Mother Nature must’ve liked the looks of the new Maine Marine Patrol vessel Dirigo II. The old gal saw fit to warm things up in the middle of what had so far been a bitter January, even clearing the ice out of Somes Sound for the 38-footer’s christening ceremony at the Henry R. Abel yard in Mt. Desert.
Dirigo II was built by SW Boatworks of Lamoine, ME. Designed by Calvin Beal Jr. of Beals Island, the 38’9″x15′ Dirigo II joins the Marine Patrol’s six-vessel fleet, replacing one of the older 35-footers. Main power is a 700-hp C12 Caterpillar backed by a 325-1 A ZF gear, supplied by Billings Diesel & Marine in Stonington. Spinning a 34″x36″ 4-blade prop (Nautilus Marine) on a 2.5″ AQ-22 shaft from R.E. Thomas Marine Hardware, Dirigo II has a top speed of … well … with any luck, you’ll never find out.
Specialist Colin MacDonald will be skippering the Dirigo II and is looking forward to the task.
When asked why the Marine Patrol chose this particular model, MacDonald said, referring to Col. Joe Fessenden, Marine Patrol Chief, “The Colonel wanted something in the 38′ range, and we basically looked at what the fishermen themselves were using. This hull has a good reputation out there.”
One major improvement over her predecessor is Dirigo II’s extra deck space and rope locker, which will make handling trap trawls much easier.
“It really is a huge 38-footer,” said MacDonald. “She’s built to work in whatever we have to for weather and get us home safely.”
Dirigo II will operate out of Northeast Harbor.
CLICK PHOTO FOR GALLERY (Brian Robbins photos)