The U.S. Coast Guard’s 140-foot Bay class icebreaking tug USCGC Katmai Bay (WTGB-101) departed the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, Sept. 29, 2018, following completion of service life extension project activities as part of the In-Service Vessel Sustainment (ISVS) Program.
Katmai Bay is the sixth of nine 140-foot icebreaking tugs to undergo work through ISVS, the Coast Guard’s strategic class-by-class evaluation of its vessels to determine what major maintenance and upgrades are necessary for them to reach or extend their service lives. The program identified the 140-foot icebreaking tug as the highest priority; the project started in 2014 with the objective of accomplishing service life extension of the nine-vessel fleet.
The program is extending each cutter’s service life by 15 years and is completing upgrades to propulsion and electrical systems, replacement of the boat-launching davit and habitability improvements. All current ISVS program work is performed by the Coast Guard at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland.
Katmai Bay, namesake of an area of saltwater shoreline in the Katmai National Park and Preserve of Alaska, is the lead ship of a class of icebreaking tugboats designed to have greater multi-mission capabilities than the 110′ Calumet-class Harbor Tug (WYTM). The most significant differences include greater horsepower, greater speed, longer range, increased ice-breaking capability, hull lubrication system, greater degree of automation, and better habitability. The tugs entered service in the 1970s.
Katmai Bay will return to its homeport in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. She will be helping the USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30) in ice breaking duties.