The Coast Guard’s medium icebreaker Healy is undergoing a maintenance overhaul at Vigor Industrial, Seattle, after arriving at the Harbor Island shipyard in early January.

The $7.3 million contract includes sea valve renewal and overhaul, bow thruster modifications, ballast tank and underwater hull paint preservation, and various machinery overhauls.

The 420’x82’x29’ Healy will be at the yard, just across Seattle harbor from the icebreaker’s usual berth, through June.

The ship is one of just two U.S. government icebreakers. The 399’x83’x31 heavy icebreaker Polar Star is now on its annual deployment to resupply the U.S. science mission in Antarctica, where it arrived at McMurdo Station Jan. 17.

The Healy is the younger ship, delivered to the Coast Guard in 1999, compared to the 42-year-old Polar Star, which Coast Guard officials say now has major issues with its aging systems. The service is intent on building a new fleet of at least six icebreakers through the 2020s.



Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.