VESSEL REVIEW | Angels Navigator & Angels Pilot – All-weather newbuild pair for Los Angeles Pilot Service

Photo: Mackay Marine

The Los Angeles Pilot Service that operates out of the Port of Los Angeles has taken delivery of two custom-built, all-aluminium pilot boats in a series from Vigor Industrial of Vancouver, Washington. The vessels were developed with emphasis on improved safety and compliance to environmental standards within the State of California.

The Camarc-designed Angels Navigator and Angels Pilot were designed and built over a two-year period. Each has a length of 55 feet (17 metres), a beam of 16 feet (five metres), and a draught of 3.2 feet (one metre).

The newbuilds each feature a twin-chine, heavy weather hull form to ensure excellent seakeeping as well as multiple heavy fender systems that allow for safer pilot transfers under extreme conditions. Also fitted is an articulated rescue davit for use in man overboard situations.

As is the trend among many of the newer pilot boats being built globally, Angels Navigator and Angels Pilot both have their safety railings placed along the perimeters of their respective wheelhouses. This unique configuration ensures operational flexibility as it allows transfers to and from large ships to be accomplished on either the full port or starboard deck or via the bow instead of only one access point as on older boats.

Angels Navigator (Photo: Robert Goluck)

Each boat also has a Mackay Marine electronics package that includes a Teledyne FLIR thermal camera, Icom VHF radios, an ACR EPIRB, a Wilson cell phone booster system, GPS, and a Furuno LH5000 30W loudhailer. The navigation suite is a Furuno package that consists of two DRS6ANXT solid state Doppler radars with target analysis and fast tracking capability, a set of NavNet multi-function displays (MFDs), an SC33 satellite compass, an FA170 AIS, a NavPilot 711C autopilot, and an RD33 data organiser. Installation of the navigation electronics was carried out by Superior Marine Services.

Furuno said that, with the ability to output full HD video in multiple aspect ratios, this combination of black box MFD and dual HD monitors on the NavNet displays maximises space at the helm, allowing for an efficient workspace. Also, the autopilot on each boat has been configured to operate in conjunction with a Jastram steering system so that dynamic adjustment of essential parameters during navigation will be stored in the system memory and continuously optimised to make the system more versatile.

The boats each have a fuel storage capacity of 660 gallons (2,498 litres) and a freshwater tank capacity of 66 gallons (250 litres). US EPA Tier III-compliant main engines deliver a cruising speed of 24 knots and a maximum speed of 27 knots.

Angels Navigator and Angels Pilot entered service at the Port of Los Angeles in early 2021. They have since replaced Phineas Banning and Stephen M. White, two older pilot boats that had served the port for more than 25 years.

Captain David Flinn, the chief port pilot of Los Angeles, has claimed that the newer boats each have expected service lives of 30 years.

Photo: Port of Los Angeles

More Pilotage Week reviews, features and news right here.

Angels Navigator & Angels Pilot
Type of vessel:Pilot boats
Owner:Los Angeles Pilot Service, USA
Operator:Los Angeles Pilot Service, USA
Designer:Camarc Design, UK
Builder:Vigor Industrial, USA
Hull construction material:Aluminium
Superstructure construction material:Aluminium
Deck construction material:Aluminium
Length overall:55 feet (17 metres)
Beam:16 feet (5.0 metres)
Draught:3.2 feet (1.0 metre)
Main engines:2
Steering system:Jastram
Maximum speed:27 knots
Cruising speed:24 knots
Electronics supplied by:Mackay Marine; Furuno; Superior Marine Services
Radars:2 x Furuno DRS6ANXT solid state Doppler
Radios:2 x Icom VHF
Autopilot:Furuno NavPilot 711C
Compass:Furuno SC33
AIS:Furuno FA170
Audio/video system:Furuno LH5000 loudhailer
Cameras/night vision:Teledyne FLIR
Other electronics:ACR EPIRB; Furuno NavNet multi-function displays; Furuno RD33 data organiser; Wilson cell phone booster system
Safety equipment:Safety railings; man overboard recovery davit
Type of fuel:Diesel
Fuel capacity:660 gallons (2,498 litres)
Freshwater capacity:66 gallons (250 litres)

Baird Maritime

The best maritime site on the web. The sea's our scene!