The Coast Guard goes before the Boston Conservation Commission next week for permission to replace two piers and install new floating docks at its base off Hanover and Commercial streets to allow it to dock six new larger cutters currently under construction in Louisiana.
The new fast response cutters are 154 feet long, compared to the current 110-foot patrol boats that now operate out of Boston. They can travel up to 28 knots, have more advanced navigational technology and have berths for up to 24 crew members of both genders. And because they're also wider and heavier, they can last longer in rough seas. They can deal with rough people via a cannon and four machine guns.
Under the plan submitted to the Conservation Commission, the Coast Guard says it would replace the existing 75-by-282-foot Pier 2 with a new pier that is the same length but only 45 feet wide, would replace Wharf 3 with a new wharf of the same dimensions and would replace an existing 10-by-98-foot floating dock with three new floating docks, each 16.5 feet wide and between 200 and 355 feet long.
The Coast Guard says that the existing land-based pier and wharf are both 76 years old and well past their original expected life. Also, the amount of load they can take from docked ships is far less than is required by the new cutters. In addition to the cutters, the work will also let the Coast Guard berth a smaller patrol ship.
The first of the new cutters is expected to arrive in Boston in 2022.
The Conservation Commission hearing will in a series of hearings that begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Pier proposal filing.