Conversion nearly complete on new pilot station boat for Staten Island

Work is nearly completed on the conversion of a former oil spill response vessel (OSRV) into a pilot station vessel for the Sandy Hook Pilots Association of Staten Island, New York.

The conversion work contract for Maine Responder, an OSRV formerly owned by Washington, DC-based Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC), was competitively awarded to Feeney Shipyard of Kingston, New York.

JMS Naval Architects provided engineering support for the project. The scope of the support included marine surveying and naval architecture services to evaluate the vessel prior to purchase, development of a conversion concept design through a contract-level design bid package, engineering support to the shipyard, and owner’s representative services on behalf of Sandy Hook Pilots during the vessel conversion.

In general, the conversion design included: extensive modifications to remove the oil recovery systems; installation of a large deck house for the pilot berthing, lounge, and mess; and incorporation of operational capabilities specific to the pilots’ mission.

Other modifications included addition of a port rescue station with net recovery system, deck de-icing systems at the port and starboard pilot boarding stations, a hot water/steam system for power washing to de-ice the pilot boats when alongside in winter, a new knuckle boom crane to service the port and starboard rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and to load gear pierside, increasing potable water capacity threefold to nearly 227,000 litres, two port and starboard fueling/transfer stations for small boats, and deckhouse extensions to encompass dedicated pilots’ berthing, mess, and lounge.

The pilothouse modifications included addition of: CCTV cameras to pilot boarding areas with screens on the pilothouse port and starboard and in the crew mess; two-way communication speakers from the boarding area to the pilothouse port and starboard bridge wings; a buzzer system for communication between the pilothouse and crew mess and the port and starboard boarding areas; floor to ceiling windows facing aft and down for viewing of the pilot boarding station; and sliding/opening side windows that face outboard.

The completed vessel retains its helicopter pad, ABS classification, and COI as a US Coast Guard Subchapter I vessel.

The vessel, to be renamed New York, is scheduled for delivery in September 2021 and is slated to serve the entrance to New York Harbor, Hudson River, Hell’s Gate, and Long Island Sound. It will replace a similarly named pilot boat that has been in service for 48 years.

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