ABCO delivers pilot boat to St. Maarten

The following is the text of a news release from ABCO Industries Ltd.:

(LUNENBURG, Nova Scotia) — Continuing their reputation as custom builders of world-class pilot, patrol and scientific research boats, and as jet boat specialists, ABCO Industries Limited of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia has just delivered a 36-foot pilot boat to the St. Maarten Ports Authority in the Caribbean. As with all their boats, this latest ABCO design is constructed in all-welded, marine-grade aluminum. It features a hard chine planing hull powered by twin Marine Jet Power waterjets driven by Cummins engines each developing 405 horsepower at 2,100 rpm, giving a cruising speed of 25 knots and a top speed of over 30 knots.
The deep-V hull means that cruising speed can be maintained in moderate seas in comfort — a distinct advantage for the St. Maarten’s pilots who regularly have to meet ships in a variety of weather and sea conditions. The boat has a soft ride and the placement of the spray rails and the chine flats do a great job of deflecting water and keeping the boat dry during normal operations. A proprietary 6-inch-deep non-marking fendering system along the end of the flush deck is supplemented by three diagonal fenders per side. The bow incorporates a proven but simple double tire system for front boarding. 
ABCO’s in-house design was based on the St. Maarten Ports Authority's requirement for a robust boat with good accessibility for maintenance and with basic systems. A 3D computer model was developed which was submitted to their client for approval before any aluminum was cut. The model included a video simulation of actual pilot operations from the boat and meant the Ports Authority could have a virtual tour of the boat to ensure the layout and design features satisfied their requirements with particular consideration for helmsman visibility and console layout.
Once design approval was given, ABCO got to work cutting and setting up the hull frames — with the hull inverted for ease of assembly. Once plating was complete, the hull was turned right side up and the wheelhouse which had been fabricated alongside the hull was then fitted to the deck. The boat’s systems were then installed, followed by the furnishings and trim.
The actual build process took approximately six months from start to finish after the design was complete, and sea trials were accomplished in two weeks which included extensive builder’s trials followed by customer acceptance trials. The trials took place off Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in a variety of conditions that included a nasty southeasterly with the boat performing very well. The design is to Transport Canada small vessel construction standards and meets TCMS: TP7301 — STAB 6 — Standard for Intact Stability of Non-Passenger Ships and Passenger Ships carrying not more than 12 passengers.
The wheelhouse provides excellent all-around visibility, and comfort for the three person crew is ensured by suspension seating and a 24,000 BTU marine air-conditioner. As per the Ports Authority’s requirement, outfit and furnishings down below has been kept basic for ease of maintenance. In addition to numerous hand rails, a "Hadrian Rail" runs around the vessel so the pilot can clip in and safely move around on deck in rough seas. A man-overboard retrieval davit lifting system is mounted on the side of the wheelhouse.
The vessel is fitted with a 9kw genet and a 300 gym fire pump and monitor. The twin waterjets provide excellent maneuverability and allow steady positioning of the boat for optimum operational control of the fire monitor.
ABCO President John Meisner is very pleased with this latest boat from the company: “Our people have done another wonderful job. The boat handles really well and can turn on a dime. What’s most important to us is that the St. Maarten Ports Authority like what we’ve done for them. They’ve got what they wanted, and that’s the main thing.”
Key features:
LOA: 42’ 6”
Hull length: 36’
Beam: 13’ 4”
Draft: 2’ 8”
Construction: Welded marine grade aluminum, flush deck, four watertight compartments
Engines: 2 x Cummins QSL9 405 hp @ 2,100 rpm
Propulsion: 2 x MJP 305 HT waterjets
Speed: Cruise 25 knots, max 30 knots
Other: 9 kw Onan genet 2.5 AG Darley fire pump with 300 gpm @ 150 psI monitor
The new St. Maarten’s pilot boat will be shipped to her home port of Phillipsburg, St. Maarten, where she will start work in November after a period of crew familiarization.
Captain Eddy Johnson, chief pilot-manager of maritime services for the St. Maarten Ports Authority, reports: “Our contact with ABCO was unexpected. When we visited and saw their production facility we were impressed. A great level of comfort throughout the project was a real new one for us, ABCO did it. From conception to finish their team has been excellent. The design turned into a tough multi-tasking piece of equipment. The little ship exceeded our expectations in design, quality, performance, practicality and price.” 

By Professional Mariner Staff