Brunswick Commercial and Government Products (BCGP) has delivered a 350 Challenger to the Lorain County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio, where it will be used to patrol the border between the U.S. and Canada on Lake Erie. The Sheriff’s Department is part of a 58-agency task force known as the Northern Border Initiative (NBI). This task force is funded through federal security grant funds administered by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security.
The 350 Challenger is a new Boston Whaler model manufactured by BCGP for military, law enforcement, port security, search and rescue (SAR), and workboat operations. The Boston Whaler brand is popular in commercial and military applications because of its durability and “unsinkable” construction. The NBI fleet already has several other Boston Whalers in service.
In addition to its rescue and law enforcement duties, NBI is tasked with scanning watercraft coming across the border for potential radiological or nuclear threats. To help the agency address this requirement, BCGP custom-installed an optional Thermo Scientific RadSPEC uniton the 350 Challenger to detect and identify radiation. When the device detects hazardous material on a vessel, its ‘reach-back’ feature can upload the data immediately to an analysis center, giving officers real-time feedback about the potential threat. Additional electronic optionson the NBI unit include FLIR night vision, light bar, hailer, and redundant radio and navigationsystems.
This new 35-foot, 11-inch walkaround cabin model features an open cockpit and center helmlayout for 360 degree access to facilitate boardings and other maneuvers. Its deep-V hull affords smoother rides in rough water, while its 11-foot, 8-inch beam provides both ample deckspace for crew and gear as well as excellent lateral stability. A recessed walkaround, flankedby strategically-placed grab rails, promotes bow access even in adverse conditions. The 350 Challenger holds 421 gallons of fuel, and can be powered by dual or triple outboard engines upto 900 total horsepower.
The helm station can seat up to four and includes an integrated hardtop with vented glass windshield and two hatches in the hardtop promoting ventilation, weather protection and a more comfortable environment for the crew. The helm deck can be completely enclosed with aft weather curtains to fully protect the passengers from driving wind and rain. An 18,000 BTU reverse cycle air conditioner with climate control is standard.
The helm console can accommodate up to two 15-inch electronics displays, multiple flush mounted radios, autopilot and more. With the helm on centerline, the captain has good visibility and does not impede crew access to the cabin. For docking, boarding, or conducting securitychecks alongside other watercraft, a standard bow thruster provides the helmsman additional control. Optional hull rub strakes protect against hull damage to -- and from -- structures or other boats.
The 350 Challenger’s spacious cabin interior can be configured to house 4 to 6 workstations, including optional laptop docking stations, white boards, mounted displays, conference tables, locking storage, and more. Additional laptop docking stations can be installed at the helm or within a secure aft cockpit work area. For crew comfort during extended patrols, the 350 Challenger comes standard with a fully-featured galley, mid-cabin berth and head/wet room, a 12,000 BTU reverse cycle cabin air conditioner and an 8kW generator are also standard.
The 350 Challenger can be customized for virtually any on-water mission. Customers can select from hundreds of options including fire pumps, light bars, custom hull colors, dive tank racks, davits, rub strakes, gun mounts, and much more.