Savannah Pilots take delivery of new pilot boatWritten by Nick Blenkey
Earlier this month, Snow & Company of Seattle, Wash., handed off Savannah, the first of two new 64-foot aluminum pilot boats to the Savannah Pilots Association.
Designed by Camarc Design of the U.K., the single chine, flush deck 5086 aluminum vessel is the third pilot boat that Camarc has designed for the Savannah pilots.
Savannah is powered by MTU 12V2000M86 marine engines, Hamilton HTX 52 waterjets with electronic AVX controls, ZF 3055 marine gears, and Geislinger Carbon Fiber driveshafts / Silenco couplings. This combination allows for excellent maneuverability with a top speed of about 35 knots.
One of America’s oldest pilot associations, the Savannah Pilots Association has safely guided vessels on the 25-plus mile journey from the sea entrance to the Port of Savannah since 1864. They require vessels with excellent sea keeping ability and maneuverability even in the worst of sea conditions.
“Choosing Snow & Company as builder and using our previous proven design by Camarc was the right decision for us at the Savannah Pilots,” said Capt. Robert Thompson III, Pilot 23, master pilot and president, Savannah Pilots. “These two vessels will be our third and fourth built for us in Seattle all at the same facility which has consistently produced outstanding vessels.”
“Working with Snow & Company along with Camarc Design, MTU, Hamilton Jet and many other vendors has produced an outstanding vessel for us, looking forward to completing the second one,” said Capt. Nick Groover, Pilot 18, vice president and marine superintendent, Savannah Pilots.
“During our acceptance sea trials in Puget Sound, the vessel exceeded our expectations in speed, reduced noise levels and smoothness,” said Capt. Rich Galuk, chief engineer, Savannah Pilots. “Robust construction from Snow & Company’s skilled build team insures us a tough and durable vessel with a service life to exceed 20+ years.”
“For me, this boat is the beginning of a new type of work for our company, a niche we feel we fit into quite well,” said Brett Snow, owner of Snow & Company. “It is an honor to have been chosen by the pilots to build their new boats. Bringing in some experienced talent that has specialized in this type of construction has certainly helped us with fewer lessons learned, combined with fresh skilled workers eager to learn allows us to produce beautiful and tough boats. This has been a great project and we all feel quite proud of the vessel we are delivering. The folks on the shop floor, the in-house design team, the naval architects in the U.K., our project and production managers, and our sub-contractors have teamed up to deliver a great vessel.”
Snow & Company builds aluminum and steel commercial boats in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle on the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The second pilot boat for Savannah is currently underway and is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Additional vessel features include:
Length: 64 feet
Beam: 19.5 feet
Draft, full load: 3.63 feet
Displacement, Full Load: 102,000 pounds
Top speed: ~35 knots
Fuel: 1,200 gallons
Freshwater: 150 gallons
2 crew, seating for 7 pilots
D-rubber / Aircraft tire fendering
(2) Phasor K4 30 kW generators
Complete Electronics package provided by Mackay Marine
500-pound SWL capacity rescue davit
Day galley and pilot accommodations
6 Beurteaux Pilot Seats
1 Stidd Pilot seat
2 Stidd crew seats