The Boston Fire Department’s Special Operations Dive Team has selected Moose Boats of Vallejo, Ca. to build a new custom dive boat.
When delivered, the shallow-draft, 46-foot Model M1 catamaran will have both offshore heavy weather and inshore shallow water capability at a top speed of 40 knots and a range of 280 nautical miles.
According to Boston Fire Department Capt. Doug Felton, the new boat – able to support a crew of ten with gear and equipment payload – will be a major upgrade from the team’s current 30-foot dive boat built in 2010.
Felton is a member of the Boston Fire Rescue Dive Team, which is made up of 20 experienced and highly-trained firefighters and is the only such unit in the Boston harbor area that is manned 24 hours a day.
“The Boston Fire Department is looking forward to upgrading our current Dive Team boat to a Moose Boats’ M1,” said Felton. “With frigid winters and blistering summers, the Boston Fire Department Dive Team will increase it’s operational capability all year long despite the New England weather. Custom dive tank holders on the aft deck will increase ergonomics and keep deck space clear while underway.”
Built to rigid USCG/ ABYC standards, the new aluminum M1 boat “will allow us to operate a dive boat year-round, as opposed to our current seasonal asset,” he added.
The new vessel will be powered by twin Cummins QSC-8.3L-600 hp 8.3-liter turbo-diesel engines delivering 1,200 horsepower with a Twin Disc MG5075SC / MG5082SC transmission. Twin Hamilton HJ322 waterjets with AVX controls will also be installed to permit precise steering control and maneuverability, particularly in tight-quarters.
Four 2000 GPH Bilge Pumps will be equipped with high water alarms, while its three compartments, cabin door and forward access hatch will be fully watertight.
The mast structure will support the boat’s navigation lights, searchlight, hailer/siren, horn, infrared camera, and a radar and communication antenna array. The helm and navigation console will support an extensive
suite of navigation and communication equipment. Military spec. electrical components and wiring will control and connect a 50-amp 120V AC distribution system with multiple DC battery banks.
The wide fully enclosed cabin affords a central helm steering station with port and starboard companion
seating. The aft area can be arranged to suit user needs with various seating, storage and galley configurations. The forward cabin area contains space for a large berth and storage accessed by a port side companionway.
“The wider beam and catamaran hull will give us greater stability in the tumultuous waters in and around Boston Harbor,” said Felton. “The enclosed cabin will extend our on-scene effectiveness by reducing fatigue from the elements during long-duration dive operations.”