The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is making a significant upgrade to its small boat fleet following an order placed for 25 rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) from Zodiac Hurricane Technologies. The order is valued at $5m and represents a major commitment by the Coast Guard towards maintaining the quality and effectiveness of its equipment. The Zodiac Hurricane Model 753 boats will be manufactured at the company’s factory at Delta, British Columbia and will be used by the Coast Guard for both shore based and shipboard search and rescue work.
The new 26.2 ft Zodiacs have been chosen to replace earlier models that, in some cases, have been in service with the Canadian Coastguard for up to 17 years. In that time the boat has established a reputation for dependable seaworthiness by demonstrating an ability to work in 16.5 ft swells and, being powered by two 175 horse power outboards, the Zodiac 753 RIB has the ability to reach speeds up to 48 knots. The CCG operates its rescue boats with a crew of three which gives them the capacity to carry up to nine survivors.
Zodiac Hurricane Technologies enjoys a close relationship with the Canadian Coast Guard and has worked with it to develop a specification that meets its needs. The 753 model is a Transport Canada, IMO SOLAS approved rescue boat. By refining the specifications of the new boats, Zodiac has been able to supply new RIBS that provide the rugged seaworthiness and features that the CCG has become used-to.
Customisation of the new boats has included refining their ergonomics to meet the operational needs of the Coast Guard crews. Improvements include the development of a new generation of Zodiac’s three-person fibreglass Delta console with two-person wide aft navigation/communications console and Shockwave S2 shock reducing seating. The boats will be delivered with navigation/communications systems installed that include either Raymarine or Garmin equipment. The suites include radar, chart plotter, GPS, VHF radios and echo sounder. The Canadian Coast Guard also adds equipment specific to its search and rescue and other missions.
The full quota of the new Zodiacs will be distributed among Canadian Coast Guard stations and ready for operation in Spring 2010.