VESSEL REVIEW | Ybor – Foil-equipped catamaran pilot boat to serve Tampa Bay

VESSEL REVIEW | Ybor – Foil-equipped catamaran pilot boat to serve Tampa Bay

Best Catamaran Pilot Boat – Ybor (Photo: ACI Boats)

The Tampa Bay Pilots Association has begun operating a new pilot boat to serve clients in nearshore waters off Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Designed by Jutson Marine Design of British Columbia in compliance to US Coast Guard Sub-Chapter T regulations, the all-aluminium newbuild has been named Ybor after Ybor City, a popular immigrant neighbourhood located just outside of downtown Tampa.

The boat has an LOA of 35 feet (10.79 metres), a beam of 11 feet (3.35 metres), a draught of 1.9 feet (0.6 metres), and a displacement of 7.8 tons (7.1 tonnes) at full load. The main cabin has individual Bentley Patriot suspension seats for one coxswain and four pilots/passengers while Awlgrip marine paint was used for the interior. D-type rubber in two courses was used for the fendering on the hull for added safety when manoeuvring alongside larger vessels.

Photo: ACI Boats

The boat is notable for being a catamaran, a design that is becoming more widespread among newer vessels being built to perform pilot transfer duties.

“The boat was built as a fast foil assist catamaran,” Jutson Marine told Baird Maritime. “It has the ability to maintain speed in a seaway due to reduced vertical acceleration as well as to present a low wake wash when operating near shore or in the vicinity of recreational craft.”

The foil assist configuration, which is composed of two hull-mounted hydrofoil “wings,” is designed to generate lift to raise the hull higher above the surface. This helps reduce the overall hull resistance, and one effect is the low wake wash generated by the hull as mentioned by the designer. The foil assisted catamaran design is also best optimised around a certain speed range, thereby making it suitable for longer runs on the open water and top speeds of between 30 and 45 knots.

Jutson Marine added that the boat was intended to help the owner address the problems that typically come with operating larger pilot boats.

“Larger vessels require more effort, manning and general cost to operate, so they present a limitation in what the association can do. This vessel overcomes those problems.”

Photo: ACI Boats

Ybor is powered by a pair of Yamaha outboard engines that each produce 300 hp (223 kW) with steering assistance provided by a SeaStar Optimus system consisting of pumps and outboard steering cylinders. The outboards drive a pair of stainless steel propellers to enable the boat to reach a maximum speed of 40 knots and cruising speeds of between 28 and 35 knots.

The boat has two fuel tanks, each with capacity for 145 gallons (550 litres) of petrol. The foil assist catamaran design also contributes to fuel efficiency, with a consumption figure of 3.3 litres per nautical mile possible at an economical cruising speed of 30 knots. This then enables the boat to sail for up to 280 nautical miles and still have a 10 per cent fuel reserve.

“We also incorporated interceptor style trim tabs so the engine trim remains at a constant zero degrees to maximise propulsion efficiency,” Jutson Marine told Baird Maritime.

The boat’s electronics suite includes a Furuno NXT radar, an Icom M596 VHF radio, a SeaStar autopilot, and an Airmar transducer. LED lighting was used for the interior and the Rigid D Series deck floodlights. Power for these systems is supplied by a Northern Lights 5kW generator.

Photo: ACI Boats

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Type of vessel: Pilot boat
Classification: USCG Sub Chapter T
Flag: USA
Owner: Tampa Bay Pilots Association, USA
Operator: Tampa Bay Pilots Association, USA
Designer: Jutson Marine Design, Canada
CAD software: Rhino
Builder: ACI Boats, USA
Hull construction material: Aluminium
Superstructure construction material: Aluminium
Deck construction material: Aluminium
Length overall: 35 feet (10.79 metres)
Length waterline: 29 feet (8.95 metres)
Length bp: 32 feet (9.75 metres)
Beam: 11 feet (3.35 metres)
Draught: 1.9 feet (0.6 metres)
Depth: 3.6 feet (1.12 metres)
Displacement: 7.8 tons (7.1 tonnes)
Main engines: 2 x Yamaha outboards, each 300 hp (223 kW)
Propulsion: 2 x stainless steel propellers
Generator: Northern Lights, 5 kW
Steering system: SeaStar Optimus
Maximum speed: 40 knots
Cruising speed: 32 knots
Range: 280 nautical miles
Electronics supplied by: Furuno
Radar: Furuno NXT
Depth sounder: Airmar Transducer
Radio: Icom M596 VHF
Autopilot: SeaStar
Fendering: D rubber, 2 courses
Paints/coatings: Awlgrip
Windows: Bolt-in with aluminium frames
Seating: 5 x Bentley Patriot seats with suspension pedestals
Interior lighting: LED
External lighting: Rigid D Series Pro LED deck floodlights
Type of fuel: Petrol
Fuel capacity: 290 gallons (1100 litres)
Fuel consumption: 3.3 litres per nautical mile at 30 knots
Crew: 1
Passengers: 4

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