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New Coast Guard vessel to dock and open up for public tours

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 6:33 p.m. HST, Mar 29, 2012

One of the Coast Guard's new National Security Cutters will be making a stop in Honolulu Friday and is scheduled to be open for public tours Saturday.

The 418-foot Waesche, based at Alameda, Calif., is one of six such cutters built or being funded by the Coast Guard to replace the aging 378-foot high endurance Hamilton-class cutters that have been in service since the 1960s.

The cutter has a top speed of 28 knots, a range of 12,000 miles and a crew of 110. It's equipped with a 4,000 square-foot flight deck that has the capability to recover MH-65 Dolphin and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters.

The Coast Guard wants eight of the National Security Cutters, but the last two may not be built due to a budget shortfall.

In Honolulu, the Coast Guard wants to retire two of its aging high endurance cutters, the Jarvis and the Rush, but can't because it has no replacements, officials said.

The Waesche will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on Coast Guard Base Sand Island, 400 Sand Island Access Rd.

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