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Black Hulls

After the war, the Coast Guard had decommissioned most of the aging oceangoing and inland LHS fleet. Most sea-going tenders of the immediate post-war era were the 180’ Tree and Shrub-class capable of lifting 20 tons. They were equipped for long voyages and had icebreaking bows. The three inch gun and 20-mms were removed. Coastal tenders measured from 133 to 175 feet, lifted 10 tons, and maintained a high level of maneuverability. Inland tenders were divided into two classes: large, measuring 100 to 131 feet, and small, measuring 65 to 91 feet. Like coastal tenders, inland tenders featured 10-ton capacity booms and often pile drivers, which allowed them to serve as both construction and repair vessels. River tenders were also divided into large classes, measuring 104 to 115 feet, and small classes, measuring 65 to 75 feet. These flat-bottomed, shallow-draft vessels also were equipped with a 10-ton boom.

In the early 1990’s the Coast Guard began a program to replace the aging fleet of ocean-going and coastal buoy tenders. The Juniper-class sea-going tenders, 225-feet long and equipped with state-of-the-art electronic navigation and positioning equipment, began to replace the 180s in 1996. The last 180, Acacia, retired in 2006. The175′ Keeper-class coastal tenders are the first Coast Guard cutters equipped with Z-Drive propulsion units instead of the standard propeller configuration. These 14 tenders were named for some of the lighthouse service’s more famous light keeper’s including Ida Lewis, Katherine Walker, and Marcus Hanna. They began replacing the White and Red class of medium buoy tenders in 1998.

For a complete list of black hulls that served between 1947 and 2000 go to this Link.