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Boats Made for the Military

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Boats Made for the Military, by Chris Caswell (continued)

Midnight Express military boat

If you are chased down by a Midnight Express, put your boat in neutral, immediately!

The U.S. military and Homeland Security also have a fleet of the same 39-foot Interceptor, also with quad outboards, but it’s a well-kept secret as to where they are and what exactly they’re doing. Don’t even ask.

At Contender Boats, the company motto is “We Build Sportfishing Boats.” Well, yes, that’s true. But they also build some “toys” for the Department of Defense, among others. With more than 8,000 boats built, it’s anyone’s guess how many of those are skippered by people with badges and weapons. But where and why? Again, it’s a mystery designed to keep the bad guys off guard. But since Contender points out that it is a custom center-console builder, boats are doctored for some interesting missions.

Public records show that in the past few years, Contender Boats has completed government contracts for a total of $1.68 million, with $1.46 million of that going to the Department of Homeland Security for “fishing vessels.” Sure. Them Homeland Security folks are just fishin’ fools.

The rest of those government projects went to various police and sheriff’s departments, and fisheries & wildlife commissions. The police and sheriff’s boats are straightforward and similar to the ­Contender at your dealer, aside from the shotgun racks and the flashing lights. Same with the FWC boats, but before you try to get away with something, remember that the folks running the FWC craft are either state or Federal agents who can do such things as give you a ticket or put you in handcuffs.

Even the Contender Bay Boat series has been tapped by Fisheries & Wildlife agencies to patrol shallow backwaters for poachers and other such criminals.

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