Coast Guard Station Chatham receives new surf boat

BOSTON – Coast Guard Station Chatham, Mass., will be showing off the Coast Guard’s newest search and rescue asset on Monday at 9:30 a.m.

The new 42-foot boat, manufactured by Safe Boat International, is designed to be highly maneuverable in breaking surf conditions and will eventually replace Station Chatham’s other two surfboats.

Station Chatham requires surf-capable boats with shallow drafts due to the area’s shallow and shifting sand bars.

“The new boat will have much greater sea capability than the 32-foot Halmatic,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer David Jonason, the officer in charge at Station Chatham.

The Halmatic is about six years old and is only capable of going out in 10-foot surf and 40-knot winds. The new boat can maneuver through 15-foot surf and 50-knot winds.

Station Chatham also has the Coast Guard’s last 44-foot motor lifeboat in service. It can handle 20-foot surf, but is more than 46 years old and will soon be replaced by another Safe boat.

Chief Petty Officer David Pierias, the executive petty officer at Station Chatham, said the Safe boat’s greater capabilities are important for crew training. They are required to have two surfboats out during training, one acting as a training platform and the other as a safety standby. Although the 44-footer is rated for 20-foot surf, if it exceeds 10-feet, they are unable to train because of the Halmatic’s limitations.

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