You call-We haul! USCG 41′ Utility Boat 1976
May 23, 2014 in Ships
In retirement I’ve been catching up with building models of units I served on while on active duty. My latest build is a 1:16th scale model of a typical USCG 41′ utility boat. Found at every Coast Guard station, the 41′ UTB was state of the art when fielded in 1973. Designed as a fast response boat, the 41′ could top speeds of 28 knots in a calm sea and had an extended endurance range on 500 gallons of fuel. Powered by 2 Cummins diesels, the aluminum hull boat had a 300 mile radius at 18 knots. The boat was usually crewed by three men but in the law enforcement operation, carried up to seven men. When utilized as an escort for US Navy vessels (security zone), the boats were equipped with two M60 machine guns. One hundred forty-eight boats were designed and built at CG Yard in Baltimore, MD between 1973 and 1978. In addition, two dozen were built, under license, in Canada for the Canadian CG. In 2004 the Coast Guard began to replace these boats with a 46′ fast response craft, similar in mission but far advanced in electronics and engineering.
The boat is a Dumas kit from the early 1980’s. Constructed of wood, utilizing the plank on frame method, it is designed as a radio control model for water operation. I built a similar kit in 1985 with an electric motor and radio equipment installed. It wasn’t as detailed as my current model and didn’t perform on the water very well. I sold it but ended up purchasing another kit with the intent of constructing as a display model. Much of the cabin interior is scratch built as is most of the deck detail. The fire monitor on the bow is scratch built from brass as are the safety railings, towing rail, radio antennas, and radar. My favorite part of the build was the scratch built M60, built from brass and plastic, (I was too lazy to build two of the M60’s and spent the time building the fire monitor instead). It’s painted with rattle can Krylon paint as well as airbrushed with USCG “Spar” paint for the decks. The 41 footer under went a number of changes over it’s service life but my model depicts the “delivery scheme” ( the decks were painted gray almost immediatly after we received the boat, spar paint on decks always look dirty!) The last photo is yours truly at the 41’s helm wheel in 1977, just before I ran over a water logged piece of wood in the water. It made a heck of a racket being pulverized by the boat’s props, one reason I didn’t get to drive very often!
9 additional images. Click to enlarge