VESSEL REVIEW | L248 – Ice-capable pilot boat built for Finland’s challenging coastal waters

Photo: Marine Alutech

Finnpilot Pilotage, a Finnish state-owned marine pilotage services provider, will take delivery of a new vessel early next year.

Designed and built by local company Marine Alutech, the all-aluminium pilot boat L248 will possess self-righting ability as well as the ability to sail in surface ice of up to five centimetres thick. It can also be operated in deeper offshore waters to accommodate transfers of pilots to deeper-draught ships.

The new pilot boat has a displacement of 20 tonnes, an LOA of 16.3 metres, a beam of 5.1 metres, and a draught of only 1.6 metres, making it suitable for operating even in more restrictive inner harbour waters. The bow has D-type rubber fendering while the hull sides are equipped with truck tyres for added safety when manoeuvring alongside larger ships for pilot transfers.

The wheelhouse is fitted with a set of nine tempered glass windows with heating and sunshades, guaranteeing improved visibility for the crew under different weather and external light conditions. The interior seats for the two crewmembers and the four pilots/passengers are all Grammer units with four-point safety harnesses as well as footrests.

Photo: Marine Alutech

Power is provided by one Scania DI13 079M main engine that produces 552 kW and complies with IMO Tier II emissions standards. The engine drives a Steerprop propeller via a Twin Disc MGX-6599A gearbox to deliver a maximum speed of over 21 knots and a cruising speed of 20 knots. A hydraulically boosted steering system ensures quieter operation as well as quicker responses to helm input.

The engine room is fitted with Frenchlight interference-protected LED lighting.

The boat relies on a pair of 220Ah batteries to supply electrical power for the vast array of navigation and communication electronics. A complete Furuno package consists of a DRS12A-NXT radar, two FM-8900S handheld radios, a Navpilot 711C autopilot, a GPS, an FA-170 class A AIS transponder, an SC-70 satellite compass, a BR-500 BNWAS, and an LH-5000 loudhailer. The other electronics include a MaxSea plotter, two McMurdo portable VHF radios, EPIRB, and SART. Also fitted are five wide-angle, night vision cameras and a separate video switch with split-screen function and a selector switch next to the coxswain.

Mounted on the wheelhouse roof is a Seematz searchlight while the bow also has forward headlights to aid in sailing under low-visibility conditions. The wheelhouse itself also has emergency lighting independent of the boat’s main electrical power supply, and this lighting is designed to continue functioning even after the boat becomes submerged, such as following a capsize.

When evacuation of the boat becomes necessary, the occupants have access to a SOLAS B-certified liferaft with hydrostatic release. The release function can be operated remotely from inside the wheelhouse for fast deployment.

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Type of vessel:Pilot boat
Owner:Finnpilot Pilotage, Finland
Operator:Finnpilot Pilotage, Finland
Designer:Marine Alutech, Finland
CAD software:Multisurf; Maxsurf; Solidworks
Builder:Marine Alutech, Finland
Hull construction material:Aluminium
Superstructure construction material:Aluminium
Deck construction material:Aluminium
Plate cutting:CNC
Length overall:16.3 metres
Beam:5.1 metres
Draught:1.6 metres
Displacement:20 tonnes
Main engine:Scania DI13 079M, 552 kW
Gearbox:Twin Disc MGX-6599A
Propulsion:Steerprop propeller
Side thruster:Sidepower
Steering system:Hydraulically boosted system
Maximum speed:21 knots
Cruising speed:20 knots
Range:250 nautical miles
Batteries:2 x 220 Ah
Electronics supplied by:Furuno
Radar:Furuno DRS12A-NXT
Depth sounder:SS60DT transducer
Radios:2 x Furuno FM-8900S handsets; 2 x McMurdo R5 Sea VHF
Autopilot:Furuno Navpilot 711C
Compass:Furuno SC70/MIC
GMDSS:EPIRB G-8-A GPS; AIS-SART S5A; 2 x McMurdo Smartfind S10 AIS beacons
GPS:Furuno GP170
AIS:Furuno FA-170, Class A
Audio/video system:Furuno LH-5000 loudhailer
Alarm/monitoring system:Furuno BR-500 BNWAS
Cameras/night vision:5 x night vision cameras
Other electronics:Color camera display
Fendering:D type rubber on bow; truck tyres on sides
Other equipment installed:Solar screen sunshades; heating for windows; deck heating; handrail heating
Seating:6 x Grammer AVENTO PRO AIR 930
Interior lighting:Frenchlight LED; emergency wheelhouse lighting
External lighting/searchlights:Hella marine LED; Seematz searchlight; 2 x bow headlights
Floor/deck surface finishes:International Paints
Interior designer:Marine Alutech
Interior fitout/furnishings:Marine Alutech
Safety equipment:Handrails
Liferaft:SOLAS B-certified
Type of fuel:Diesel
Fuel capacity:2,000 litres
Fuel consumption:150 litres/hour

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