Viking Welding & Fabrication, Kensington, N.H., has delivered a high-speed pilot boat to the Virgin Islands Port Authority to service St. Croix’s busy harbors.

The design is a derivative of Response Marine’s 32’ x 10’ fire/rescue boat hull with changes to the deck, cabin arrangement, and machinery layout.

“The hull has 19 degrees of deadrise aft that twists to about 25 degrees just forward of midships and then roughly 50 degree at the entry,” said Bill Lincoln, founder of the Newburyport, Mass.-based Response Marine. “We knew we wanted to use a relative of that proven hull because it runs extremely well in rough water, but of course we were initially concerned with the relative lightness of the pilot boat version as well as any changes in the longitudinal center of gravity. After a thorough weight analysis, it became clear that the pilot boat with its house way aft and 400 gallon fuel tankage, matched up very well with this hull.”

The bead-blasted hull is driven by twin 300-hp Evinrude G2 ETEC outboards spaced on 48” centers. Evinrudes were selected for commonality with the existing fleet of Virgin Islands pilot boats, as well as for their low-end torque offering quick maneuvering and acceleration up to the vessel’s top speed of 39 knots.

The deck arrangement consists of a small and secure aft cockpit, 7’ pilot house, and a 15’ open foredeck with a typical complement of deck handrails designed to improve safety of pilot transfers.

Other recent deliveries for Viking & Response include a 36’ crew boat for the Olmstead Dam Project and a 36’ trimaran landing craft for Palm Beach County. The companies are currently working on a 28’ fire/rescue boat for Piermont, NY, adjacent to the Tappan Zee Bridge on the Hudson River.