VESSEL REVIEW | VB Mouna – New pilot boat to serve Morocco’s Tanger-Med Port
Irish builder Safehaven Marine has completed construction of a pilot ordered by Boluda Tanger Med, a Morocco-based business unit of Spain’s Boluda Corporacion Maritima.
The 14.6-metre-long VB Mouna will be operated in the Tanger-Med port complex in Tangier. Two other pilot boats from the same series are under construction at Safehaven’s facilities in Cork.
The new boat can reach a top speed of 24.5 knots and an operational speed of 22 knots thanks to two Caterpillar C9.3 engines that each produce 350 kW. Seating is available for up to seven pilots and crewmembers.
One of the notable features of VB Mouna is its sliding platform adjustable reach pilot boarding ladder/platform. Safehaven Marine designed this platform, which raises the pilot approximately 1.2 metres above deck. The platform is accessed from the opposing side to boarding, with the pilot able to transverse quickly and safely across the foredeck. The distance from the ship’s side for the boarding platform itself is adjustable in three stages and can be set to suit the sea state and the likely roll of the vessel alongside.
The adjustability of the platform also allows for protrusions such as belting along a ship’s side to be taken into account. The platform is manually adjustable, easily and quickly, by a simple stainless steel guide roller/rail arrangement and locking mechanism. It also incorporates a “fail-safe” feature, ensuring the sliding platform section cannot detach from the base. The position of the platform can be set prior to departing or just prior to the alongside manoeuvre, once the boarding conditions have been assessed.
Another notable feature is the boat’s Ocean 3 fender system, which is retained by straps and is easily replaced if damaged. The fender is designed to protect the hull all around, especially the main boarding area and to cushion the impact that can occur in poor conditions.
The fender system is made up of multiple individual sections that interlock together and are attached to the vessel’s hull by straps. This design allows for quick and easy replacement of damaged sections without the need for the entire fender system to be replaced. This feature not only reduces maintenance costs but also ensures that the vessel can remain in service for longer periods without the need for extensive repairs.
VB Mouna is also fitted with a full suite of Furuno electronics at its central helm position, from where the coxswain enjoys excellent all-round visibility and control of the craft when undertaking alongside ship pilot transfers. The vessel’s main cabin pilot seating arrangements include a console for one of the pilot seats to port, incorporating a navigation display and VHF with another pair of seats opposing each other with a table in between.
|Type of vessel:||Pilot boat|
|Owner:||Boluda Corporacion Maritima, Spain|
|Operator:||Boluda Tanger Med, Morocco|
|Builder:||Safehaven Marine, Ireland|
|Length overall:||14.9 metres|
|Main engines:||2 x Caterpillar C9.3, each 350 kW|
|Maximum speed:||24.5 knots|
|Cruising speed:||22 knots|
|Other equipment installed:||Boarding platform|
|Fuel capacity:||2,000 litres|
|Operational area:||Tangier, Morocco|