Contracts for New Response Boat (Small)

Response Boat-Small
Legacy 25’ Defender Class RB-S. USCG photo by PA2 Andy Kendrick

The Acquisition Directorate has announced, “On February 4, 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard awarded two fixed price Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts to begin replacement of the current Response Boat-Small (RB-S) fleet, which is nearing the end of its ten-year service life.”

The two designs will compete for final selection of a winning design that is expected to lead to contracts for up to 500 boats totaling as much as $193.1M.

The latest iteration of the RB-S will have an approximate length of 25 feet, be capable of at least 40 knots, a minimum range of 150-nautical miles and a crew of four.  The new RB-S will also have a standardized communications and navigation suite as well as an increased emphasis on ergonomics and crew comfort.”

14 thoughts on “Contracts for New Response Boat (Small)

  1. I wonder why they don’t just buy more of the existing design? I am not a boat guy so I don’t know if there is a problem with the existing RBS design, but if not it seems like we might as well stick with what is working.

    • SAFE Boats International, the company that built the original is one of the two competitors, so I don’t think the new one will be much different from the existing design, just evolved, hopefully for the better.

    • I wonder if the CG is interested in spending that much on fuel for Auxiliary patrols. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love it if our flotilla had a boat that wasn’t owned by one of our members (and subject to their availability), but I’m not sure those Defenders would be what I would want.

      • It would be nice if CG let the Auxiliary use the RBS or even let them have the worn out earlier versions of the RBS and it would be subject to what the needs of CG are at hand. I also think when CG finally switches over to the RBM, they should consider giving the old 41 UTB’s to the Auxiliary for use as well.

  2. There is at least one 25′ in D17 that has been turned over to the AUX. I see an old 41′ in Grand Haven and there is an old 82′ cutter in New York. Out here we have an 80′ fishing boat as a Facility as well. A few RBSes shouldn’t suck up too much fuel if you put a non-emergency limit on their speed.

  3. Hello,

    a few questions:

    Is $386,000 a reasonable price for a 25′ boat?
    Is there anything on the current boats which needs to be improved upon?
    Is there any scope for reducing the number of boat classes in Coast Guard service?


    • I can’t afford one, but these are both extremely fast and extremely seaworthy. They are very impressive in the flesh. There will be up to 470 in the Coast Guard so it is standardization.

  4. You have got to be crapping me. $400,000 for a 25 foot boat, bulk purchased. Gawd, I can’t wait to pay taxes. Not even Paul Allen boasts having that kind of money in a runabout.

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