New and old Mackinaws at the Millard D. Olds Memorial Mooring in Cheboygan,
Michigan - June 11, 2006
Great Lakes ice breaker Mackinaw
Commissioned June 10, 2006 Mackinaw (WLBB 30) assumed the "Mackinaw"
name and heritage and now stands as the largest United States Coast Guard
Cutter on the Great Lakes. WLBB 30 is configured to better handle a variety
of roles including buoy maintenance, and handling of environmental spills.
The Mackinaw is powered by 3 Caterpillar 3612 Turbocharged V-12 engines
- 3360 KW each. Prolusion comes from 2 ABB azimuthing electric propulsion
drives where the propulsion motor is installed inside a submerged azimuthing
(unlimited 360 degrees) pod and coupled directly to an extremely short
propeller shaft. See photos of the pods
from before the Mackinaw's launch.
Length...240 feet Beam...58 feet
Draft (full)...16 feet
Displacement (full)...3,350 tons Range at 12 knots...4000
Mackinac Bridge home
Mackinac Bridge Cam
The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw near Fourteen Foot Shoal Light during
training in April 2006
The Mackinaw sailing the Straits of Mackinac on November 26, 2006 -
by Patrick Duflo of St. Ignace, Michigan.
A "cutter" is any Coast Guard vessel at least 65 feet long which has
accommodations for the crew to live on board
The Mackinaw carries two utility boats
Why "WLBB?" The "W" has been applied to all Coast Guard
ships since WWII. During the war, to avoid problems that could arise from
a Navy and Coast Guard ship having the same number on their bows, a "W"
was painted before the number to signify the ship as a Coast Guard ship.
The "AGB" is for Arctic Glacier Breaker. The Polar Rollers (Polar Star,
Polar Sea) and Healy are also WAGB's. "WLB" is the Coast Guard's designation
for sea-going buoy tenders. "L" is for working boat (Load-bearing) and
B is for Big. All of the 225 ft tenders are WLBs. The "LB" is for Big buoy
tender and the Mackinaw's final "B" is for [ice]Breaker. The Mackinac is
affectionately known as a "buoy breaker" to some. Other load-bearing classifications
include "WLM" (Medium - 175 ft buoy tenders), "WLC" (Construction), "WLR"
(River), "WLI" (Inland), "WLIC" (Inland Construction), and "WLIR" (Inland
U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw at the starting line of the 101st
Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Island on
Saturday, July 18, 2009. The Mackinaw shepherds the racers the length
of Lake Michigan. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard.
The "Christmas Tree Ship" tradition goes back over 100 years to the
three masted schooner, Rouse Simmons. The original
(WAGB-83) revived the event in 2000 and
(WLBB-30) continues the tradition to this day. Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast
Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw in the St. Mary's River approaching the
Soo Locks on March 23, 2007.
Photo furnished by Chelsea Socha of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Mackinaw Launch Old
Mackinaw 2005 tour
of the old Mackinaw
copyright 2006-2011 by Keith
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