City to receive new Coast Guard boat display

An old Coast Guard boat will soon bring new life to the heavily viewed, and currently barren, corner of U.S. 31 and Seventh Street in Grand Haven. "I think everyone is excited about getting the new boat to Grand Haven,' said Lt. Cmdr. Sean Brady of the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Field Office Grand Haven.
Alex Doty
Dec 2, 2011

Donations from Commercial Contractors, Bank of Holland, Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival and Brink Truck Lines allowed a group of volunteers to purchase a surplus 41-foot utility boat — the same type used by Station Grand Haven from 1976-98.

Mayor Geri McCaleb said that it was good to see an effort to bring a new boat to the city’s entrance.

“The city is grateful that these individuals and groups have joined together to bring this boat to Grand Haven without the use of public funds,” McCaleb said. “We are looking forward to having it here (and) welcoming visitors by the summer.”

The boat will be delivered this month to an offsite location in Grand Haven, where a team of volunteers will spend the winter preparing it for display.

The boat is being transported, prepared, mounted and maintained only by volunteers and donations from the community. The volunteers include members of the Coast Guard Sector Field Office Grand Haven, the local Chief Petty Officer Association, Grand Haven Main Street Downtown Development Authority, Grand Haven Area Community Foundation and the Coast Guard Festival.

The new boat comes after city crews this past fall removed an older 36-foot motor life boat and took it to a Muskegon museum. Brady said the landmark boat was in poor condition and was in need of a storage facility to protect it from the elements.

Brady said the old boat was from the 1940s, while its replacement was in use until last year in Texas.

“This (new) one was involved in a small accident, so it’s not useable anymore,” Brady said, adding that it would have been sold for scrap if not for the Grand Haven effort to acquire the boat and put it on display.

Once the boat is refurbished, a dedication ceremony is expected in the spring after the ground thaws and a foundation can be poured.

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