“Coast Guard to Recapitalize Aids-to-Navigation Boats” –Seapower

49 foot ANB, Boston

The Navy League’s magazine “Seapower” reports,

“We’re going to do a detailed design and construction award in the spring of 2022 to replace our half-centurion working aids-to-navigation boats,” said Adm. Karl Schultz, the Coast Guard commandant, speaking 28 Sept. at a webinar of the Heritage Foundation.

Shultz said the service plans to procure about 35 new ANBs, “but I believe we will be able to shrink down to about 30 really capable boats,” although he did not specify the type or types of ANBs to be replaced.

We currently have seven types of aid to navigation boats, as described in the link:

  • The 18-foot aids to navigation-medium cutter boat is used by the Keeper Class Coastal Buoy Tenders to transport equipment to a construction site and also used at small boat stations for emergency response to floods or areas where a shallow water response is necessary.
  • The 20-foot aids to navigation boat-small and 16-foot aids to navigation boat-skiff primarily aid to navigation servicing, construction, repair and discrepancy response.
  • The 26-foot trailerable aids to navigation boat serves as the workhorse for aids to navigation teams.
  • The 49-foot stern loading buoy boat supports the short-range aids to navigation missions.
  • The 55-foot aluminum hull can operate in moderately rough weather in coastal and inland waters.
  • The 64-foot self-propelled barge primarily operates on the protected rivers and protected waters

My Combat Fleets of the World, still the latest edition, copyright 2013, lists three 64 foot WYGL, 17 55ft, 26 49ft BUSL (Boat, Utility, Stern Load), 90 26ft tailerable WYGL, 48 (+47 additional planned) 20ft ANB,S (aids to navigation, small), and 30 (+30 additional planned)16ft aids to navigation skiffs (WYTL). The numbers quoted in the article are only different with regard to the 55ft boats.

As of last year, the Coast Guard operated a fleet of ANBs that included three 64-foot and four 55-foot ANB, 26 49-foot stern-loading buoy-servicing boats, 90 26-foot and five 17-to-23-foot transportable ANBs, as well as numerous smaller skiffs.

Apparently we have already ditched 13 of the 55ft boats. Presumably the older ones.

Sounds like the intention is to replace all the 49, 55, and 64 foot boats.

  • The 64ft self propelled barges entered service 1996-97.
  • The 55ft boats, built by the Coast Guard Yard, entered service 1977-1988.
  • The 49ft boats, built by the Coast Guard Yard, entered service 1997-2000.

Not quite as old as the Commandant seems to indicate, but definitely time to start replacement. It appears all the smaller AtoN boats entered service in the last 15 years.

Thanks to Lee for bringing this to my attention. 

6 thoughts on ““Coast Guard to Recapitalize Aids-to-Navigation Boats” –Seapower

  1. the 55107 is still in service. i ran it at ant woods hole, it has since been moved to seattle, wa. so if they have retired 13 they didn’t do it in order of when built. imagine it was condition driven. 55 was a good boat for going off shore for discrepancies or service of off shore aids, such as thankfully long gone nantucket lnb or to nantucket island in general to service aids. running out to just natucket in the old 45 footer, long trip even for our newer 49.

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