VESSEL REVIEW | Police RHIB built for extreme conditions in North Queensland waters

MARITIME SECURITY WEEK

Australia’s PFG Group (PFG) has delivered a new rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) for use by an undisclosed Australian marine police customer. Designed by One2Three Naval Architects, the boat has already begun conducting patrol operations in North Queensland.

The customer had required a reliable, safe and seaworthy vessel that could operate for extended periods in Australian waters, including remote, offshore, and tropical locations. The vessel is expected to be able to operate in these locations even in extreme weather and sea conditions.

The customer had also required that the vessel incur minimal downtime throughout its working life, had low maintenance requirements, and would still be of value at the time of its eventual disposal. Further, it also needed to be capable of accommodating interchangeable onboard equipment.

Lastly, the vessel had to comply with all relevant Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) laws and standards, particularly those standards under the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) as they apply to a Class 2C high-speed patrol vessel, operating up to 30 nautical miles from shore.

The uniquely designed hull is impact-resistant and capable of hard beaching on rocks, making the vessel ideal for crew transfer or receipt of goods. Even with its durability, the vessel is remarkably light enough to be trailer-transportable with an overall weight that comes in at just under 3.5 tonnes.

The RHIB is fitted with twin four-stroke Suzuki DF200APX outboard motors, each with a power rating of a minimum of 150 kW and with 63-centimetre legs and stainless steel propellers. The motors are powered by unleaded petrol and are fitted as wide apart as possible so as to improve manoeuvrability, while the propellers are counter rotating and propped to allow the motors to reach maximum rpm at wide-open throttle.

The extra low voltage electrical installation is a 12V DC insulated return system. Bosch HCM 31-850 batteries are used on the vessel for various applications.

A full range of Garmin product is used for the electronics setup for items such as a touchscreen multi-function display, radar scanner and autopilot system. The depth sounder transducer is positioned carefully to provide a clear reading at 35 knots.

CZone digital switching is used for lighting and electrics controlled by the multi-function display. Weatherproof USB ports and 12-volt outlets are positioned on the vessel for use when the need arises. Hella lighting is used throughout the vessel including red/white selectable LEDs to illuminate the dash and LED floodlighting for the deck area.

Special attention was given to the layout of the electronics, and all items where possible are recessed. The main dash-mounted items are kept to a minimum whilst essential equipment is kept within the operator’s easy reach.

The deck Shockwave seats for the master and the navigator provide full in-suspension seating, and the HDPE construction material absorbs shock, delivering a smoother and quieter ride and minimising operator fatigue.

The majority of driving and manoeuvring of the vessel will be undertaken whilst the crew are standing. The seat structures allow for the primary driving position for master and crew whilst in a standing attitude.

The backrests have a lockable folding seat pad and the seat bases are hinged at the back edge along with the grab rails on the rear back support. The fold-out seat base is considered to be a smooth weather resting position.

The seats have sufficient space for police to fit comfortably while wearing an accoutrement belt without interference with worn equipment whether left or right-handed.

The deck layout provides open space to move around the vessel with ease and safety equipment is always within reach. There is ample room on the forward deck to accommodate a stokes litter, as well as tie down points for securing cargo.

Allowance has also been made for the fitting of satellite phones and specific marine radios and there is abundant storage below seats and within the console. Hatches have been fitted with stainless steel gas struts to assist with access.

See all the other news, reviews and features of this month’s Maritime Security Week right here.

8.3-metre Patrol Boat
SPECIFICATIONS
Type of vessel: Patrol boat
Classification: AMSA NSCV 2C
Flag: Australia
Owner: Unknown Australian owner/operator
Operator: Unknown Australian owner/operator
Designer: One2Three Naval Architects, Australia
CAD software: Autocad, Rhino
Builder: PFG Group, Australia
Hull construction material: HDPE
Superstructure construction material: HDPE/Aluminium
Deck construction material: HDPE
Plate cutting: Routered HDPE
Length overall: 8.3 metres
Length waterline: 6.9 metres
Length bp: 6.9 metres
Beam: 2.99 metres
Draught: 0.55 metres
Depth: 1.21 metres
Displacement: 3.6 tonnes maximum
Deadweight tonnage: 1.2
Main engines: 2 x Suzuki DF200APX outboards, each 150 kW
Propulsion: 2 x stainless steel propellers
Steering system: SeaStar
Maximum speed: 46 knots
Cruising speed: 30 knots at full load and 4,400 rpm
Range: 200 nautical miles
Batteries: Bosch HCM 31-850 batteries
Hydraulic equipment: SeaStar
Electronics supplied by: Garmin
Radar: Garmin Fantom 24 radome radar scanner
Depth sounder: Garmin GT51M-TH
Radios: 2 x ICOM ICM-506E VHF transceivers
Satcom: Satellite phone
Autopilot: Garmin GHP20 Reactor Hydraulic Corepack Autopilot system
Compass: Plastimo
GMDSS: Garmin
GPS: Garmin
Plotter: Garmin GPSMAP 7416xsv plotter
Paints/coatings: Aluminium component coating for canopy,targa, and handrails
Windows: 6-millimetre toughened safety glass
Seating: Shockwave
Lighting: Hella
Floor/deck surface finishes: EVA260 non-slip decking material
Safety equipment: 2c NSCV compliant
Life raft: 8-person life raft
Type of fuel: Unleaded petrol
Fuel capacity: 400 litres
Crew: 2
Passengers: 6

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