In the late 1960s, Andy Lococo took several fishing trips to Mexico. In 1972, Andy had commissioned what was at the time, the largest tuna boat in the world.
The Largest Tuna Boat in the World
Around July 1968, Andy Lococo sought funding for the boat, explaining to officials that he wanted to start a commercial fishing operation. Andy estimated the cost to be between one and two million dollars. (This would be about $7-14 million in 2019.) When challenged on his fishing experience, Andy said he would form a corporation with an experienced crew. Plans were approved and the boat – ship, rather – was on its way.
The Margaret L
The ship was named after Andy’s wife, and called the “Margaret L.” The bow of the ship had the distinct Lococo branding. In addition, decorative elles were painted on either side of the bow. The Margaret L was designed by Rados Western Corporation and built by Peterson Builders of Wisconsin. In the summer of 1972, the ship was christened by Margaret Lococo. The ship left the Great Lakes and planned to fish in Puerto Rican and African waters. The American-made ship was registered in Puerto Rico.
A popular sea magazine at the time described parts of the ship:
“The hull above the waterline is painted a brilliant red, whereas the super- structure is painted white. There is a helicopter platform on the forward deck.”
A helicopter on board? We’d expect nothing less from the largest tuna boat in the world! This photo was supplied by the Lococo family to the authors of the book, San Diego’s Fishing Industry.
In addition, the interior rooms of the Margaret L were also impressive. Not a surprise, coming from the owner of a successful hotel. It isn’t hard to imagine Andy’s oversight influenced the outcome of the beautiful staterooms.
What happened to the Margaret L? According to authors Kimber M. Quinney and Thomas J. Cesarini, the largest tuna boat in the world sank off the coast of Costa Rica in 1976. Thankfully, the crew was saved.
Were you around during the time of Margaret L? Do you know anything about this ship? Comment below!