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Craft and Boats

Boats are water craft less than 65 feet long. Boats enable the Navy and Coast Guard to perform missions such as rendering aid to people and property in distress at sea, protecting ports, waterways and shore side facilities. Boats are also used to enforce federal laws on the high seas and waters under US jurisdiction. Boats are waterborne craft which comprises generally the waterborne craft suitable primarily for shipboard and similar use. These include landing craft, standard Navy design, commercial and non-developmental small boats, including Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs). Other inflatable boats and rafts are not managed as boats.

A Navy boat is an uncommissioned, waterborne unit of the Fleet, not designed as a service craft and capable of limited independent operation. It may be assigned to and carried on a ship as a ship's boat, or assigned to a shore station or fleet operating unit. There are 58 different types of Navy boats with a total of over 2400 boats in service throughout the fleet ranging from a 14 foot punt to Landing Craft dating back to the 1940's. Boats continue to provide a valuable service to the Navy and are used in a wide range of operations such as: search and rescue, personnel transports, sail training, recovery, and security.

Boats and craft carried on ships and used to support shore based activities are normally referred to as standard boats. This includes boats used as personnel boats, utility boats, work boats, harbor security boats, other miscellaneous boats including the 7 meter rigid inflatable boat, and landing craft, except LCACs (landing craft air-cushion). Standard boats do not include Foreign Military Sales, Special Warfare, Marine Corps or totally inflatable boats and rafts.

Barges are assigned to flag officers afloat and flag officers ashore. Gigs are assigned to afloat chiefs of staff; group, squadron, or division commanders; and commanding officers, not of flag rank, provided adequate boat stowage exists in the ships in which the gig is normally embarked and usage is sufficiently frequent to warrant long-term assignment of a gig to the specific billet.

US Navy SEALS have a variety of similar types of boats used for armed escort, command, control, and communications, transport, armed reconnaissance and pursuit.

The Coast Guard has approximately 2,000 boats in its inventory, divided into six classes: Aid to Navigation, Motor Life, Motor Surf, Ports and Waterways, Surf Rescue, and Utility. Coast Guard boats operate mainly in-shore and on inland US waterways.

Coast Guard Port Security Unit's each use six 25ft Boston Whalers are the third generation of the Transportable Security Boats (TPSB) used by the Coast Guard for the Port Security mission. These boats are well-equipped and armed with three mounted machine guns, in addition to the crew's personal weapons.

The mission of the TPSBs is to provide waterside protection to key High Value Assets (HVA) such as U.S. warships and military supply vessels in foreign ports and may include the port, harbor or pier itself. Through the use of vigilant escort and patrol techniques, the HVA is protected from asymmetrical threats such as assaults by small boats or swimmers.

Each TPSB is crewed by 3-4 enlisted personnel, usually Boatswain's Mates, Machinery Technicians, or Port Security Specialists.


1. The hoisting weight of a boat is defined as the weight of the boat completely filled out and ready for service with machinery and electrical installations in operating condition. All outfit, on­board repair parts, navigational and lifesaving equipment, or their equivalent weights, must be on board. Weights representing the crew at 165 pounds per man must also be on board; fuel tanks must be full except in special cases. Actual hoisting weights should not exceed the design hoisting weights.

2. Personnel capacity shown in exclusive of crew. See BOATALT 26' MWB/10A for Restrictive Limits of Personnel Capacities for Forward Compartments all 26' MWB's.

3. Life saving crew of five plus two rescued, total seven persons.

4. Characteristics are taken from specifications and contract drawings.

5. Capacities for forward compartment of MWB's 6, 7, 9, and 10 are 11 men.

6. The weight of a SEAL with fall combat gear is 270 pounds. The weight of a marine with full combat gear is 225 pounds. These craft are hoisted at the devits in a fully loaded condition; at the slings in the hoisting condition. All weights are approximate only and should not be used for design purposes. VY

7. Hoisted in fully­loaded condition.

8. Light ship condition.

9. Hoisted with cradle.

10. Weight data taken from Inclining Experiment Report; no Scale Weight Reports available.

11. Including 26' MW MK10, MK11, and MK12 boats fitted with rigid hoisting bails. Height does not include bail.

12. Hoisting Weight for 26 MW MK10, MK11, and MK12 boats built drom 180 through the present include allowances for the lifeboat party (7 personnel (Cont) and gear).

13. Cannot verify weight from existing library data.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 12:40:38 ZULU