It is exciting to see another Pilotage Week come around. Pilotage is a sector where new and interesting designs keep arising along with continual refinement of existing vessel designs. Pilot boat designs are regularly transferred or adapted to many other uses such as patrol and rescue boats and motor yachts. Their requisite seaworthiness is widely demanded in other roles.
The old days of large pilot ships remaining cruising at sea off pilotage ports while awaiting ships to embark or disembark seem to almost be over. Most pilots these days are delivered or recovered by fast, safe and comfortable pilot boats or cutters. Sometimes, with very large ships, helicopters are used for pilot transfer but the majority of transfers are effected by fast monohull pilot boats between about 12 and 20 metres in length.
This week we present six reviews of new pilot boats that have been built in four countries and which are now working in five different countries. While all aiming to deliver or collect pilots quickly, safely, comfortably and economically, all the designs reviewed take a different approach. Two boats were built of aluminium and the other four from advanced FRP composites. One is a catamaran. The others are all monohulls. They range in size from 12 metres to 27 metres LOA.
Invariably, pilot boats are ruggedly built for safety and durability. Their designs are continually refined to improve economy and comfort. They are built to survive sometimes rough handling in often rugged conditions. They do, after all, often bang into much larger and heavier steel hulls.
The different design and construction approaches highlighted this week offer an excellent overview of the exciting developments that continue to arise in this exciting and important sector.
- Svitzer Oued Martil – Versatile, well-equipped newbuild for Svitzer’s Tangier operations
- Spindletop – Largest US-built all-aluminium pilot boat will serve three Texas ports
- P XVII – Durable, all-weather FRP craft for Dunkirk Marine Pilotage Station
- Serac – Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park takes delivery of catamaran workhorse
- Al Dairah – P&O Maritime Logistics adds Australian-built boat to Dubai pilotage fleet
- Siabo – First of two new pilot boats for PNG Ports Corporation
Features and Opinion:
“Modifications include addition of a port rescue station with net recovery system, deck de-icing systems at the port and starboard pilot boarding stations, a hot water/steam system for power washing to de-ice the pilot boats when alongside in winter, and a new knuckle boom crane to service the port and starboard rigid inflatable boats.”
News and Gear:
- Maryland Pilots takes delivery of fourth boat in series
- GEAR | Volvo Penta IPS selected for China, Norway, US pilot boats
- GEAR | UK builder orders remote engine monitoring systems for nine new pilot boats
- Newbuild pilot boat is Singapore’s first hybrid-powered vessel
- Finnish transport ministry lobbies for reforms to pilotage act
- Speed an issue in 2019 Houston Ship Channel collision, NTSB report finds
- Pakistan’s Port Qasim Authority orders tugs, pilot boats from Turkish builder
- Uruguay port operator orders Irish-built pilot boats
- Australia’s Poseidon Sea Pilots orders two boats from local builder
Recent Important Features:
– “The process for safe navigation remains the same but every ship has its specific needs which we have to prepare for.”
Remember to come back every day to see the latest news, opinion and vessel reviews!
Call for content!
Any news or views about the global pilotage industry? Send it through to [email protected] ASAP (between now and April 23), so we can add it to this current edition of Pilotage Week!
We are after:
- Vessels – Orders, new deliveries, under construction
- Gear – Latest innovations and technology in the pilot boat sector
- Interviews – Owners, operators, port authorities, marine pilotage associations etc.
- Reminiscences – Do you have any exciting, amusing or downright dangerous anecdotes from your time in the marine pilotage world? (example here)
- Other – Any other relevant news
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