Kvichak to Build Pilot Boat, Fire Vessels

Tuesday, October 02, 2001
Camarc, Ltd. and Kvichak Marine Industries have teamed up once again to design and build an all-aluminum 72-ft. pilot boat. The new boat, scheduled for a Summer 2002 delivery, is for the Sabine Pilots Association of Groves, Texas and will operate year-round in the waters of Sabine Pass.

Power is provided by twin Detroit Diesel 16V2000 engines rated for 1,285 bhp each at 2,100 rpm, and Hamilton HM651 waterjets were chosen as the propulsors. This combination is designed to allow excellent maneuverability, a top speed of 28 knots, and a cruising speed of 26 knots.

The patented "Popsafe" fendering system will be used to protect the vessel hull while boat and pilot transfers are made. Protection and recovery of the pilots in the event of a man overboard will be enhanced with a combination jet guard and stern platform. Also, a forward raised pilot boarding platform with articulating outboard ends will improve pilot transfers. Handrails will also be placed so the pilots may transit anywhere on deck while maintaining a grip on at least one handrail. Additional vessel features include: a 32 kW Northern Lights generator, 1600-gallon fuel tank, six Beurteaux pilot seats, day galley and crew accommodations, and a full navigational and communication electronics package.

Additionally, Kvichak Marine Industries was selected by the Port of Los Angeles as the builder for the three 39-ft. all-aluminum fireboats to be designed by Jensen Maritime Consultants of Seattle.

The three new vessels, to be named Fireboat #1, #3 and #5, will be stationed throughout the Port of L.A. and are scheduled to replace three existing vessels that are each over 35 years old. A 105-ft. steel fireboat, currently under construction at Nichols Brothers of Freeland, Wash., will also join the upgraded fleet in 2002.

With a 39-ft., 3-in. overall length and a beam of 13.5 ft., the fireboats will be powered by twin Caterpillar 3126B engines, driving 27-in. propellers through Twin Disc MG-5075A gears. A top speed of at least 27 knots when fully loaded and a cruising speed of about 25 knots are predicted by the designer.

A third Caterpillar 3126B engine will be installed as a designated fire engine. Each vessel will also have a Hale 80-FC fire pump with a 2,400 GPM capacity and a Stang 925545 fire monitor. The aqueous fire fighting foam capacity is 50 gallons. While on station the boats will be called into action for various missions such as firefighting and rescue, patrol and inspection, emergency medical service, and support for the 105-ft. fireboat.

"Our research took us all over the country looking for vessels that could meet our varied missions," said Doug Moore, engineer for the Fire Department.

"We feel the Port of Los Angeles and the Fire Department has obtained the most capable builder to assist in the replacement and upgrade of our maritime fleet of emergency watercraft."

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