The U.S. Coast Guard Academy is planning to replace its aging fleet of Luders sail training vessels with a new 44-foot David Pedrick-designed boat. The Academy plans to build at least eight of the boats, called Leadership 44s, one for each of its cadet Companies. Morris Yachts of Bass Harbor, Maine, has been selected as the builder.
According to Bob Hallock of the Academy’s Leadership 44 program, “We look at the partnership of designer and builder for our Leadership 44 as a huge win/win for everybody involved.” Cuyler Morris, president of Morris Yachts said, “It is an honor to be chosen by our country’s Coast Guard to build these craft.”
The new contract also allows Morris to re-hire at least 20 of its craftsmen who were laid off as a result of the economic downturn earlier this year.
Historically, the Coast Guard has been an enthusiastic supporter of sail training programs recognizing their value in a future maritime officer’s development. The hands-on training often serves as a cadet’s first command at sea, providing them with not only leadership skills, but also an appreciation of the importance of solid teamwork.
The Coast Guard sees the 44s as floating leadership platforms, providing cadets with an experience that is difficult to re-create aboard large cutters. The boats will also be used as an extension of the cadet barracks, with each cadet Company having access to, and responsibility for their own boat.
The Academy superintendent has made the Leadership 44 project a top priority and is supporting a Leadership 44 Capital Campaign to raise funds to replace the ageing Luders with the new Morris yachts. For more information visit www.cgaleader ship44.org.