Cheboygan Life

United States Coast Guard

The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw

The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw

Cheboygan is proud to be the home port of the United States Coast Guard Cutter MACKINAW.  The Coast Guard is required by law to maintain a heavy ice breaking capability on the Great Lakes to assist in keeping channels and harbors open to navigation in response to the reasonable demands of commerce to meet the winter shipping needs of industry. In addition to heavy icebreaking, the USCGC MACKINAW (WLBB 30) has state of the art systems and multi-mission capabilities that include; maintenance of aids to navigation (ATON), conduct law enforcement and search and rescue as well as the ability to deploy an oil skimming system to respond to oil spill situations and environmental response. Deployments range from one day to six weeks.

The original USCGC MACKINAW (WAGB-83) was constructed during World War II in response to the need to keep shipping active during the winter months to maintain production of steel.  MACKINAW (WAGB-83) began operations soon after the commissioning on 20 December 1944.  Homeported in Cheboygan, MACKINAW (WAGB-83) provided over 60 years of outstanding service to the communities and commercial enterprises of the Great Lakes.  Her age made her very expensive and difficult to maintain.  And thus she was decommissioned in June 2006 where she now serves as a beautiful lakeside maritime museum in Mackinaw City, Michigan.

The Mackinaw Passing the Cheboygan Crib Lighthouse

The Mackinaw Passing the Cheboygan Crib Lighthouse

The new USCGC MACKINAW (WLBB-30) was built by Marinette Marine Corporation, a subsidiary of Manitowoc Marine Group.  The cutter was assembled indoors in the Vessel Erection Building.  This allowed the vessel to be assembled and outfitted in controlled conditions, then moved outside to the launch ways.

The cutter was constructed in a planned system of modules or blocks that are fabricated and pre-outfitted prior to being moved to the erection building. This method of construction is extremely efficient as it provides easy access to equipment, components, and spaces. The modules are essentially complete prior to final assembly.

The MACKINAW maintains carries a compliment of 10 officers and 48 enlisted personnel.

For more information on the Mackinaw, click here.