In early March 2022, Snow & Company, Seattle, handed off Savannah, the first of two new 64'x19'6" aluminum pilot boats to the Savanah Pilots Association. Designed by the UK’s Camarc Design, the single chine, flush deck 5086 aluminum vessel, with a full load draft of 3.63', is the third pilot boat that Camarc has designed for the Savannah pilots. 

Savannah is powered by MTU 12V2000M86 marine engines, Hamiltonjet HTX 52 waterjets with electronic AVX controls, ZF 3055 marine gears, and Geislinger carbon fiber driveshafts/ Silenco couplings. The propulsion package is designed to give the new boat maneuverability and a top speed of 35 knots.

Ship’s service power comes from two Phasor 30-kW generators and the new boat has a full load displacement of 102,000 lbs.

One of the U.S.’s oldest pilot associations, the Savannah Pilots Association has safely guided vessels on the 25+ 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. 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.” Capt. Robert Thompson III, Pilot 23, master pilot and president, Savannah Pilots, said in a statement announcing the delivery.

Other features of the pilot boats include 1,200 gals. of fuel and 150 gals. fresh water; seating for seven pilots and two crew — six Beurteaux pilot seats, one Stidd pilot seat, and two Stidd crew seats; aircraft tire fendering; 500-lb. SWL capacity rescue davit; day galley and pilot accommodations; and a complete electronics package from Mackay Marine.

“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, Seattle, the vessel exceeded our expectations in speed, reduced noise levels and smoothness. Robust construction from Snow & Company’s skilled build team insures us a tough and durable vessel with a service life to exceed 20+ years.” Capt. Rich Galuk, chief engineer, Savannah Pilots, said.

“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. It is an honor to have been chosen by the pilots to build their new boats,” Brett Snow, owner of Snow & Company. “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 inhouse design team, the naval architects in the UK, our project and production managers, and our sub-contractors have teamed up to deliver a great vessel.”

The second pilot boat for Savannah is currently underway and is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2022.