Bollinger Shipyards LLC has delivered the cutter William Sparling to the Coast Guard in Key West, Fla. The new cutter is the 180th vessel Bollinger has delivered to the Coast Guard over a 35-year period and the 54th fast response cutter (FRC) delivered under the current program. The new FRC will be homeported in Boston.

The 154'x25'5"x9'6" FRCs are being deployed in support of the full range of Coast Guard missions and other branches of the U.S. armed services due to its performance, expanded operational reach and capabilities, and ability to transform and adapt to the mission. 

FRCs have conducted operations as far away as the Marshall Islands — a 4,400-nautical-mile trip from their homeport. The cutters have a flank speed of 28 knots, state of the art C4ISR suite (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), and stern launch and recovery ramp for a 26', over-the-horizon interceptor cutter boat.

For the FRC, Bollinger is using a proven, in-service parent craft design based on the Damen Stan Patrol Boat 4708. Main propulsion comes from twin MTU 20V4000 M93L diesel engines, producing 2,900 hp each. 

“We’re confident that pound for pound, the quality and capabilities of the FRC platform is unmatched, and that this vessel will outperform its mission requirements and expectations in the challenging conditions where it will operate in the North Atlantic," Bollinger President and CEO Ben Bordelon said in a prepared statement. "We look forward to continuing our historic partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard.”

The William Sparling will be the fifth of six FRCs to be homeported in Sector Boston, which is responsible for coastal safety, security, and environmental protection from the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border southward to Plymouth, Mass., out to 200nm offshore. 

Sector Boston directs over 1,500 active duty, reserve, and auxiliary members whose mission is to protect and secure vital infrastructure, rescue mariners in peril at sea, enforce federal law, maintain navigable waterways, and respond to all hazards affecting the maritime transportation system and coastal region.

The Coast Guard’s fiscal year 2024 unfunded priorities list includes procuring four more FRCs (which would be the 66th through 69th in the program) to provide increased Coast Guard presence and engagement with allied and partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region.