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The Island Class program which was completed in 1992, began in 1982 as an effort by the Government to procure "off the shelf" patrol boats in response to congressional and administration imperatives to increase maritime law enforcement resources in the inland and coastal waters of the southeastern United States. Today, WPBs can even be found patrolling the waters of the Persian Gulf, assisting and protecting U.S. Navy assets.
The Island Class project which was completed in 1992, began in 1982 as an effort to procure "off the shelf" patrol boats in response to congressional and administration imperatives to increase law enforcement resources in the southeast United States. The Coast Guard was so pleased with these vessels, their deployment was extended as far west as Guam and as far north as Alaska.
The Coast Guard awarded the first contract in August 1984, to Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. An option for a sixteenth boat was approved in May 1985. On February 11, 1987, the United States Navy awarded a contract for twenty-one cutters, after securing the Island Class license from Bollinger. During the construction phase of the second contract, the U.S. Navy exercised options for twelve additional boats, bringing the total number of Island Class cutters to forty-nine.
The new cutters are based on an existing patrol craft (parent craft) modified by Bollinger to suit Coast Guard requirements. The parent craft, the Vosper Thornycroft (UK) ltd. 33 meter patrol boat has been operated in several countries. The WPB possesses the same hull form and dimensions, underwater appendages and propulsion configuration as the parent craft. The hull is a semi-displacement type mono hull made of high strength steel; the main deck and superstructure are aluminum. Active fin stabilization is added to enhance sea keeping.
Length: 110 feet
Beam: 21 feet
Draft: 7 feet (at "A" Class Full Load)
|Displacement||A Class||B Class||C Class|
|Full Load||165 tons||155 tons||153 tons|
|Half Load||136 tons||138 tons||137 tons|
The cutters of the Island Class are capable of enduring unsupported operations for five days. The accommodations onboard are for two officers and sixteen enlisted personnel. The propulsion plant consists of two Paxman-Valenta 16 CM engines for "A" and "B" Class and two Caterpillar 3516 for "C" Class. The electricity aboard is supplied by two 99 KW Caterpillar 3304T diesel generators capable of parallel operation. Armament aboard "A" and "B" Class WPB's is one 25mm machine gun and two M60 (7.62mm) light machine guns. The "C" Class cutters are armed with one 25mm machine gun, two 50 caliber machine guns and two M60 (7.62mm) light machine guns.
The Island Class is fitted with the latest in navigation and communication systems available including satellite navigation, Loran C and surface search radar with collision avoidance capabilities.