June 8, 2005
Horizon completes pilot boat for Iraq
Horizon Shipbuilding, Bayou La Batre, Alabama , has completed construction of a 74 ft aluminum pilot boat for the port of Umm Qasr, Iraq. The boat exceeded its required top speed by more than six knots during trials conducted off the Alabama coast last month, and performed above expectations in every respect.
The designer, Blancke Marine Service of Woodbury, New Jersey, worked closely with the shipyard to produce a highly functional design that was economical to construct, but entirely responsive to U.S. Government design and operational requirements.
The hull, which was designed to ABS rules and certified by ABS New Orleans, can be easily adapted as a fireboat, patrol vessel or small coastal crew boat.The boat is powered by Caterpillar 3406E main engines and UltraJet water jets, Model 451, providing more than 1.400 total horsepower.
The boat was required to reach a top speed of 18 knots, but operated at more than 24 knots during multiple sea trials.
The new design features an exterior deck plated in five bar checkered plate, providing a non-skid surface that isn't abrasive. The vessel also has an extra heavy side shear plate with six inch "D" fendering on the sides, doubled on the bow.
A rescue ladder on the stern is located between the jet drives.
The pilot boat will soon be placed on board a freighter bound for Kuwait City in the Arabian Gulf, where it will be offloaded then sailed under its own power to the port of Umm Qasr, Iraq. Horizon personnel will meet the boat on arrival in Kuwait, and will conduct final acceptance trials, and provide training and orientation instructions for Iraqi crewmembers in Umm Qasr.