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Coast Guard readying North End base for larger, faster cutters

New Coast Guard cutter

One of the new cutters, well away from a dock. Photo by USCG.

The Coast Guard goes before the Boston Conservation Commission next week for permission to replace two piers and install new floating docks at its base off Hanover and Commercial streets to allow it to dock six new larger cutters currently under construction in Louisiana.

The new fast response cutters are 154 feet long, compared to the current 110-foot patrol boats that now operate out of Boston. They can travel up to 28 knots, have more advanced navigational technology and have berths for up to 24 crew members of both genders. And because they're also wider and heavier, they can last longer in rough seas. They can deal with rough people via a cannon and four machine guns.

Under the plan submitted to the Conservation Commission, the Coast Guard says it would replace the existing 75-by-282-foot Pier 2 with a new pier that is the same length but only 45 feet wide, would replace Wharf 3 with a new wharf of the same dimensions and would replace an existing 10-by-98-foot floating dock with three new floating docks, each 16.5 feet wide and between 200 and 355 feet long.

The Coast Guard says that the existing land-based pier and wharf are both 76 years old and well past their original expected life. Also, the amount of load they can take from docked ships is far less than is required by the new cutters. In addition to the cutters, the work will also let the Coast Guard berth a smaller patrol ship.

The first of the new cutters is expected to arrive in Boston in 2022.

The Conservation Commission hearing will in a series of hearings that begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Pier proposal filing.


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Adding two more machine guns and increasing the crew by 33.3 percent should bring terror to any would be New England wannabe pirates and/or smugglers. The larger hull and longer loiter time will enhance rescue operations as well. The Coasties be getting toasty, Baby!

Voting closed 15

Six new cutters? That's a lot.
How about - 4 cutters, a Dunks, and some life sciences space?

Voting closed 36

My interpretation was that the new ships would fit but not all necessarily be docked in Boston.

What happened to Menino's Fort Point bar barges? I get it was not a priority for Marty can we please get them now?

Voting closed 8

the affordable housing quota. 16% of that new development has to be reserved for families making 80% of the regional AMI. Luckily, 1 dock out of the 6 would be just about 16%!

Voting closed 9

Long overdue improvements

Voting closed 17

They can only have the docks if the ships are built in Massachusetts, preferably central or western Mass.


Voting closed 19

I find it weird that the Feds have to go before a city based agency for approval here? If this were a Navy base, I’d assume they’d just do it without civilian review.

Voting closed 11

They need to get sign off on expansions.

It isn't the same as a Navy Base - it is more of a port facility. This impacts city services far more than a change at a base would.

Voting closed 10

Generally inquiring

Voting closed 7

Wreck of legendary naval cutter USS Bear found off coast of Boston [Guardian]

The wreck of a legendary US naval ship that served in two world wars, performed patrols in waters off Alaska for decades, and at one point was captained by the first Black man to command a government vessel has been found.

A wreck thought to be the USS Bear, which sank in 1963 about 260 miles (418km) east of Boston as it was being towed to Philadelphia, where it was going to be converted into a floating restaurant, was located in 2019.
. . .
The announcement on Thursday coincided with the arrival in Boston of the US coast guard cutter Healy, named after the Bear’s captain from 1886 until 1895, Michael “Hell Roaring Mike” Healy.

The Guardian refers to the "USS Bear" as a naval ship, but the article makes clear that it was for most of its service in the Coast Guard, and before that was a revenue cutter. Healy was the aforementioned Black captain. More on the Bear here.

Voting closed 26

Give the Coast Guard Long Island as a base. The Feds will repair the piers and build the bridge and secure the island while allowing for a drug rehabilitation campus. The Feds would also quickly put an end to Quincy's opposition.

Voting closed 10

because they're getting multiple bigger boats.

Voting closed 13

If they were to get ten, one of them would have to be affordable.

Voting closed 14

That would be a cost cutter.

Voting closed 12