US Coast Guard cutter Waesche to undergo structural enhancement

US Coast Guard photo of cutter Waesche

The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded Vigor Marine LLC a $14 million contract option to perform structural enhancement drydock availability (SEDA) for the second national security cutter (NSC), Coast Guard Cutter Waesche.

These structural enhancements will be completed in Seattle and are aimed at preventing long-term fatigue damage, which would result in additional life cycle maintenance costs.

Waesche is slated to arrive at the contractor’s shipyard in September. The SEDA work will take approximately one year. Work on Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, the first NSC to undergo SEDA, began in September 2016 and will be completed by this fall.

It was determined during the early stages of NSC production that structural modifications would need to be incorporated into the cutters’ design in order to achieve a 30-year design fatigue life.

The Coast Guard and the shipbuilder completed additional analyses and engineering efforts to address the fatigue life concerns, resulting in the incorporation of structural enhancements into regular production during the construction of the third NSC, Coast Guard Cutter Stratton.

Stratton and all subsequent NSCs have the enhancements already installed. Coast Guard cutters Bertholf and Waesche were unable to receive the structural enhancements during production due to construction timelines.

The detail design and planning phase for SEDA involved development of detailed drawings and engineering work packages for the structural enhancement and established the schedule and approach for the repair execution phase.

Six NSCs are in service, with four based in Alameda, California, and two in Charleston, South Carolina. The seventh and eighth NSCs, Kimball and Midgett, will be stationed in Honolulu. The Kimball was christened in March 2017 and is scheduled for delivery in 2018. The Midgett will be christened in December 2017 and is scheduled for delivery in 2019.

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