The motor vessel City of Portland IV, the fireboat for its namesake city, returned to the water Feb. 17 after repairs were completed at Wayfarer Marine in Camden.

The fireboat ran aground in November during a rescue operation off Jewell Island, about an hour from Portland.

Wayfarer provided sheltered workspace for Rockland Marine, which received the bid contract to do the repairs. According to Wayfarer General Manager Sandy McGaw, the Camden boatyard hauled the City of Portland IV out of the water Dec. 19, after it was towed to Camden from Portland.

“We have worked with Wayfarer in the past with projects,” said Rockland Marine President Perry Holmes. “It was a good match because the boat needed to be inside where it was warm.” Holmes said aluminum hulls need to be worked on at temperatures above freezing.

“They called us to see if we had space to allow them to work on the boat here under cover,” said McGaw. “We moved some things around and made some accommodation for it.”

“One of our desires was to be able to keep some of our guys busy as well on the project,” he said.

“It worked out well for both of us,” Holmes said.

According to the Web site at, the City of Portland IV was commissioned on Sept. 21, 2009. The Robert Allan designed Ranger 2000 Class fireboat was built by A.F. Theriault & Sons of Meteghan River, Nova Scotia.

Funding for the $3.2 million boat came from a $1 million federal allocation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a $450,000 U.S. Port and Homeland Security grant, and a $1.75 million allocation from the 2002 to 2005 Portland city budgets.

On Nov. 7, 2009, the 2-month-old fireboat hit a submerged ledge, damaging its left propeller, shaft and rudder. There was also some damage to the keel and the strut that supports the propeller shaft, McGaw said.

In the aftermath of the incident city officials estimated the cost of repairs at more than $90,000. The city’s insurance on the boat carries a $25,000 deductible. Holmes said the cost of repairs was slightly lower than that estimate

The City of Portland IV was expected to return to its homeport on Friday, Feb. 19.

filed under: