VESSEL REVIEW | Golden Gate – Versatile pilot boat to serve San Francisco Bay Area

VESSEL REVIEW | Golden Gate – Versatile pilot boat to serve San Francisco Bay Area

Photo: Snow and Company

Seattle, Washington-based boatbuilder Snow and Company has handed over a new all-aluminium monohull pilot boat to the San Francisco Bar Pilots of California. Designed by UK naval architecture firm Camarc Design, the aptly named Golden Gate utilises an existing pilot boat layout that has been updated with a refined hull for improved comfort and fuel efficiencies as well as a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system for further reducing emissions.

The San Francisco Bar Pilots selected a Camarc vessel as it offered benefits such as a sustained cruising speed of 25 knots, the ability to operate in bay waters even in heavy weather, self-righting ability, man overboard (MOB) recovery capability, excellent manoeuvrability, an ergonomic and adequately soundproofed interior layout, and the ability to connect to a shore charging facility to reduce generator emissions when requiring electrical power while pierside.

The new boat has an LOA of 73 feet (22.3 metres), a beam of 20.3 feet (6.2 metres), a maximum draught of just over 3.6 feet (1.1 metres), and space for two crewmembers and up to 12 pilots/passengers. The propulsion system consists of two MAN D2862 LE 438 1,200hp (882kW) US EPA Tier IV-compliant main engines driving Hamilton HTX52 waterjets via Twin Disc MGX 6599 SC gearboxes to deliver a speed of over 30 knots. A Humphree active ride control system optimises trim and reduces motions at speed.

Photo: Snow and Company

The waterjets are controlled via HamiltonJet’s proprietary AVX system, ensuring greatly improved positioning control during pilot transfers and enabling the coxswain to maintain a greater angle when alongside, due to the vectored thrust of all available power. The engines are meanwhile fitted with a MAN SCR exhaust aftertreatment system, which can also be used in conjunction with a diesel particulate filter (DPF) that can be installed later.

The pilothouse is resiliently mounted to the hull structure with vibration isolation mounts for improved comfort even when underway. The crew and pilots have access to a day galley and other accommodation spaces.

The safety equipment includes a MOB recovery basket that can be controlled by only one person via the aft helm station. As the system has no lines, winches, or rigging, it may be safely used even near the boat’s waterjets and it ensures a greater chance of victim recovery in extreme conditions compared to hoist and line type systems.

The onboard systems, which also include radars from Furuno, draw power from two Northern Lights M944T3F 38kW generators. Fendering from Fender Innovations is fitted around the hull to provide impact protection.

Click here for more news, features, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on marine pilotage operations.

Golden Gate
Type of vessel: Pilot boat
Flag: USA
Owner: San Francisco Bar Pilots, USA
Designer: Camarc Design, UK
Builder: Snow and Company, USA
Hull construction material: Aluminium
Superstructure construction material: Aluminium
Deck construction material: Aluminium
Length overall: 73 feet (22.3 metres)
Beam: 20.3 feet (6.2 metres)
Draught: 3.6 feet (1.1 metres)
Displacement: 110,000 pounds (49,895 kilograms)
Main engines: 2 x MAN D2862 LE 438, each 1,200 hp (882 kW) at 2,100 rpm
Gearboxes: 2 x Twin Disc MGX 6599 SC
Propulsion: 2 x Hamilton HTX52 waterjets
Generators: 2 x Northern Lights M944T3F, each 38 kW
Steering system: HamiltonJet AVX
Maximum speed: 30 knots
Cruising speed: 25 knots
Radars: 2 x Furuno
Fendering: Fender Innovations
Other equipment installed: Humphree ride control system; MAN selective catalytic reduction system
Safety equipment: MOB recovery basket
Fuel capacity: 1,300 gallons (4,921 litres)
Freshwater capacity: 50 gallons (189 litres)
Crew: 2
Passengers: 12
Operational area: San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA

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