The Coast Guard’s 45-foot response boat has revitalized the shore-based boat fleet. The RB-M (response boat -medium) has improved speed, maneuverability, and ergonomics that the 41-foot boat didn’t have. The RB-M’s missions include search and rescue; ports, waterways, and coastal security; law enforcement; and drug and migrant interdiction.
The current fleet consists of 174 RB-Ms, which became fully operational in March 2015. Production of the 45-foot response boat started in 2008; the Coast Guard received 30 boats per year, more than one boat every two weeks, until the 174 were delivered.
The RB-M is 45 feet long; has a beam of 14 feet, 7.75 inches; weighs 36,500 pounds; and has a max speed of 42.5 knots. Features include a deep-v, double-chine hull for balance of speed and stability; an all-aluminum construction; prominent fenders to protect the vessel and free the crew for other tasks; recovery platforms on each side as well as in the rear; weapons mounts on the front and rear; a climate-controlled cabin with shock mitigating seats to reduce crew fatigue; and a survivors’ compartment with seating for five.