MetalCraft Marine US just delivered three new patrol boats to the US Coast Guard in Pensacola, Florida. The 7M is the smallest in the MetalCraft Interceptor model line, but although small, it is designed to look like a large boat with its weight and rugged construction and smooth, dry, ride.
The 7M RIB, designated, Cutter-Boat-Large (CB-L) is a Coast Guard IDIQ cutter-boat replacement program that will see up to 46 7M CB-Ls delivered to the fleet. The boat is propelled by a single VolvoPenta D-3 diesel engine with double propulsion and makes 38 knots. The boats are designed according to the ISO 12215 category A structural standard, (unlimited sea state) and the ABYC standard for all systems.
The semi-rigids are equipped with a Raymarine C4ISR electronic package, David Clark communication system, shock attenuating seat by All Salt Shox seats, Wing foam collar, quick-hinged radar arch, long gun locker, full opening engine hatch with ABYC sill, four-point and three-point lifting eyes, zipwake Automatic trim controlled by gyroscope and list controller.
As shipboard cutter boats, they will be used for a myriad of tasks, from ship’s workboat to search and rescue, drug interdiction, crew transfer and all that is necessary to provide services to the ship and crew.
MetalCraft is also building the first set of Ohio State Department of Natural Resources 8M and 10M interceptors for patrol, search and rescue, fisheries violations, and support to CBP, USCG and municipal activities on Lake Erie. Ohio DNR signed a three-year standing offer with MetalCraft US and was heavily involved in the final design.
The 8M IN (26′) will be powered by Yamaha twin 300 HP O/Bds and will cruise at around 50 knots. The 8M IN has two Shoxs bulkhead mounted crew seats with height adjustment and folding seats, safety harnesses and adjustable suspension to suit any rider. The aluminum T-top has been widened in width and length to provide the best weather protection with integrated gutters, handrails and full enclosure weather tracking. The rear locker is attached to the T-posts and features a lockable locker for long guns and revolver storage and a computer docking station as well as abundant space for other items.
The electronic suite includes a main GPS, Garmin 8612X with 24 NM radar and a backup Hummingbird APEX 12.
The larger 10M Interceptor (34′) is a full cabin boat with a large cuddy and is powered by a twin Yamaha 425s with an expected speed of 50 knots. The engines will be equipped with Yamaha’s Seastar independent joystick steering system. There are twin Shoxs bulkhead mounted seats with height adjustable, suspension and folding seats, with the seats folded down it allows easy entry/exit to the near full height sliding side doors and access to the side decks. A good crewman could lasso a dock cleat from his seat, MetalCraft officials joked in a statement announcing the patrol boat contracts.
The windows are large aluminum framed windows that meet ABYC sightlines. The spotter’s front and side overhang windows provide straight-ahead and high-angle side and front views needed when approaching large vessels or large piers. A unique feature of the side windows is that during a rough maneuver the side windows are at eye level and remove what would normally be a major blind spot for an operator. The doors are fully glazed for increased visibility when docking or searching up close.
The cabin has an interior headroom of 6’10” and the cuddy cabin has a generous headroom of 5’11”. The cuddy has a head to starboard and a bench seat to port, and there is a step to access the cuddy’s forward door to the foredeck. There are hinged panels behind each dashboard for access to all dashboard accessories and electronics. The master cabin has an L-shaped bench seat to port with a small table and chart table to starboard and an offset starboard-facing sliding aft door.
The cabin is fully air-conditioned, with an aft generator mounted in the lazarette locker supplying power to the Domestic HVAC unit with 16,000 BTUs of heat and air. There is also a powerful diesel heater by Webasto which defrosts the windshields and heats the master and cuddy cabins with 40,000 BTUs of heat.
The 10M boat electronics are complete with a Raymarine Axiom Pro 16″ display for 24 NM radar, GPS, FLIR camera and Blue Force Tracker systems. A second set of Humminbird APEX 16″ and 19″ displays used for dive missions and a powerful side-scan sonar.
Both boats are equipped with a hinged bow ramp with ladder for exit/entry to and from the water from the bow and for beach landings, most Lake Erie shorelines are beaches . Although little known, many rescues occur on beaches where thousands of people come to play and, of course, some and hopefully few make it to the hospital before returning home. Both boats are equipped with full size dive doors which can easily accept an aft rescue as the deck height is set as low as possible and meets ISO stability standards. Diving ladders can be placed on either side. There are dive lights for orientation of divers in warm water. With the three dive ladder points, if the boat was moored to a dock and another vessel was moored alongside it, there would still be access to the bow for diving operations.
Both boats are also fitted with a hydraulic ram plate assembly built by Porta Products. Unique Jack Plates extend the outboard motors farther from the transom in a cantilever motion far enough from the transom that at slow to medium speeds the propellers can pass slightly above the bottom of the transom. boat, allowing the boat operator a much wider operating range in shallow water. without risk of damaging transmissions or props.
Lake Erie is not just an inland lake. Lake Erie is known as the most dangerous of the Great Lakes because it’s so shallow it can blast choppy chop and very steep waves in minutes, not hours. Its wave heights have been recorded up to 16′, but are straight from top to bottom and very irregular. The Interceptors were designed specifically for choppy waters and their thin entry and variable deadrise provide a smooth, dry ride. If a wave is about to break on the foredeck, the operator presses the throttle and instantly raises the bow up to 16° as tested.
Additionally, MetalCraft is building the second Interceptor 43/44 for the Port of Corpus Christi. This is the same boat built for the Los Angeles Port Police that won work boat‘s Boat of the Year for 2020.
The port security boat for Corpus Christi is a multi-mission boat that provides police and security patrols, escorts ships, supports pilots when needed, search and rescue and is equipped with a high power firefighting for rapid firefighting support.
The boat works very long shifts 24/7 and expects 2,500 to 2,800 hours of operation per year. The engines are Cummins 8.3L engines with five-year extended Cummins warranty provided. They are rated at 600 hp each and the power Hamiltonjet 322 water jets through ZF marine gear. The boat makes 38 knots fully loaded. Hamilton jets are equipped with the Hamilton Blue Arrow Mouseboat steering on both stations. The mouse controller at the main bar is mounted in a smooth push-button slide-out drawer for storage when not in use. The rear helm station looks a bit like a nice aluminum barbecue when the hinged lockable lid is lowered. The console houses an engine display, GPS display, wheel, standard bucket throttle controls and a Blue Arrow mouse controller. The helm is far aft by the starboard transom and the helmsman fits into a nook in the aft railings and has 360° support in a sea lane. Police POCC crew members say the rear bar is an amazing control feature for safe handling in tight spaces.
The master cabin and cuddy cabin are voluminous and designed for comfort for very long hours while patrolling and escorting ships in the largest oil exporting port in the United States. Master cabin headroom is 6’10”, cuddy cabin is 6’6″. There are three shock-absorbing seats for the helm, navigator and comms stations. There is a large chart table behind the helm and a backup navigation system.
To port is a large patient berth with lots of storage. The cuddy has a mini kitchen with microwave, ACDC New cool fridge and a Keurig coffee maker, full head and twin patient berths. Both cabins have extensive insulation and sheathing to keep the cabins quiet and relaxing.
The windows are large aluminum framed windows that meet ABYC sightlines. The spotter’s front and side overhang windows provide straight-ahead and high-angle side and front views needed when approaching large vessels or large piers. A unique feature of the side windows is that during a rough maneuver the side windows are at eye level and remove what would normally be a major blind spot for an operator. With the side doors open, it provides increased visibility when docking or searching up close.
The cabin is fully air-conditioned, with a Westerbeke generator mounted in the large engine room powering the twin Dometic HVAC units that defrost the windshields and heat the master and cuddy cabins with 32,000 BTUs of heat or AC power.
The POCC Port Security Boat features a suite of Raymarine electronics, with dual 12-inch displays, 24-mile radar, CHIRP side scan and a full Raymarine CCTV camera system, Blue Force Tracker tracking systems with full encryption. The FLIR camera and CCTV and BFT cameras all link to AXIOM Pro displays. The boat also has a Motorola communication system connected to David Clark wireless and wired headsets.