VESSEL REVIEW | Pilotine Amiral Muselier – Low-emission pilot boat to serve France’s Port of Nice

Photo: Mauric

The Port of Nice on the French Riviera recently welcomed a new pilot boat built locally by Glehen Shipyard. The boat is named Pilotine Amiral Muselier after Admiral Emile Muselier, who commanded the Free French Naval Forces during the Second World War.

The newbuild replaces an earlier pilot boat that had served the Port of Nice for over 20 years.

The Metropole Nice Cote d’Azur local administrative division will be the primary operator of the new boat, which has an LOA of 15.85 metres, a beam of 5.3 metres, a maximum draught of 2.06 metres, and space for two crewmembers and 12 additional personnel. Design work on the vessel was provided by naval architecture firm Mauric.

The propulsion arrangement consists of two Volvo D13 372kW IMO Tier III engines fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) features. The engines drive conventional propellers to deliver a maximum speed of 11 knots and a bollard pull of approximately 15 tonnes, making the boat suitable for providing limited towing and berthing assistance for ships measuring up to 210 metres long.

Photo: Glehen Shipyard

The engines run on gas-to-liquids (GTL), which is natural gas that has been converted into conventional fuel oil via a chemical process. Besides ensuring reduced emissions, the GTL will enable the vessel to operate for up to 60 hours in between refuelings. To further reduce emissions, the vessel’s onboard systems draw some of their electrical power from an array of solar panels.

Pilot transfers can be performed at various points along the deck as the handrails are installed much closer to the wheelhouse as opposed to the traditional arrangement of having these placed further out on the deck perimeter.

The pilot boat may also be used for emergency response duties to the installation of water/foam firefighting monitors on the wheelhouse roof and a knuckle boom crane on the aft deck to remove surface rubbish and other debris in port waters. This pollution removal capability was incorporated into the vessel after the operator realised the Port of Nice might once again suffer the problem of tree trunks and other large debris preventing navigation in the surrounding waters, as had been the case after Storm Alex swept through that same region of southern France in early October 2020.

Other secondary functions include harbour equipment installation and maintenance.

Although based in Nice, Pilotine Amiral Muselier will serve an area that stretches from the Alpes-Maritimes in south-eastern France to just off Monaco.

Photo: Glehen Shipyard
Pilotine Amiral Muselier
Type of vessel:Pilot boat
Port of registry:Nice, France
Owner:Metropole Nice Cote d’Azur, France
Designer:Mauric, France
Builder:Glehen Shipyard, France
Length overall:15.85 metres
Beam:5.3 metres
Draught:2.06 metres
Main engines:2 x Volvo D13, each 372 kW
Propulsion:2 x propellers
Maximum speed:11 knots
Bollard pull:15 tonnes
Other equipment installed:Solar panels
Firefighting equipment:Foam/water monitors
Type of fuel:GTL
Operational area:South-Eastern France

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