Handling a Cyclone
Surface Warfare Officer Command School (SWOS) offers superb simulators and instruction to prepare prospective commanding officers. The instructors at SWOS, who come predominantly from a Merchant Marine background, offer great insight into how to handle coastal patrol-like vessels such as large tugs and yachts. However, simulators are just that—and only the commanding officers have the opportunity to take advantage of these assets before reporting. This article attempts to fill that gap.
The ship is 179 feet long. It has a 25-foot beam, an 8.5-foot maximum draft at 380 U.S. tons (short), 22 feet height-of-eye, and a 50-foot air draft. Each of its four shafts has a six-blade propeller. There are four Paxman-model Valenta main-propulsion diesel engines (MPDEs) rated at 3,350 brake horsepower each (13,400 total), giving it the highest ratio of horsepower to displacement in the Fleet. For an ahead bell, the 50-inch-diameter fixed pitch propellers outboard turn outboard, and the inboard turn inboard. They turn in reverse during astern propulsion.