The Wind-class icebreakers were a line of diesel electric-powered icebreakers in service with the United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Coast Guard and Soviet Navy from 1944 through the late 1970s. They were very effective ships: all except Eastwind served at least thirty years, and Northwind served in the USCG continuously for forty-four years. They were initially operated by the US Navy to patrol the waters around greenland.
State of the art when designed, their hull was of unprecedented strength and structural integrity. The outer hull plating was constructed with 1-5/8 inch thick high tensile steel and they had a double bottom above the waterline with the two “skins” being approximately 15 inches apart, insulated with cork. Framing was closely spaced and the entire hull was designed for great strength. With a relatively short length in proportion to the great power developed, their bow had the characteristic sloping forefoot that enabled them to ride up on heavy ice and break it with the weight of the vessel.
Diesel electric machinery was chosen for its controllability and resistance to damage, and they were fitted with a removable front propeller used to create a wash to clear ice.
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