US Coast Guard photo
The Coast Guard has four 52 foot motor life boats, all built in the 1960s, all in the Thirteenth District:
Victory -Station Yaquina Bay, Newport, Ore.
Invincible II -Station Grays Harbor, Westport, Wash.
Triumph II -Station Cape Disappointment, Ilwaco, Wash.
Intrepid –Station Coos Bay, Charleston, Ore.
The Coast Guard’s information sheet regarding this class is available here (pdf). There is also a short Wikipedia entry here.
These boats were brought to my attention by a reader who felt they needed replacement and further suggested that a replacement might also be useful for seasonal work in the Arctic.
I have to assume they have some unique capabilities, for these fifty year old boats to have been retained when first 44s and then 47 foot MLBs might have replaced them. At 32 tons they are considerably bigger than the 20 ton 47 footers, and they have considerably more range. It also appears they have more comfortable accommodations for extended missions.
The reader alluded to, recommended a C. Raymond Hunt designed, 61 foot 43 ton pilot/rescue boat, built by Gladding Hearn Shipbuilding. Somerset, Mass, for service in Bermuda.
Earlier we discussed the Netherlands’ new 32.5 ton design that might also be an appropriate replacement. There is also more here.
At any rate it would be a small class, probably less than ten, but we would not necessarily have to start from scratch in seeking a replacement for these now very old, but apparently uniquely useful rescue vessels.