The New York and New Jersey Sandy Hook Pilots took delivery of America, the first of their new 53-ft. Pilot Boats built by Derecktor Shipyards in Mamaroneck, NY. The New York and New Jersey Sandy Hook Pilots operate in one of the busiest ports of the U.S. and keep their boats stationed near Ambrose Light, tied up to a mother ship. From there the Pilot Boats can quickly respond to calls from incoming ships as they approach.
America was designed by Camarc Small Ship Designs
, a U.K. firm headed by Naval Architect Alistair Cameron. It is a modern boat with a fast efficient hull design that is designed to provide a top speed of 25 knots with an extremely smooth ride. The boat is built to be very maneuverable and boasts a series of safety features intended to aid the pilots in their tough daily duty: heated decks and handrails, forward raked windows on bridge for maximum visibility of deck area and of boarding pilots, port and starboard side doors for direct exit of pilot from the shelter of the deckhouse to the ship's boarding ladder.
There is also a MOB recovery system on the stern comprising a custom articulated platform and A-frame hoist with a rear steering station to maneuver the boat from the stern deck while performing MOB recovery. Pilots boarding ships by the traditional means of Jason's cradle or Stoke's ladder are constantly at risk and often end up in the water. This new MOB recovery system adds a significant margin of safety to pilot's operations. The new boat is powered by two Detroit Diesel 8V 2000 that drive two Hy Torq 29-in. props with a pitch of 35-in.. A Northern Lights 12 KW generator provides power for the onboard systems including year-round climate control. Navigation equipment includes a Simrad digital chart plotter integrated with radar and GPS for extremely accurate positioning at all times.
The duty cycle is expected to be an average of 3,000 hours per year. Slow speed cruising will account for between 25-50 percent of the operating hours and the remainder will be at full service speed
In the last few years Derecktor Shipyards have established themselves as a leading manufacturer of high speed ferries in North America. Among their recent deliveries is the Derecktor 45m -- reportedly the largest fast passenger ferry built in the US -- a turbine-powered ferry capable of a service speed of 53 knots, which makes it the fastest passenger-only ferry ever built in the world. Among the significant factors in the success of the vessels built by Derecktor are the very high standard of aluminum fabrication and machinery installations as well as the weight conscious approach to vessel construction.