The U.S. Coast Guard’s 47-foot motor lifeboat, or 47B MLB, is an important component of USCG operations. Capable of taking on the most severe heavy-weather conditions, the MLB can take a licking and keeps on ticking. The boats were designed for a 25-year lifespan, but the 20-year-old MLB fleet, which numbers over 100, was in need of an update.
Last year, Birdon America of Denver, Colorado, was awarded a $190 million contract to perform a Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) for the MLBs. As part of that refurbishment program the updated MLBs need to pass a rollover or self-righting test to ensure that they will return to an upright position after capsizing.
Recently, All American Marine of Bellingham, Washington, which was contracted to perform the west coast MLB refits, shot a video of the rollover test. It’s an important test since the boats frequently encounter gigantic waves.
Not surprisingly, it passed.