Bollinger Shipyards has become an indelible mark on the U.S. Coast Guard, and vice versa. What began in 1996 as a contract from the U.S. Coast Guard to build one 87-ft. Marine Protector Class Coastal Patrol Boat (CPB) with options, has led to the delivery of 50 of the CPB's. Bollinger delivered the USCG Petrel, the last of the 50 Coast Guard boats on Sept. 4.
For a U.S. boatbuilder, there are few better things than having a close relationship with the USCG in these times of heightened security alert, and expanding boat budgets.
Because of increased homeland security and other mission requirements, the Coast Guard has received authorization for Bollinger to build up to 13 additional CPB's. Funding has been secured for four and construction will begin on the 51st USCG boat in the fourth quarter of 2002, with delivery planned for the vessel in Sept 2003. The others will follow at one month intervals.
The Marine Protector Class boats are multi-mission platforms capable of performing Search and Rescue (SAR), Law Enforcement (LE), and Fisheries Patrols, as well as drug interdiction and illegal alien interdiction duties up to 200 miles offshore. The Bollinger built CPB's are based on the Damen STAN 2600 design developed for the Hong Kong police.
Bollinger modified the design to meet U. S. Coast Guard requirements some of which are: Maximum continuous speed of 25 knots; Patrol speed not less than 10 knots; Maneuvering speed not greater than four knots with one engine continuously engaged; Berthing for a mix of male/female crew members of 10 plus a spare berth; Maximum crew comfort consistent with the operational requirements, and provisions for stores for a crew of 10 for a five day mission.
The delivered 50 patrol boats are nearly identical. They are 87 ft. long (26.5 m) long, 19 ft.-4 in. wide (5.92 m) with a maximum draft of 5 ft.-8 in. (1.74 m).
They were designed in accordance with the ABS Guide for Building and Classing High Speed Crafts, and are capable of towing vessels weighing up to 200 tons. One of the most important features is its ability to carry, launch and recover a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) in seas up to 8 ft. (2.5 m) wave height. Bollinger drew upon the experience of David Cannell, a famous English marine designer, in the design of the RIB stern launch and recovery system.
The navigation station faces forward and can accommodate full sized charts without folding. The Electronic Chart Display (ECDIS) with radar overlay is visible from the navigation station, the helmsman's position, and the commanding officer's chair. The ECDIS system is a Windows-based computer system that has pre-programmed search and rescue patterns including track line, expanding square, and sector searches. This single unit can display "own ship" and all radar "targets" on the selected navigational chart
at their current position.
The cutters have a ship's office to house the U.S. Coast Guard Standard Workstation (personal computer) and a fiber optic Local Area Network (LAN) that can be used internally or externally when connected to a shore tie. Accommodations for two safes for the storage of classified material are also provided in the ship's office.
A pair of MTU 8V 396 TE94 diesel engines developing 1,500 hp drive five-blade propellers on each of the boats through ZF BW 255 reverse/reduction gears.
The RIB launch and recovery system allows for the safe and rapid deployment and recovery of the RIB with minimal assistance from the crew of the "mother" ship. To launch, the boat crew boards the RIB and starts its diesel water-jet engine. The mother ship's transom gate is raised hydraulically from the down position to an open position parallel to and over the main deck. The crew then activates a quick release hook, allowing the force of gravity to slide the RIB down a 13-degree incline and out of the stern. For recovery, the coxswain can either drive the RIB into the notch and up the incline where a crew member passes a line over a Samson post to capture the craft or the coxswain can winch the RIB into the notch using a high speed electric winch mounted on the main deck of the mother ship. The aluminum hull RIB has a foam collar with an inflatable bladder beneath it to provide durability and safety. The RIB has a top speed in excess of 20 knots when carrying six crewmembers but approaches 30 knots with a two-person crew.