a New Class of Patrol Boats for Old-Timers
By Jay Schmidt
From The Helm, USCGC Duane Association Newsletter
The U.S. Coast Guard has announced a new class of Homeland Security patrol boats.
Since many over-50 ex-Coasties have expressed interest in serving again during this time of threat, the Coast Guard has designed a new patrol boat to accommodate them. This new Turner Class boat (Sorry Harry, I couldnít resist) is scheduled to be operational shortly.
In keeping with the needs of the men, (50+ and older) who will serve as crew, here are the boatís specifications.
Mission: To prevent terrorists from entering any U.S. harbor.
Class: Turner Class
Boatís nickname: "Old Fartís Boat"
Length: 73 1/2 feet
Draft: Light beer only
Propulsion: Coal-fired steam engine. We had to give the MMs and BTs a way to contribute positively to society.
Range: As long as three tons of coal lasts.
Speed: Ten knots with a following sea and a tail wind.
Galleys: Two fully-equipped with food and water so the crew can take their pills.
Heads: Sixteen. So that there is no waiting.
Berths: None. Who the heck wants to stay out late?
Handrails: Everywhere. So no one falls overboard in flat calm or choppy seas.
Navigation: GPS (Guided Probably by Sight)
Communications: Marine UHF, cell phones and megaphones for the hard of hearing
Crew: About 20-30 sailors will be needed. Mostly to remind the other guy of what he is supposed to be doing.
Armaments: None. Do you want these guys handling explosives? They will have four broomsticks painted black by the Gunnerís Mates and mounted to fool the enemy.
Number in service: probably no more than five since the guys will get seasick because they have been away from the sea too long.
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