Uniflite Awarded $3.2-Million Navy Contracts For Target Boats

The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded two contracts with the aggregate value of $3,244,414 for construction of 33 radio-controlled target boats and repair parts to Uniflite, Inc., fiberglass boat and yacht manufacturer headquartered in Bellingham, Wash., with a second plant at Swansboro, N.C., according to John L. Thomas, Uniflite president.

Mr. Thomas said that one contract valued at $3,033,884 is f o r 23 SEPTAR MK 35 f i f t y - six-foot target boats, each powered with five 330-hp Mercruiser inboard engines and rated for minimum speeds of 35 knots. These boats, designated by the Navy as 56-footers, measure 54 feet 8% inches length overall, 13 feet 7^4 inches beam, and have a displacement of 36,000 pounds.

The other contract, valued at $210,530, is for 10 SEPTAR MK 33 eighteen-foot target drones powered with single 225-hp Chrysler i n b o a r d - o u t b o a r d engines for minimum speeds of 40 knots. Specifications are: 18-feet 1-inch length overall, 7-foot 4-inch beam, and displacement of 2,500 pounds.

Delivery on both contracts will be during the next 12 months to the Pacific Missile Test Center at Point Hueneme, Calif., for use in shipboard and airborne missile weaponry practice to evaluate weapons and controls systems on ranges off southern California, Hawaii, and in the Caribbean.

Mr. Thomas explained that the Navy's in- tention is not to destroy the target boats, but to record a "direct hit" when the projecile lands within a specified number of degrees from the target with the "sights" compensated to that extent.

The largest builder of fiberglass boats for the U.S. Navy since the early 1960s, Uniflite has built approximately 3,000 craft, 14-56 feet, for the U.S. Navy and other U.S. and foreign governmental agencies.

The publicly held company, listed overthe- counter (OTC), is also a leading manufacturer of fire-retardant fiberglass recreational yachts, 26 to 42 feet, and commercial and patrol craft to 53 feet. It also builds the Valiant line of auxiliary-powered cruising sailboats on contract for Valiant Yacht Corp., Seattle, Wash.

All Uniflite-built nonmilitary boats are classified and labeled by Underwriters' Laboratories (UL), attesting to the strength and fire retardance of their fiberglass hulls.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 22,  Sep 1978 D. Van Beest

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