The Houston Pilots Association will
christen the pilot boat M/V Bayou City at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the Port of Houston Authority
's Sam Houston Pavilion located at 7300 Clinton Drive.
Annette Edmonds will officially christen the vessel during a ceremony that will be attended by more than 200 invited guests, including PHA Chairman Jim Edmonds, Vice Chairman Kase Lawal, Commissioner Steve Phelps, Commissioner Jim Fonteno, Commissioner Jimmy Burke, Commissioner Cheryl Thompson-Draper,
and Commissioner Janiece Longoria; members of the Houston Pilots Association, elected officials, maritime industry officials and community leaders.
"This will be a momentous occasion for the port and the entire Houston Ship Channel industry
base," said Capt. Mike Morris, presiding officer of the pilots. "The addition of the M/V Bayou City to our fleet will greatly enhance our organization's total commitment to safety on the Houston Ship Channel and excellence in service to the maritime shipping industry."
The $6 million M/V Bayou City vessel measures 72 feet in length with a breadth of 43 feet. It has a depth of 16 feet, a draft ranging from 10 to 12 feet, and can travel at a top speed of 21 knots. It is equipped
with two 4,000-horsepower Caterpillar Series 3412 engines that have a fuel capacity of 7,500 gallons.
The M/V Bayou City will be the fourth working vessel in the Houston pilots' fleet. The pilots' three other boats include the M/V Houston (62.2 feet long), M/V Lone Star (50 feet long) and Houston Pilot No. 1 (54 feet long).
Serving all ports above Texas City, the Houston Pilots' boats are dispatched when vessels are expected, and the pilots board at Galveston Bay Entrance Channel Approach Lighted Buoy GB. The Houston Ship Channel is being deepened and widened, and that project will push the boarding point four miles further off shore. This project is expected to be completed in January 2005.
The Houston Ship Channel, in particular, is known as one of the world's most difficult waterways on which to pilot vessels because of its length, narrowness and heavy load of traffic. The Houston Pilots are
totally committed to the safety on the ship channel and excellence in service to the maritime shipping industry.