SAFE Boats International won a contract from the USCG Office of Boat Forces in Washington, DC to build two self-righting 42-ft. Archangel Class vessels.
Designated by the USCG and the Department of Homeland Security as the Special Purpose Craft – Near Shore Lifeboat (SPC-NLB), the NLB is 100 percent designed and manufactured in the US by SBI at the Port Orchard, Wash., factory.
The USCG plans to operate the NLB in varying sea and weather conditions along the entire coast of the U.S. and use it as a fast response
and utility boat. The hull design will allow the NLB to operate in shallow water areas and transit surf zones through breaking seas in excess of 15-ft. The self-righting characteristics of the NLB allow it to continue operation with minimal degradation to performance and safety in the unlikely event of a knock down or roll over.
The multi-mission NLB is slotted for a multitude of operations such as SAR, recreational boating safety, law enforcement, and Port, Waterways and Coastal Security (PWCS) including ferry boat escorts.
The NLB is outfitted with forward and aft weapons stations capable of handling automatic weapons including M240 and .50 caliber machine guns. Weapons will normally be deployed during PWCS missions.
Designed with a stout keel and reinforced beaching plate the NLB can beach itself on harsh landings while allowing for full control and operation of the propulsion system.
The twin Caterpillar C9 diesel engines coupled to Hamilton 322 waterjets via ZF 305 transmissions will allow the NLB to run in excess of 35 knots. The engines are equipped with a level detecting switch that prompts the engines back to idle RPM in a roll over situation to prevent “dry-run” damage to the cooling system. The proprietary, self cleaning sand trap/sea strainer allows the engines to draw water from 2 different sources and clear debris that would clog most raw water cooling systems.
The electronics suite includes a comprehensive NavNet VX2 Navigational integrated system provided by Furuno. The console is set up so the vessel can be operated from either port or starboard with the starboard control station being the primary point of operation for the coxswain.
The first vessel is due to be delivered to the USCG National Motor Lifeboat School in Ilwaco, WA in mid February, 2008. The second vessel will be berthed at the USCG Station in Chatham, MA by mid March, 2008.