USCGC Mackinaw (WLBB-30)

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USCGC Mackinaw
Career 100x35px
Builder: Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC)
Laid down: February 09, 2004
Launched: April 2, 2005
Commissioned: June 10, 2006
General characteristics
Displacement: 3,500 tons
Length: 240 ft (73 m)
Beam:   58.5 ft (17.8 m)
Draft:   16 ft (4.9 m)
Propulsion: Integrated Main Propulsion & Electrical Plant
ABB Azipod - Fixed Pitch, 10’ diameter
9,119 shp (6.8 MW)
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h)
Complement: 9 Officers, 46 Enlisted
Capacity: 130,896 US gal (Template:Convert/kl) (Diesel fuel)
  27,500 US gal (Template:Convert/kl) (potable water)

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 for her main propulsion. These, coupled with a 550 hp (410 kW) bow thruster, make the ship exceptionally maneuverable. Azipods also negate the need for a traditional rudder, as the azipods can turn 360 degrees on their axis to direct their thrust in any direction. The Mackinaw also lacks a traditional ship's steering wheel. Much of the ship's technology, including the azipod thrusters, is from Finnish Maritime Cluster.

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, Captain 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 Captain Michael Hudson, who was replaced in turn by Cmdr. John Little in April 2006. Most recently Cmdr. Scott J. Smith assumed command in July 2008.

The Mackinaw can be seen and toured at Grand Haven's Coast Guard Festival every summer. The ship was also featured on the television series Modern Marvels.


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