If Vigor Shipyards in Seattle gets the OPC construction contract, it will be conveniently positioned to take delivery of the designated small cutter boats that the Coast Guard will equip them with.
In June, the Coast Guard awarded Bremerton, Wash.-based SAFE Boats International a contract for the construction of up to 101 Over-the-Horizon IV cutter boats. The seven-year contract could be worth $59 million. The Coast Guard will use 71 of the boats for its larger cutters, including the National Security Cutter and the Offshore Patrol Cutter. The contract also includes 10 boats for the Navy and up to 20 boats for Customs and Border Protection.
Janice Willis, project manager at SAFE, said the boat was based on the company’s 250X Center Console model, one of which was built for the Alaska State Police. The 40-knot open boat will be powered by a single 480-hp Cummins diesel turning a HamiltonJet HJ292 waterjet. The SAFE OTH-IV cutter was selected following the testing and evaluation of three competing boats. The other two were supplied by Silver Ships and Metalcraft/Brunswick.
“We haven’t received our first delivery order yet,” said Willis. “They’re still doing some testing on one of the NSCs. The first one will take about 120 days and then we’ll ramp up to one boat every 30 days and then up to 20 or 21 a year.”