The Manitowoc Company, Inc. and its subsidiary, Marinette Marine Corporation
, will partner with Kvichak Marine Industries, Inc. to develop and construct a prototype Response Boat Medium (RB-M) for the U.S. Coast Guard
. Kvichak, located in Seattle with full-service waterfront facilities, will build the prototype RB-M. The Marinette/Kvichak team is using a design developed by Camarc, Ltd., an expert in the design of water jet-driven high-speed aluminum boats. Marinette Marine will serve as the prime contractor and program manager for the project. Delivery of the $2.5-million test boat is expected in late 2003.
“We are pleased to work with the Northwest’s finest high-speed aluminum boat builder on this very important project,” said Dennis McCloskey, president of Manitowoc’s Marine Group. “We believe the strengths of Marinette Marine and Kvichak Marine greatly compliment each other and will result in a high-quality class of vessels that will serve the Coast Guard’s multi-mission needs for many years to come.”
The Marinette/Kvichak team, along with two other contractors, will each build a RB-M test boat as part of the competitive process. After evaluating each prototype vessel, conducting extensive sea trials, and reviewing competitive proposals from the shipyards, the Coast Guard intends to award a contract for a fleet of approximately 180 RB-M vessels to replace its aging fleet of 41-foot Utility Boats. The six-year contract is expected to be awarded in 2004. Marinette and Kvichak will share vessel construction if awarded the production
contract. The new fleet, which will perform missions such as homeland security and search-and-rescue operations, will be safer, more efficient, and more cost-effective for the Coast Guard to operate and maintain due to standardized systems, improved maintenance, and logistics support capabilities. The new RB-Ms will be highly maneuverable and capable of speeds exceeding 40 knots (46 mph).