The U.S. Coast Guard took delivery and accepted the first boat in a new fleet of cutter boats-large (CB-Ls) on Aug. 22 in Charleston, South Carolina.
The service completed testing before acceptance and delivery and will conduct additional testing – interface test and evaluation and the operational test and evaluation – over the next few months to verify suitability and effectiveness before moving to full production.
The CB-Ls will replace the current fleet of 36 24-foot cutter boats that currently operate aboard the USCG’s 210-foot medium endurance cutters (WMEC), 225-foot seagoing buoy tenders (WLB), and Coast Guard cutters, USCGC Alex Haley (WMEC-39) and USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30). The boats will support operations on the East, West, and Gulf Coasts, as well as in Hawaii, Guam and Alaska.
The contract for the cutter boats-large was awarded to MetalCraft Marine U.S. Inc. in September last year. The initial $590K delivery order was for two CB-Ls, trailers, delivery, training and associated logistics documentation. The contract awarded had a maximum value of $20 million and allows for the acquisition of more boats over an ordering period of five years.
Cutter Boats are carried onboard all Coast Guard Cutters, and are typically launched from davits or stern ramps. All cutters have at least one boat.