Sea Legend Pilotage’s current aluminium pilot vessels can reach speeds of 20 knots. The new Damen vessels are based on a composite FRP hull. The reduced weight of this not only allows the vessels to reach 29 knots, it also reduces fuel consumption significantly, considerably lowering both operating costs and emissions. The composite nature of the hull requires much less maintenance, meaning the vessels are a shrewd investment for a long-term service provider.
Speed was a primary consideration in selecting a vessel, says Lloyd McGill, owner of Sea Legend Pilotage, “We were attracted to this vessel because, in our experience, pilot boat speeds are often ‘best case scenario’. That’s not the case with the Stan Pilot vessels – we can be certain they will reach the 29 knots list speed.”
Sea Legend Pilotage raised the order with Damen in summer 2018, swayed by Damen’s ability to deliver the vessels ‘Canada ready’ – that is to say, fully compliant with Transport Canada’s Small Vessel Regulations. “Achieving compliance can be a complex and time-consuming process,” says Damen Area Manager North America Daan Dijxhoorn, “but Damen’s previous experience in delivering vessels to Canada provided the groundwork for a smooth transition.”
After being built at Damen’s specialist in composite construction, Damen Shipyards Antalya, Turkey, the Stan Pilot 1605 FRP as outfitted at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem, the Netherlands. At this location, Transport Canada was able to inspect the vessel, which greatly aided the compliance analysis process.
Though the Stan Pilot 1605 FRP is part of Damen’s standard portfolio, this vessel underwent a safety equipment upgrade and includes some custom features, such as a man overboard scoop. The scoop is a very sophisticated piece of kit that retrieves people from the water and can be used even when the person has lost consciousness. The control for this function is located at the stern, from where the vessel can also be controlled during an emergency.
Given the specificity of the order, Mr McGill is extremely positive about his experience with Damen. “We are very impressed. I’ve built quite a few boats over the years and I’ve never experienced service like this before. Often the relationship with the shipyard ends as soon as the vessel is delivered, this is definitely not the case with Damen.”
Mr Dijxhoorn: “It’s been a pleasure working with Sea Legend Pilotage on this project and we’ve enjoyed meeting the challenge of getting the vessel ready for Canadian operations. With the sea trials successfully behind us we are now looking forward to seeing the vessel in action in British Columbia.”
The Stan Pilot 1605 FRP will be delivered by a heavy-lift ship to Canada and will arrive in mid-May.