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USCGC Bitt (WYTL-65613)
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Name: Bitt
Namesake: A bitt is a vertical post set on the deck of a ship for securing cables.
Builder: Western Boat Builders Corp. Tacoma, Washington[1][2]
Commissioned: 27 May 1966 [2]
Decommissioned: 4 October 1982
Fate: Transferred to National Science Foundation, October 1982[3]
Status: Active as Research Vessel Clifford A. Barnes, Seattle, Washington
General characteristics
Class & type: 65 foot–harbor tug
Displacement: 74 tons
Length: 64 ft 11 in (19.79 m)[4]
Beam: 19 ft 1 in (5.82 m)
Draft: 9 ft (2.7 m)
Propulsion: 1 Caterpillar D379 V-8 diesel; 400 shaft horsepower
Speed: (cruising) 7.0 kn (13.0 km/h; 8.1 mph)
Range: (cruising) 3,690 nmi (6,830 km)
Complement: 5
Armament: none

USCGC Bitt (WYTL-65613) was a cutter in the US Coast Guard. Constructed by Western Boat Builders Corp. and commissioned in 1966, the vessel served as part of the USCG for sixteen years before being decommissioned in 1982 and transferred to the National Science Foundation (NSF). During her Coast Guard service Bitt was based in Washington and Alaska where she was utilized mainly in a law enforcement and search and rescue (SAR) role. She is still in active service as a research vessel with the NSF.

Construction and designEdit

Crewed by five personnel, Bitt was a small vessel displacing 74 tons.[2] She was 64 ft 11 in (19.79 m) long,[4] with a beam of 19 ft 1 in (5.82 m) and a 9 ft (2.7 m) draft. The vessel's main drive engine consisted of one Caterpillar D379 V-8 diesel which produced 400 shaft horsepower and drove a single propeller,[3][4] giving a cruising speed of 7.0 kn (13.0 km/h; 8.1 mph) and a cruising range of 3,690 nmi (6,830 km).[2] Her maximum speed was 10.6 km ([convert: unit mismatch]), at which she could patrol 1,130 nmi (2,090 km).[4] She carried no armament, but was fitted with a SPN-11 detection radar.[2] Upon completion she cost a total of $US 158,366 to construct.[4]

HistoryEdit

Bitt was one of fifteen steel-hulled icebreaking small harbor tugs that were put into service in the 1960's to replace 64 ft (20 m) wooden-hulled harbor tugs that the Coast Guard had used since the 1940's.[5] She was initially homeported at Bellingham, Washington where her duties included law enforcement and SAR as well as ice operations.[4][5] On 5 January 1969 she assisted in the evacuation of a stranded person near the Nooksack River when a dike broke.[5] On 29 July 1969 she towed the disabled fishing vessel Jet Stream to safety from Admiralty Inlet.[5] On 20 October 1975 she rescued two persons from a capsized sailboat.[5] She transferred to Valdez, Alaska in 1978.[4][5] She was decommissioned in October 1982 and transferred to the National Science Foundation for use as the Research Vessel Clifford A. Barnes. She is currently in service through an agreement with the University of Washington School of Oceanography research facilities at Seattle Washington.[3][6][7]

NotesEdit

Citations
  1. "Western Boat Builders Corp.". Small Ship Building and Boat Building Yards. Shipbuidinghistory.com. http://shipbuildinghistory.com/history/shipyards/5small/inactive/western.htm. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Scheina, p 105
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "R/V Barnes". School of Oceanography Vessels. University of Washington. http://www.ocean.washington.edu/story/RV+Clifford+A+Barnes. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 "Data Sheet for 65' WYTL tug" (pdf). USCGC Bitt (WYTL-65613). U.S. Coast Guard. http://www.uscg.mil/history/webcutters/Bitt_1966.pdf. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Scheina, p 106
  6. "MODIFICATIONS TO CONVERT THE FORMER USCGC BITT TO A RESEARCHVESSEL", Access to Archival Databases (AAD), The National Archives Administration (NARA)
  7. "R/V Barnes", School of Oceanography website, University of Washington
References

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "U.S. Coast Guard Cutters and Craft Index".


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