47 Foot MLB Service Life Extension Program

47-Foot Motor Life Boat (MLB) 47231 from Station Morrow Bay, 4 Dec 2007. Photo by Mike Baird

MarineLink reports on the Coast Guard’s service life extension program for the 47 foot motor life boats.

“In the summer of 2020, Birdon America delivered the first of the upgraded 47 MLBs which was accepted by the U.S. Coast Guard. It had passed or exceeded all the U.S. Coast Guard requirements under the contract. Birdon will now proceed with the service life extension of over 100 of these vessels built between 1997 and 2003. Work on the first boat was completed at the All-American Marine yard in Bellingham, Wash. Other west coast boats will follow. The 47 MLBs on the east coast will be upgraded at an east coast yard beginning in 2022…a pair of US-built, 6-cylinder, Cummins QSC8.3-M engines were chosen for the repower as part of the MLB Service Life Extension Program (SLEP). These EPA3-rated engines have four valves per cylinder and produce 530 BHP each at 2,600 RPM. They replace the original 435-hp Detroit 6V92TA mains. The new engines exceed the contracted requirements in terms of noise reduction and fuel economy.”

Thanks to Lee for bringing this to my attention. 

2 thoughts on “47 Foot MLB Service Life Extension Program

  1. The National Motor Lifeboat School posted some pictures recently about the first MLB to come out of the program. https://www.facebook.com/NMLBS/posts/2850974551801803

    It clearly shows some changes to the helm position with enhanced seats and LED spotlights mounted near the radar. I’d love to see more pictures and details about the upgrades but Google revealed only general info. I’m sure there will be more available as other boats are upgraded.

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