New Boats in Town
Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) began addressing its aging fleet of patrol craft earlier this summer, taking possession of four new Everglades 243 patrol boats in July. The order is part of a larger NRP initiative to replace its fleet of aging Boston Whaler Guardian and Justice patrol boats, some of which are now 20 years old.
"Today's mission is far different from when we originally took possession of the first Boston Whaler craft," Captain Charles Vernon said when I sat down to talk with him about the new boats. "We have far fewer officers than in the past, and they often have to travel great distances to respond to an emergency. That means we need to be able to get a single officer to a far-away scene quickly, and in just about any condition the Bay can throw at them. While the Whalers have been a great boat for us over the last two decades, our mission has changed to such a degree that we need a completely different type of boat."
The process of selecting the new patrol boats began about a year and a half ago when members of the NRP's Vessel Committee were assembled to define what type of craft they needed to replace the older boats in the fleet. Captain Vernon says, "After talking to other marine law enforcement agencies around the country, as well as looking at various manufacturers and models, we decided to approach Everglades about testing one or more of their models. They sent up two different boats for us to test, and after everyone on the Vessel Committee ran the boat, we knew we wanted to go with Everglades' 243 center-console. It passed every single one of our testing protocols, so we arranged to take a loaner 243 from Everglades and soft test it in various districts before placing the initial order in late May."
The new patrol boats are each fitted with a single 300-hp Evinrude E-TEC G2 outboard, which can blast the 243 beyond 50mph. The boats are constructed using Everglades' patented Rapid Molding Core Assembly Process, also known as RAMCAP. It's a boatbuilding technique where the boat's foam core parts are poured separately in their own molds, versus being poured and cured in place after each fiberglass hull has already been laminated. This ensures a perfect, uniform fit, and a solid hull and deck structure that produces very little flex. The result is not only a longer-lasting boat, but also one that rides very well in the worst conditions. Just what the NRP ordered.
(Article courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Magazine)
(Photos courtesy of Maryland NRP)