Office of Cutter Forces

Aircraft, Boats, and Cutters: Cutters

399-foot Polar Class Icebreakers (WAGB)

The largest cutters operated by the Coast Guard are the icebreakers. These cutters, specifically designed for open-water icebreaking have reinforced hulls, special icebreaking bows, and a system that allows rapid shifting of ballast to increase the effectiveness of their icebreaking. The Polar Sea and Polar Star were built in the 1970s and the newest and most technologically advanced icebreaker, the Cutter HEALY was added to the fleet in November 1999.  They serve in Arctic/Antarctic serving science and research as well as providing supplies to remote stations. All three icebreakers are under the control of Pacific Area, Ice Operations Section.

Polar Class Icebreakers in service:

CGC Polar Star & CGC Polar Sea


Length: 399 ft
Beam: 83.5 ft
Designed Draft: 28 ft
Top of Mast
Above Waterline:
138 ft
Displacement: 13,194 tons
Potable Water: 26,586 gal
General Cargo: 400 tons
Cargo Volume
(upper/lower hold):
350/250 m3
Max Cargo Dimensions: 7' W x 11' L x 7' H
Commissioned: 1976 & 1978
Last Modified 9/19/2008