AWARDS 2023 | Best FRP Pilot Boat – Wardan – Hart Marine

Best FRP Pilot Boat – Wardan (Photo: Southern Ports Authority)
Best FRP Pilot Boat – Wardan (Photo: Southern Ports Authority)

Australia's Hart Marine, once a famous builder of large racing yachts, has in more recent times appeared frequently among Baird Maritime's Best Of awards.

Its innovative, refined, safe and very high quality pilot boats are now seen in many Australian and New Zealand ports as well as further afield. This light, fast, self-righting and economical boat is a highly refined example of Hart Marine's work that was built to the order of the West Australian Port of Bunbury

"Besides the propulsion and navigation package, the boat features hull/deck infused vinylester construction creating a monolithic structure," Ben Switzer, Production Manager at Hart Marine, told Baird Maritime. "The wheelhouse, also of infused vinylester, is mounted to the deck on vibration isolators to reduce the vibration and the shock loads being transmitted to the operator."

Switzer said the delivery voyage from Melbourne to Bunbury by sea presented difficulties for the team due to strong westerlies and a high sea state. However, the team was able to push the bow down and sail through the poor conditions, demonstrating the strength of the boats despite trying conditions.

For Switzer, 2023 was characterised by consistent trade. Also, with Covid-19 having less of an adverse impact compared to before, the future is "looking bright" as far as boatbuilding is concerned.

"Fuel reduction during operations as well as annual operating costs have been impacting shipbuilding and will continue to do so," he added. "As for the pilot boat industry, trends such as fuel efficiency, sustainability, and innovation will become increasingly important, while safety will remain the highest priority."

Switzer also sees growing demand for windfarm support vessels within Australia's own workboat industry.

"Offshore wind farms will generate a high demand for commercial vessels required to service them," he told Baird Maritime. "It will be interesting to see how this space evolves."

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World