VESSEL REVIEW | Fast, durable patrol boat for Australia’s Queensland Police

Best Police Boat – 12-metre Police Patrol Boat (Photo: Norman R. Wright and Sons)
Best Police Boat – 12-metre Police Patrol Boat (Photo: Norman R. Wright and Sons)

Australian boatbuilder Norman R. Wright and Sons (NRW) has handed over the first vessel in a new series of patrol boats ordered by the Queensland Police Service.

The vessel features the same highly efficient hull form as that of a series of 14.2-metre pilot boats built by NRW for various local and overseas operators. The builder said the design was tested extensively with CFD and manufactured with an advanced composite structure. This then results in a seaworthy vessel able to operate for extended periods in Queensland waters, including remote, offshore and tropical locations, and in extreme weather and sea conditions.

NRW said that the vessel, which was built to DNV class and AMSA DCV 2C requirements, provides a number of advantages over typical aluminium-hulled, rigid inflatable vessels such as lighter weight, improved fuel efficiency under a broader range of speed settings, greater space utilisation and storage volumes, and reduced maintenance requirements. The double-chine configuration further reduces water resistance, ensuring greater comfort for the occupants.

<em>Photo: Norman R. Wright and Sons</em>
Photo: Norman R. Wright and Sons

The boat has an LOA of 11.94 metres, a moulded beam of 3.74 metres, and a draught of only 0.91 metres including the outboard propellers. Three Yamaha XTO 316kW petrol outboard engines fed by a 1,550-litre tank deliver a maximum speed of 50 knots and a cruising speed of 30 knots. The boat can be operated as far as 200 nautical miles off the coast, allowing it to be used for extended patrols.

The crew of two are housed in an accommodation space with single berths while the other onboard facilities include a galley, a toilet, space for a stretcher-bound patient, a work area, and a locker room. Noise reduction tiles are also fitted in some portions of the hull.

The crew are seated on Shockwave suspension seats in the wheelhouse. The starboard helm seat is also height-adjustable to enable the coxswain to operate the vessel either while seated or while standing fully upright. The wheelhouse features upward facing windows to provide the crew with improved visibility when alongside larger vessels. The wheelhouse and the forward accommodation spaces are fully air-conditioned.

A Westerbeke 6.2kVA generator supplies power for the onboard electronics, which include a Furuno radar.

As with many of NRW's pilot boat designs, the Queensland Police Service's newest patrol boat features handrails that are positioned along the exterior of the pilothouse as opposed to the traditional installation on the deck perimeter. This ensures that the occupants can walk safely along the outer deck while still ensuring greater flexibility with regards to transfers to and from jetties and other vessels, such as during boardings and inspections.

<em>Photo: Norman R. Wright and Sons</em>
Photo: Norman R. Wright and Sons
12-metre Police Patrol Boat
Type of vessel:Patrol boat
Classification:DNV; AMSA DCV 2C
Owner:Queensland Police Service, Australia
Builder:Norman R. Wright and Sons, Australia
Hull construction material:Composite
Superstructure construction material:Composite
Deck construction material:Composite
Length overall:11.94 metres
Beam:3.74 metres
Draught:0.91 metres
Main engines:3 x Yamaha XTO outboards, each 316 kW
Generator:Westerbeke, 6.2 kVA
Maximum speed:50 knots
Cruising speed:30 knots
Seating:2 x Shockwave
Type of fuel:Petrol
Fuel capacity:1,550 litres
Accommodation:Berths; galley; toilet; work area; locker room
Operational area:Queensland, Australia

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