pacific Coast and back, Greenfish departed for the Far East 27 January 1965. She arrived Japan early in February and during the next 4 months operated with the 7th Fleet in waters from Japan to the Philippines. She returned to Pearl Harbor 1 August, continued type training into 1966, and deployed once again to the Western Pacific 1 February 1966. She completed her duty with the 7th Fleet 1 July and returned to Hawaii later that month to resume readiness exercises out of Pearl Harbor. Into 1967 she continued to serve in the Pacific Fleet's submarine force. In 1970 she underwent a yard overhaul at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, CA. She then underwent weapons alignment in Bangor, WA. Greenfish Transited the Panama Canal and proceeded to Sub base New London. She made a Med cruise and North Atlantic cruise in 1971 and a springboard exercise in 1972.

USS Manta (SS-299)

USS Manta (SS/ESS/AGSS-299), a Balao-class submarine, was the first submarine and second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the manta.

Manta (SS-299) was laid down 15 January 1943 by the Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia; launched 7 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Michael J. Bradley; and commissioned 18 December 1944, Lt. Comdr. Edward P. Madley in command.

Upon completion of her shakedown cruise, Manta departed New London, Connecticut, 27 March 1945 for Hawaii via the Panama Canal. She sailed from Pearl Harbor 28 May 1945 for her first war patrol, off the Kurile Islands. Returning 16 July, she began her second patrol 8 August and ended it with the cessation of hostilities 15 August.

Returning to Pearl Harbor 10 September, Manta engaged in training through December. On 2 January 1946, she sailed for San Francisco and preinactivation overhaul. She was decommissioned 10 June 1946 and placed in the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

Manta recommissioned 2 August 1949, Lt. E. H. Edwards, Jr., in command, as ESS-299. On 1 September she was redesignated AGSS-299 and ordered to Key West, Fla. For the next 4 years she operated as a target ship for experimental antisubmarine warfare projects of Operational Development Force, Atlantic Fleet.

On 5 July 1955, Manta departed Key West for Portsmouth, N.H., to prepare for inactivation. Towed to New London, she decommissioned 6 December 1955 and was placed in the Inactive Reserve Fleet. In April 1960 she was assigned to Naval Reserve training duties with the 3rd Naval District. Declared as excess to the needs of the Navy, she was struck from the Navy List 30 June 1967 and sunk as an aircraft target off Hampton, VA., 16 July 1969.

USS Munising (PC-1228)

USS Munising (PC-1228) was a PC-461-class submarine chaser of the United States Navy, named for the town of Munising in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For the entirety of its active service, the ship was known by its hull number PC-1228.

PC-1228 was laid down by the Leathem D. Smith Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on 7 September 1942 and launched 18 November 1942, sponsored by Mrs. C. R. Christianson. The ship was transferred down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, where it arrived on 19 May 1943. commissioned 21 May 1943, Lt. J. M. Jordan in command.

After a shakedown cruise along the Gulf Coast, PC-1228 underwent anti-submarine warfare training out of Miami during June before being sent to the Eastern Sea Frontier for duty 28 June. During the next several months the ship conducted anti-submarine patrols and escorted ships along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. On 26 November PC-1228 was ordered to steam to the Canal Zone, where it arrived in Coco Solo on 5 December. The ship patrolled the coastal waters of the Panama Canal Zone for the remainder of World War II.

With the end of the war, PC-1228 returned to the United States. The ship was sent into reserve on 24 May 1946 and was decommissioned at Green Cove Springs, Florida on 19 July 1946. On 15 February 1956, while still berthed with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, the ship was named Munising. The aging vessel was struck from the navy register on 5 September 1957 and breaking up on 1 July 1958 to the Boston Metals Company of Baltimore, Maryland.

USS Shelton (DE-407)

USS Shelton (DE-407) was a John C. Butler-class destroyer escort built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for Ensign James A. Shelton, (a naval aviator who was reported missing during the Battle of Midway), she was the first of two U.S. Naval vessels to bear the name.

Shelton's keel was laid down on 1 November 1943 by Brown Shipbuilding of Houston, Texas. The destroyer escort was launched on 18 December 1943, sponsored by Mrs. John Shelton, and commissioned on 4 April 1944 with Lieutenant Lewis B. Salomon, USNR, in command. After fitting out and loading stores, Shelton steamed out of port on 21 April, in company with Edmonds bound for Bermuda on her shakedown cruise. Upon completion, she underwent post-shakedown availability at the Boston Navy Yard from 25 May – 15 June. She departed Boston on 16 June en route to San Diego via New York City, Hampton Roads, and Balboa, Panama Canal Zone.

USS South Dakota (ACR-9)

The first USS South Dakota (ACR-9/CA-9), also referred to "Armored Cruiser No. 9", and later renamed Huron, was a United States Navy Pennsylvania-class armored cruiser.

South Dakota was laid down on 30 September 1902 by the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, California, she was launched on 21 July 1904; sponsored by Grace Herreid, daughter of Charles N. Herreid, Governor of South Dakota, and commissioned on 27 January 1908, Captain James T. Smith in command.

USS Steady (AM-118)

USS Steady (AM-118) was an Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.

Steady was laid down on 17 November 1941 by the American Ship Building Company, Cleveland, Ohio launched on 6 June 1942; sponsored by Mrs. R. P. Schlabach, Jr.; and commissioned on 16 November 1942, Lt. Comdr. F. W. Maennle, USNR, in command.

Steady sailed down the Saint Lawrence River, and stopped at Boston before proceeding to Norfolk, her home port. After completion of fitting-out and a shakedown cruise, she got under way for North Africa and arrived at Mers El Kébir, Algeria, on 13 April 1943. She operated in Algerian waters until 1 July when she joined a convoy heading, via Bizerte, Tunisia, for Sicily.

USS Sunnadin (ATA-197)

ATA-197 was laid down on 4 December 1944 at Orange, Texas, by the Levingston Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 6 January 1945; and commissioned on 15 March 1945.

ATA-197 made her shakedown cruise from Galveston, Texas, in late March and early April. She reported for duty on 11 April, then was ordered to the Pacific. The tug transited the Panama Canal on 25 April and, two days short of a month later, arrived at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She departed Pearl Harbor on 1 June and voyaged through the central Pacific to Eniwetok, Guam, Okinawa, and Saipan, towing various craft at and between those islands. On 10 August she cleared Saipan for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived two weeks later. On the 28th, she continued her voyage to San Francisco, arriving there on 5 September. A month later, she headed back to Hawaii and entered Pearl Harbor again on 15 October.

Soon after her return to Hawaii, ATA-197 was assigned to duty with the 14th Naval District, out of Pearl Harbor. With the exception of a short tour of duty with the 11th Naval District out of San Diego in 1946, she spent the next twenty years towing Navy ships between the bases in the 14th Naval District. On 16 July 1948. she was named Sunnadin, the second Navy tug to bear that name. Though her duties were concentrated in the Hawaiian Islands, Sunnadin periodically cruised to Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. More often though, her ports of call were Pearl Harbor, Palmyra Island, and Johnston Island.

On 13 October 1965, Sunnadin deployed to the western Pacific. There she participated in a hydrographic survey operation conducted by the Naval Oceano-graphic Office in the South China Sea. During that survey she entered the Vietnam combat zone, but saw no action. She returned to Pearl Harbor on 1 March 1966 and resumed normal towing duties, making one tow to Guam in the Marianas in July. On 5 October 1966, the tug was reassigned from the 14th Naval District to the Service Force, Pacific Fleet. Sunnadin served this organization for three years, still operating from Pearl Harbor. In early 1968, she made a voyage to American Samoa and Canton Island. In the fall of 1969, an Inspection and Survey Board determined that Sunnadin was unfit for further naval service and, on 20 November 1969, she was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor; and her name was struck from the Navy list. Her hulk was sold to Flynn-Learner, of Honolulu, in February 1971.

Sunnadin (ATA-197) earned one battle star for service in Vietnam.

USS Swerve (AM-121)

USS Swerve (AM-121) was an Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.

Swerve was the first U.S. Navy vessel so named. It was laid down on 27 May 1942 by John H. Mathis & Company, Camden, New Jersey; launched on 25 February 1943; sponsored by Ms. E. C. Draemel; and commissioned on 23 January 1944, Lieutenant A. Morthland, USNR, in command.

Swerve held sea trials from 1–14 February and sailed for Little Creek, Virginia, on the 15th to begin her shakedown cruise. Most of March was spent in a post-shakedown availability and in training.

USS Swift (AM-122)

USS Swift (AM-122) was an Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.

The second U.S. Naval vessel to be so named, Swift was laid down on 27 June 1942 by John H. Mathis & Company, Camden, New Jersey. The ship launched on 5 December 1942, sponsored by Mrs. J. E. Sheedy, and commissioned on 29 December 1943, Lt. Comdr. R. K. Cockey, USNR, in command. Swift held her shakedown cruise at Little Creek, Virginia, and on 11 February 1944 entered the Norfolk, Virginia Navy Yard for alterations.

USS Vesuvius (1888)

USS Vesuvius, the third ship of the United States Navy named for the Italian volcano, was a unique vessel in the Navy inventory which marked a departure from more conventional forms of main battery armament. She is considered a dynamite gun cruiser and was essentially an operational testbed for large dynamite guns.

Vesuvius was laid down in September 1887 at Philadelphia by William Cramp & Sons Ships and Engine Building Company, subcontracted from the Pneumatic Dynamite Gun Company of New York City. She was launched on 28 April 1888 sponsored by Miss Eleanor Breckinridge and commissioned on 2 June 1890 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard with Lieutenant Seaton Schroeder in command.

USS William T. Powell (DE-213)

USS William T. Powell (DE/DER-213), a Buckley-class destroyer escort of the United States Navy, was named in honor of Gunner's Mate William T. Powell (1918-1942), who was killed in action, aboard the heavy cruiser USS San Francisco off Guadalcanal on 12 November 1942.

William T. Powell was laid down on 26 August 1943 at the Charleston Navy Yard; launched on 27 November 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Elsie V. Powell, mother of Gunner's Mate Powell, and commissioned on 28 March 1944, Lieutenant James L. Davenport, United States Naval Reserve, in command.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.