USCGC Biscayne Bay [WTGB-104]

USCGC Biscayne Bay [WTGB-104]

1979-Present

Icebreaker Tugboat

St. Ignace, MI

USCGC Biscayne Bay, breaking ice above the Soo Locks, 1/16/2022. Roger LeLievre

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1979

Builder: Tacoma Boatbuilding, Tacoma, WA

Hull #–

Registry: US —

IMO # —

Laid Down: 1978

Launch Date: 1979

Delivered: 1979

Commissioned: December 8, 1979

Construction

Biscayne Bay was the fourth ship of the Bay Class USCG Icebreaking tugboats. The Bay class vessels were designed to replace the Coast Guard’s aging class of 110′ harbor tugs. The Bay Class tugs feature a strengthened icebreaking hull, and is capable of breaking 20 inches at continuous speed and 6-9 feet while backing and ramming. The Bay Class tugs are also equipped with a unique “bubbler” hull air lubrication system. The bubbler pushes air through ports on the cutters hull, allowing for an upward flow of air and water along the hull, reducing friction and increasing efficiency.

There were 9 Bay Class tugboats constructed for U.S. Coast Guard service, and 6 of them are stationed on the Great Lakes. Those are the Katmai Bay, Bristol Bay, Mobile Bay, Biscayne Bay, Neah Bay, and Morro Bay.

Modifications

  • Service Life Extension Program, U.S. Coast Guard Shipyard, Baltimore, MD, 2019.

General Stats

Length Overall: 140′

Breadth: 37’06”

Depth: 12′

Vessel Type: Icebreaker Tugboat

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1

Crew Compliment: 17 [3 Officers / 14 Enlisted]


Engineering Equipment

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Diesel Engines

Engine Manufacturer: Fairbanks Morse, Beloit, WI

Engine Model: 10-38D8-1/8

Number of Engines: 2

Motor

Motor Type: Diesel-Electric

Motor Manufacturer: Westinghouse Electric, Pittsburgh, PA

Rated HP: 2500 BHP


History

Lineage

USCGC Biscayne Bay [WTGB-104] – 1979-Present

Owner: United States Coast Guard, Washington D.C.

Operator: United States Coast Guard, 9th District, Cleveland, OH

Flag: United States

Home Port: St. Ignace, MI


Station History

  • St. Ignace, MI – 1979-Present

Her Story

USCGC Biscayne Bay was constructed in 1979 by Tacoma Boatbuilding of Tacoma, WA, as an icebreaking tugboat for the U.S. Coast Guard. She was the fourth ship of her class, and was completed in 1979. Following completion, she sailed to the Great Lakes where she was commissioned on December 8, 1979, and took up station at St. Ignace, MI.

In 2019, Biscayne Bay went to the U.S. Coast Guard’s shipyard in Baltimore, MD, where she underwent her Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) refit. She returned to the Great Lakes at the end of the year.

USCGC Biscayne Bay remains an important asset to the Coast Guard’s Great Lakes icebreaking fleet, and assists in keeping marine traffic moving during the winter months.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on December 17, 2021.



Sources

“CGC Biscayne Bay”. United States Coast Guard, N.d. Accessed 17 December 2021. <https://www.atlanticarea.uscg.mil/Our-Organization/District-9/Ninth-District-Staff/Prevention-Division/Cutters/BISCAYNE-BAY/>

LeLievre, Roger. Know Your Ships 2021. Marine Publishing Co., 2021. Pp. 86

U.S. Coast Guard. (2015). Welcome Aboard: USCGC Biscayne Bay (WTGB 104). [Brochure].