Snow & Company Inc., Seattle, was recently awarded a contract to build two 50'x16'8" aluminum pilot boats for the Crescent River Port Pilots’ Association, New Orleans.  

Designed by UK-based Camarc Design, the all-aluminum vessels have a refined hull with enhanced fuel efficiencies and reduced slamming accelerations, which provide all-around seakeeping capabilities and a pilot specific shape to facilitate safe boarding operations.  

The vessels will be powered by twin Volvo D13-800 EPA Tier 3 marine diesel engines, producing 800 hp at 2,300 rpm each. The mains are connected to  HamiltonJet twin HJ403 waterjets with two Station AVX express controls through Twin Disc MGX-5136SC marine gears. The combination allows for high performance maneuverability with an expected top speed of 35 knots and a running speed of 32 knots.

“The Crescent River Port Pilots are very excited about contracting with Snow & Company to build two custom Camarc Design jet-powered pilot boats to safely service pilot transfers to deep-draft vessels on the Lower Mississippi River at Pilottown,” Capt. E. Michael Bopp, president, Crescent River Port Pilots’ Association, said in a statement. “Safety on the unpredictable Mississippi River is our top priority. We look forward to these boats to help us achieve our mission of safely guiding billions of dollars of precious cargo in and out of one of the largest river ports in the world.”

The new boats, which will have 3' drafts, STIDD seating for two-person crews and eight pilots each, will have tankage for 600 gals. of fuel and 55 gals. of freshwater. Other features include a 16-kW Northern Lights genset, pop-sure fendering system, roof pilot boarding system, Furuno electronics package, FLIR M364C thermal camera system with joystick control, Atkins & Hoyle 8,000-ton low profile davit system with 12-volt winch with 800 lbs. safe working load.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.