The U.S. Coast Guard’s 225-foot Juniper-class seagoing buoy tender, USCGC Sycamore (WLB-209) arrived at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland, on March 25, to begin midlife maintenance availability (MMA) work as part of the In-Service Vessel Sustainment (ISVS) program.
The buoy tender, which was previously based in Cordova, Alaska, is the seventh of 16 Juniper-class ships to undergo an MMA. Work includes updates to the machinery control system, HVAC systems and propellers; an overhaul of the deck equipment and weight handling gear; and topside preservation. Upon completion, the cutter will relocate to Duluth, Minnesota.
Sycamore entered service in 2002; the renovations are designed to increase operational availability and mission capability over the remainder of the ship’s 30-year service life.
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 horsepower, 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.