Marine Link
Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Oil Spill Response Vessel Converted Into a Pilot Station

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 3, 2021

(Image: JMS Naval Architects)

(Image: JMS Naval Architects)

JMS Naval Architects informs conversion work is nearly completed of the former oil spill response vessel OSRV Maine Responder to a pilot station vessel for Sandy Hook Pilots Association of Staten Island, N.Y. The conversion work contract was competitively awarded to Feeney Shipyard of Kingston, N.Y.

The Sandy Hook pilots have been piloting ships in the New York harbor for more than 300 years. They operate a pilot station boat by Ambrose Light year-round and in all weather conditions. As a result, they require a robust vessel to serve the entrance to New York Harbor, Hudson River, Hell’s Gate, and Long Island Sound. The P/B New York is the largest vessel in the Sandy Hook fleet and has served them well for the past 48 years, but is due to be retired.

When the 208-foot OSRV Maine Responder became available, the Sandy Hook Pilots Association turned to JMS Naval Architects to provide marine surveying and naval architecture services to evaluate the vessel prior to purchase, develop the conversion concept design through contract-level design bid package, engineering support to the shipyard, and owner’s representative services on behalf of Sandy Hook Pilots during the vessel conversion.

Before: red areas were removed. (Image: JMS Naval Architects)

JMS said its work began by surveying the OSRV Maine Responder ahead of the vessel purchase to assess its general condition and suitability to being converted to a pilot station boat. A comparative seakeeping analysis was also performed to determine the OSRV’s motion characteristics while on station.

In general, the conversion design included extensive modifications to remove the oil recovery systems, add a large deck house for the pilot berthing, lounge, and mess, and incorporate operational capabilities specific to the pilots’ mission.

After: blue areas are new. (Image: JMS Naval Architects)

Other modifications included addition of:

  • Port rescue station with net recovery system
  • Deck de-icing systems at pilot boarding stations port and starboard
  • Hot water/steam system for power washing to de-ice the pilot boats when alongside in winter
  • New knuckle boom crane to service the port and starboard RIBs and load gear pier side
  • Increase existing 20,000 gallons of potable water capacity to 60,000 gallons
  • Small boat fueling/transfer stations, port and starboard.
  • Main deck and 01 deck (2-tier) deckhouse extension to encompass dedicated pilots berthing, mess, and lounge.

Pilot house modifications included addition of:

  • CCTV cameras to pilot boarding areas with screens on pilothouse port and starboard and in crew mess
  • Two-way communication speakers from boarding area to the pilothouse port and starboard bridge wings
  • Buzzer system for communication between the pilothouse and crew mess and the port and starboard boarding areas
  • Floor to ceiling windows facing aft and down for viewing of pilot boarding station
  • Relocating controls to bridge wing, steering, engine, vhf, gyro repeater, bow thruster, new two-way talk back to boarding station
  • Side windows facing outboard, sliding/opening

The completed vessel retains its helicopter pad, ABS Classification, and COI as a Subchapter I vessel. The vessel, to be renamed P/B NEW YORK, is scheduled for delivery in September 2021.

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