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Police Boat To Get an Upgrade

Cue the “Miami Vice” theme! The Westport police are getting new engines for their primary river patrol boat. Capt. Sam Arciola said they’ve been keeping the old engines functional with repairs and maintenance, but the time has come to put something new in.

“As of right now, repairs to the boat exceed the cost of new engines,” Arciola told the Board of Finance, who needed to approve the $18,180 appropriation. The price gets two new motors for the department’s Boston Whaler Guardian. The engines aren’t just a replacement. They’re stepping up from four cylinders to six. However, the town is getting them at special government pricing that is lower than private sector.

Arciola said the old engines made it five years, with the occasional repair to keep them going. The average lifespan of this sort of engine is about 1,700 hours of use, according to the captain. “It could go longer -- this engine happened to fail,” he said.

With the engines dead, the boat is out of commission. Arciola said getting it back in action is a priority. There are sections of the Saugatuck River where it is the only boat that can navigate the bridges and tides.

The appropriation was approved unanimously by the board.

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