USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30)
|Builder:||Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC)|
|Laid down:||February 09, 2004|
|Launched:||April 2, 2005|
|Commissioned:||June 10, 2006|
|Length:||240 ft (73 m)|
|Beam:||58.5 ft (17.8 m)|
|Draft:||16 ft (4.9 m)|
|Speed:||16 knots (30 km/h)|
|Complement:||9 Officers, 46 Enlisted|
USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30) is a 240-foot (73 m) vessel built as a heavy icebreaker for operations on the North American Great Lakes for the United States Coast Guard. IMO number: 9271054. She should not be confused with a namesake ship, the USCGC Mackinaw (WAGB-83), IMO number: IMO 6119534, which was decommissioned on June 10, 2006.
Mackinaw was delivered to the Coast Guard on November 18, 2005 and commissioned on June 10, 2006. In addition to her ice-breaking duties, the Mackinaw will also serve as an Aids to Navigation ship, able to perform the same duties as the Seagoing Buoy Tenders (WLB) of the Coast Guard fleet.
One of the Mackinaw's unique features in the US Coast Guard fleet is the use of two Azipods, ABB's brand of electric azimuth thrusters, for her main propulsion. These, coupled with a 550 hp (410 kW) bow thruster, make the ship exceptionally maneuverable. Azipods also remove the need for a traditional rudder, as the thrusters can turn 360 degrees around their vertical axis to direct their thrust in any direction. Because the Azipods can be controlled individually, the Mackinaw also lacks a traditional ship's steering wheel.
The Mackinaw can continuously proceed through fresh water ice up to 32 inches (81 cm) thick at 3 knots or 14 inches (36 cm) at 10 knots. She can also break smooth, continuous ice up to 42 inches (107 cm) thick through ramming.
The Mackinaw got off to a rocky start before being commissioned. While en route to her new home port of Cheboygan, Michigan, the Mackinaw struck a seawall in Grand Haven, Michigan on December 12, 2005. The accident caused a 10-foot (3.0 m) dent in the bow of the Mackinaw on her starboard side. Shortly after the accident, CAPT Donald Triner, the commanding officer of the Mackinaw, was temporarily relieved of duty pending an investigation into the accident. The accident did not delay the ship's scheduled arrival in her new home port; she arrived on December 17, 2005. Captain Triner was later permanently relieved of duty and replaced by CAPT Michael Hudson, who was replaced in turn by CDR John Little in April 2006. CDR Scott J. Smith assumed command in July 2008 and was relieved by CDR Michael J. Davanzo in Aug, 2011.
Closeup of one of the ship's Azipods.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30).|
- Chicago's Christmas Ship, The Mackinaw delivers Christmas trees annually to Chicago
- The official Mackinaw website.
- Many photos, including the "splash" launch of the Mackinaw.