Boats and Cutters


09 January 2001

The Rigid Hull Inflatable is a hibrid of fiberglass hull and attached flotation chambers. RHIB's are assigned to many small boat stations as well as to cutters and are used for SAR and LE. The 212055 shown above operates out of Coast Guard Station Cape Charles, VA.


Meeting high standards for small boats, various sizes of the Boston Whaler , from 13 foot to 27 foot are used for law enforcement and SAR. Whalers began to see service with the USCG in the 1960's. The 30 foot self-righting, self-bailing motor lifeboat is designed to handle heavy surf conditions for coastal rescue missions. It is similar to the 44 footer but faster. The crew is exposed to the elements more than with boats with enclosed cabins. These craft were introduced to the USCG in 1986.

The 31 foot Port Security boat was designed by the Coast Guard to train personnel in boat handling techniques. There are assigned to training facilities such as Yorktown, VA.


The 41 foot utiltiy boat is in many small boat stations. It serves a variety of functions including law enforcement and SAR. The 41's enter service beginning in 1973. The 41502 is currently assigned to Coast Guard Station Cape Charles, VA. The 44 foot self righting, motor lifeboat has been used for years for SAR. It often sees service as a primary SAR vessel in areas with rough surf. It is designed to survive a roolover, should it occure, and continue on it's mission. The 44' entered service in 1963.

The 55 foot utiltiy boat is used in a variey of missions including SAR and ATON's. The 55103 is currently assigned to Station Parramore Beach at Wachapreague, VA. Her white paint was removed in 1999 to reduce weight. The 41 footer is often used in SAR cases that involve the use of aircraft such as this H60 J "Jayhawk" helo.


 For inland and shallow waters, the Coast Guard uses a wide range of small utility craft that have been fitted out for aid-to-navigation work. The 21511 currently operates out of Sabine Pass, TX.  The 55 foot Aids-to-Navigation boat began to enter service in 1976. The boats are designed for live-aboard and have small repair shops for repairing ATONS while underway. The 55110 currently opertes out of Sabine Pass, TX.

 USCGC Tackle WYTL 65604

 USCGC Morro Bay WTEG 106
The 65 foot Tackle is a harbor tug with a reinforced hull for light icebreaking. The 140 foot Morro Bay is an ice breaking tug that also serves in SAR and law enforcement roles. The Morro Bay was built in 1981 and is currently assigned to New London, CT.


U.S.C.G.C. Albacore WPB 873109

The 87 foot Albacore is one of a new class of patrol boat designed to replace the aging 82 footers. The 87's have a higher speed advantage over the 82's and somwhat resemble the larger 110 foot Island Class cutter. The Albacore is assigned to Group Hampton Roads.

 USCGC Sledge WLIC 75303
 The 75 foot Sledge and her accompanying barge opperate from the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, MD . Her mission is to establish and maintain ATONS (Aids to Navigation) in the coastal waters of Virginia. The Sledge was built in 1962.

USCGC Primrose WLIC 316

The USCGC Primrose was built in 1944 and is a 100 foot inland construction tender. She is fitted with a pile driver on the bow for construction Aids to Navigation.

USCGC Wyaconda WLR 75403

 The USCGC Wyaconda was completed in 1965. The 75 foot thender generally works with an assigned 90 foot barge. The CGC Wyaconda works the Mississippi river from mile 522.5 to mile 857.8 and services 1500 buoys and 325 shore aids.

 USCGC Chokeberry WLI 65304

  USCGC Buckthorn WLI 642
 The 65 foot Chokeberry is an inland buoy tender that currently operates out of Chrisfield, MD. It handles smaller aids to navigation in inland areas. The Chokeberry was built in 1946.  The larger 100 foot Buckthorn is assigned to the Great Lakes area of operations. It handles smaller aids to navigation in the waterways around the Great Lakes. The Buckthorn entered service in 1964.

 USCGC Aquidneck

WPB 1309

 This 110 foot Island class cutter is assigned to the Fifth Coast Guard District.She was commissioned in 1986.

USCGC Juniper WLB-201

The Juniper is the lead ship of the sixteen 225 foot class buoy tenders that are being constructed which will replace the aging 180 foot Iris class that was built during the Second World War.The Juniper is assigned to Newport, RI.

USCGC Ida Lewis WLM-551

The Ida Lewis is the lead ship of the fourteen 175 foot class buoy tenders that are being constructed which will replace the aging 157 foot Red Wood Class class that was built in the 1960's and the older 133 foot Navy YF 257 or White Sumac class that was built in the 1940's. This class is know as the "Keeper" class as they are named for Lighthouse keepers.The Lewis is assigned to Newport, RI.



 USCGC Hornbeam WLB 394
 The 180 foot bouy tender Hornbeam operates along the Atlantic Coast, is based at Cape May, N.J and services ATONS in the waters of the Fifth Coast Guard District . Built in 1944, she is one of the oldest cutters in the service and saw action in WWII.

 USCGC Laural WLB-291
 The 180 foot bouy tender Laural was built in 1942 and operates from Mayport, Fla. She went thru the SLEP program in the early 1990's and has served honorably servicing our nations ATONs for over 50 years.


 USCGC Alert WMEC 630
 The 210 foot Alert is a medium endurance cutter assinged to patrol the Atlantic Ocean. This class of cutter was designed and built in the 1960's. Extensive modernazation was done on the class in recent years to enhance her sea keeping abilities. Seen on the aft deck is an HH-52 single engine helo. The Alert is homeported in Warrenton, OR.

 USCGC Harriet Lane WMEC 903
 The 270 foot medium endurance cutter Harriet Lane is one fo the "famous" class cutters that currently operates from Coast Guard Support Center Portsmouth, VA. She is seen her with an HH-60 J "Jayhawk" helo and is used in offshore SAR and law enforement. A retractable hanger for helo ops is standard on this class of cutter. The Lane entered the service in 1984.


USCGC  Chase WHEC 718
The 378 foot Chase is a high endurance cutter built in the 1968. This class of cutter has undergone several updates over the past 30 yers. Each of these cutters can accomidate a helo on its aft landing pad. She is homeported in San Pedro, CA.

 USCGC Hamiliton WHEC 715

The high endurance cutter Hamiliton was built in 1965 and was the first of the "Hamiliton" or "Hero" class, named after Coast Guard heros and earlier cutters of the same name. The Hamiliton was named for the cutter Alexander Hamiliton which was built in 1936 and was sunk during World War II. The Hamiliton is shown prior to her refit which is displayed by the cutter Chase in the above graphic. She is homeported in San Pedro, CA.


 USCGC Polar Sea WAGB 11
The largest of the Coast Guard fleet is the 399 foot Polar class ice breaker as representated by the Polar Sea shown here. The icebreakers are painted red to add contrast to the ice and snow found in the polar regions. The Polar Sea was built in 1976. She is homeported in Seattle, WA.

 USCGC Eagle WIX 327
 The Eagle is a full rigged sailing vessel used for the trainning of cadets at the USCG Academy in New London, CT. The Eagle was part of the German Navy during World War II and was taken as part of the settlement following the war. The Eagle was built in Germany in 1936.

 USCGC Mackinaw WAGB 83
The Mackinaw was built in 1944 and serves as an icebreaker in the Great Lakes. She is homeported in Cheboygan, MI.

 USCGC Storis WMEC 38
The medium endurance cutter Storis was built in 1942 as an ice patrol tender. She has a reinforced steel hull which allows it to operate in ice conditons. The Storis patrols the Gulf of Alaska and is assigned to Kodiac, Alaska.


47 Foot Motor Lifeboat
The 47 foot self righting, motor lifeboat was designed as a replacement for the older 44 footer for SAR. It is designed to survive a rollover and has a higher speed than the older 44. The 47 was introduced in the early 1990's.