Low Noise Patrol Boat

Bairdmaritime reports the Norway has received some new patrol boats (interceptors) that I find remarkable both for their speed (up to 50 knots) and for their quiet operating environments.

“We are proud to have achieved noise levels well below specification. 61 decibels in the wheelhouse and 71 in the transport room at a cruising speed of 40 knots is unique in a fast patrol boat of this size…”

They also have ” a comprehensive heating system to cope with severe Nordic winter conditions (including de-icing of deck areas).”

Things to think about when the Coast Guard ultimately starts to replace its 87 footers.

Long Range Interceptor In Action

I would not normally talk about a routine law enforcement action, but this video has some interesting aspects.

Stratton recently intercepted a second semi-submersible, that had been spotted by a Navy patrol aircraft, arresting its four crewmembers and recovering 12,000 pounds of its 16,000 pound cargo of Cocaine, before the semi-submersible sank under tow.

What I wanted to point out in the video was:

First, the instrumentation on the 35 foot Long Range Interceptor ship’s boat (time 1:12). (Correction–I made and error here, this is actually the instrumentation on a 26 foot “Over-the-Horizon (OTH) IV” of which the Coast Guard has procured 101.) It looks a lot like the “glass cockpit” of a modern light plane. Long Range Interceptors are only deployed by the Bertholf class National Security Cutters. (The OTH-IV is operated from the NSCs, WHECs, WMECs, and WPCs. Anyone know if they are also operated from WAGBs and WLBs?)

Second, was the way the boat was recovered in the stern ramp of Stratton (2:25 to 3:00). Note there is no one in the bow to attach the line that will pull the boat up onto the ramp. In 2013 we had a fatality on the Waesche because the automatic capture mechanism was not working properly and Petty Officer Travis Obendorf was on the bow of the boat. You can access the accident report here.

CG 36500, Bernie Webber’s Boat, Lives On

The Finest Hours

The Boston Globe has a nice post about the now 69 year old, 36 foot, wooden hull, motor surfboat Bernie Webber and his pick-up crew used to rescue 32 crew members trapped on the stern of an oil tanker, SS Pendleton, that had broken in half in a storm, and the people who restored and care for it.

The story of this rescue was told in a book and is being made into a movie.

I have it on good authority that the organization that maintains the boat could use some support.

CBP’s New Coastal Interceptor Vessel

MarineLink is reporting,

“SAFE Boats International informs it has been awarded a contract from U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to build up to 52 coastal interceptor vessels (CIV). Should all options be executed, the contract value would exceed $48 million.”

SAFE 41 Center Console—Offshore, from which the CIV is derived

It is perhaps interesting to contrast this boat with the Coast Guard’s Response Boat Medium (CRB-M). The CIV is optimized for speed, while the RB-M, although still relatively fast,  is optimized for staying power. The CIV is apparently powered by four outboard motors while the RB-M is powered by two inboard diesels. This gives the CIV its greater 54 knot speed compared to RB-M’s 42 knots.  The engine choice suggest that the RB-M has greater range. The RB-M provides greater protection from the elements for the crew and equipment. This again suggests that the CIVs are not expected to stay underway as long, and perhaps additionally, that they are only expected to operate in relatively mild climates like Southern California and Florida. The closed cockpits of the RB-Ms would also make communications, necessary for coordinated operations, easier, because of the lower noise level.

It appears that while the CIV cost slightly less than $1M each the RB-Ms cost slightly less than $2.5M each.

In addition to the CIV, SAFE Boats is also making the “Over the Horizon” cutter boat for the Coast Guard and the Mk VI patrol boat for the Navy.