In September of 2008, after an open competition with many major U.S shipyards vying for the award, Bollinger was again selected by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to design and construct up to 34 Sentinel Class Fast Response Cutters. The FRC, a new generation of high speed USCG patrol boats, will replace the Coast Guard’s Island Class cutters built by Bollinger nearly a quarter century ago.
The winning Bollinger design is based on the Damen STAN Patrol 4708 parent craft; a design concept which features an elongated hull form forward of the pilothouse that greatly improves seakeeping, operability and habitability by significantly reducing ship vertical motions in the principal crew operating and living spaces.
The Bollinger FRC measures 154-ft x 26-ft x 9.5-ft and is powered by two (2) TIER II main diesel engines rated at 5760 Brake Horsepower. With a top speed over 28 knots, the cutter's missions include search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, drug and illegal migrant interdiction, homeland security and maritime defense. The vessel design accommodates a mixed gender crew of twenty-two for up to five days of continuous patrol duty with capabilities which include an extensive electronics suite providing improved command and control with sophisticated communications interoperability.
Capitalizing on production lessons learned during the previous two USCG patrol boat contracts, Bollinger made significant capital investment in our production facilities directly benefitting the FRC and future USCG projects. Incorporating LEAN manufacturing methodologies, we completed an 14,400 ft2 addition to the FRC erection building incorporating a 2nd floor level warehouse, supervisory and planning offices and employee break and restroom facilities. Below are located new craft shops for electrical and carpentry. This mezzanine level facility provides direct access to the newly erected work platforms designed to allow production workers to directly access the FRC at the main deck level, significantly reducing the need to climb stair towers to retrieve tools, parts and equipment now issued through the 2nd floor outfitting warehouse. Additional capital improvements include a new 13,200ft2 aluminum production facility for deckhouse production and a new CNC pipe bending machine to facilitate in-house production of pipe spools up to 8 inches in diameter.
The first cutter was delivered to its homeport in Miami, Florida, one of the most active and demanding Coast Guard mission areas. At the peak of production Bollinger will be delivering a new cutter every eight weeks.
For nearly 25 years, Bollinger has provided superior design, manufacturing and integrated logistics support services to the USCG addressing the Service’s increasingly challenging missions. During this time Bollinger has built 124 patrol craft for the USCG, including 2 Foreign Military Sales (FMS) units for the Republic of Malta and 2 additional FMS units for the Republic of Yemen.