VESSEL REVIEW | Practicos Coruna Ocho – Durable Irish-built pilot boat for Spain’s Port of Coruna


Irish builder Safehaven Marine has delivered a new pilot boat to the Port of Coruna in northern Spain.

The boat, which has been named Practicos Coruna Ocho, has an LOA of 15 metres, a beam of 4.4 metres, and a displacement of 17.2 tonnes.

The boat is powered by two Volvo D13 diesel engines, each with a rated output of 372 kW. The engines drive two 711-millimetre propellers to deliver a continuous operational speed of 25 knots. Safehaven said the boat was designed to be economical, consuming just under 80 litres of fuel per hour on each engine even when sailing at 25 knots. The engine compartment is also very spacious with all service components easily accessible for maintenance.

The boat’s air-conditioned cabin has reclining, air suspension shock-mitigating seats with side bolsters to ensure greater comfort for the six pilots and the coxswain even when underway in rough seas. The interior boasts a remarkably low noise level of around 73 dB, which is roughly equivalent to the noise heard from inside a car moving along a motorway at 96 km/h.

The interior is also finished to a very high standard, fully lined throughout in vinyl and sidelining carpet with laminates. The windows have all been fitted with double glazing to guarantee clearer visibility under weather conditions that could otherwise cause misting.

Practicos Coruna Ocho features heavy 150- by 150-millimetre D section rubber main gunwale fendering all around the hull. Also incorporated is Safehaven’s proprietary sacrificial fender system that protects the vessel at the boarding area and softens the inevitable hard impact that can occur when performing transfers in poor sea conditions. Multiple diagonals and a lower run further protect the vessel, while additional fendering at the rounded bow allows the vessel to be used for occasional “pushing” duties to assist pilots in small ship manoeuvres.

Safehaven’s man overboard (MOB) recovery system is fitted on the transom to allow casualties in the water to be easily recovered in a MOB situation.

A full suite of Garmin electronics that also includes displays are positioned flush in an FRP “wrap around” console at the central helm position. From this position, the coxswain is provided with excellent all-round visibility and control of the craft when undertaking alongside ship pilot transfers.

Safehaven said the central helm position has been especially designed to provide improved comfort and control for the coxswain. The design wraps around with all instrumentation clearly visible, and all the vessel controls have been ergonomically designed for comfort and visibility. The boat is fitted with a sophisticated, state of the art electronic navigation system.

Other features are a 240v 3.5kw generator allowing onboard 240v supplies when underway. Special stainless rear view mirrors were developed by Safehaven at the owner’s request to assist in boarding manoeuvres. Electro-hydraulic trim flaps fully protected in recesses mounted under the transom provide the coxswain with control over running trim.

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Practicos Coruna Ocho
Type of vessel:Pilot boat
Owner:Port of Coruna, Spain
Operator:Port of Coruna, Spain
Builder:Safehaven Marine, Ireland
Hull construction material:FRP
Superstructure construction material:FRP
Deck construction material:FRP
Length overall:15 metres
Beam:4.4 metres
Displacement:17.2 tonnes
Main engines:2 x Volvo D13, each 372 kW
Propulsion:2 x propellers
Generator:3.5 kW
Cruising speed:25 knots
Other electronics:Garmin
Fendering:D section; Safehaven Marine sacrificial fender system
Other equipment installed:Rear view mirrors; trim flaps
Windows:Double-glazed windows
Seating:Shock-mitigating reclining seats
Floor/deck surface finishes:Vinyl; laminated carpet
Safety equipment:Safehaven Marine man overboard recovery system
Type of fuel:Diesel
Fuel consumption:160 litres/hour at 25 knots

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