The U.S. Coast Guard’s 225-foot Juniper-class seagoing buoy tender, USCGC Sycamore (WLB-209) departed the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, April 14, following completion of its major maintenance availability (MMA).
The MMA is one of several projects that comprise the In-Service Vessel Sustainment (ISVS) program to enhance mission capability, improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs of the service’s legacy cutter fleet.
USCGC Sycamore, which started undergoing the MMA work in March 2019, is the seventh of 16 225-foot seagoing buoy tenders to undergo this process through the ISVS Program. The work will keep the tenders in service another 15 years and includes topside preservation and updates to the machinery control system, HVAC systems, propellers, deck equipment and weight handling gear.
USCGC Sycamore was built by the Marinette Marine Corporation in Wisconsin, launched in July 2001 and commissioned in Cordova, Alaska on 2 July 2002.
The vessel has a length of 225 ft (69 m), a beam of 46 ft (14 m), and a draft of 13 ft (4.0 m). Sycamore is propelled by two Caterpillar diesel engines rated at 3,100 hp, and has a top speed of 16 knots. She has a single controllable-pitch propeller, which along with bow and stern thrusters, allow the ship to be maneuvered to set buoys close offshore and in restricted waters.
A dynamic global positioning system coupled with machinery plant controls and a chart display and information system allow station-keeping of the ship with an accuracy of within five meters of the planned position without human intervention. Sycamore is also equipped with an oil-skimming system known as the Spilled Oil Recovery System (SORS), which is used in her mission of maritime environmental protection. The cutter has a 2,875 square foot buoy deck area with a crane that is used for servicing large ocean buoys.
Sycamore will be stationed in Newport, Rhode Island.