VESSEL REVIEW | River enforcement boats delivered to US Customs and Border Protection

Photo: ReconCraft

ReconCraft, the Alaska-based boat building division of Blackfish Solutions, has delivered new shallow-draught, aluminium river patrol vessels to the US Customs and Border Protection.

The boats belong to a series of 12 Riverine Shallow-Draught Vessels (RSDVs) to be built for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for use in the waters of America’s southern states. Missions will include counter-narcotics patrols, counter human trafficking patrols, law enforcement, search and rescue (SAR), and disaster response.

Photo: ReconCraft

The newbuilds each have a centre console, a length of 21 feet (6.4 metres), a beam of 8.5 feet (2.5 metres), and a fuel tank capacity of 50 gallons (189 litres). The boats can reach a top speed of 60 knots and sail up to 300 nautical miles in between refuelings. The riverine hull form is optimised for high-speed operations even in shallow waters that are strewn with debris and other minor obstructions. This make the boats ideal for time-critical emergency response in disaster-stricken areas.

Even with their compact size, the boats can carry comparatively large payloads of personnel and equipment, making them suitable for multi-role use. Various seating and mission pallet configurations are possible thanks to a NATO L-track deck attachment system.

The helm and console on each boat are designed to meet ISO communication, navigation, and tactical equipment requirements. The controls and instrument layouts are ergonomically designed to help reduce crew fatigue and improve safety. The mechanical and electrical systems are redundant for greater reliability, and there is even reserve capacity to allow for upgrades in the future.

Photo: ReconCraft

Click here for more news stories, feature articles, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on emergency services vessels.

Riverine Shallow-Draught Vessel
Type of vessel:Patrol boat
Owner:US Department of Homeland Security
Operator:US Customs and Border Protection
Builder:ReconCraft, USA
Hull construction material:Aluminium
Superstructure construction material:Aluminium
Deck construction material:Aluminium
Length overall:21 feet (6.4 metres)
Beam:8.5 feet (2.5 metres)
Maximum speed:60 knots
Range:300 nautical miles
Other equipment installed:Deck attachment system
Fuel capacity:50 gallons (189 litres)

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