YOUGHAL-based vessel manufacturer, Safehaven Marine has launched the new pilot boat that will be sent to Northern Spain following rigorous testing off the coast of Cork.
Safehaven Marine specialise in pilot boats, which are used for transferring pilots onto ships when they leave and enter ports.
The new Inceptor 48 pilot boat, called ‘Practicos Coruna Ochna’ carries seven pilots and crew. Following extensive trials at sea, the boat will soon be sent to the Port of Coruna in Northern Spain where it will be expected to handle the dangerous ‘Bay of Biscay’ seas this coming winter.
The boat was made in Youghal and it is the 45th pilot boat manufactured by Safehaven Marine, and the 5th of which to be sent to Spain.
After some delays with Covid-19 restrictions and extensive rough weather sea trials, the boat is now ready to be shipped after 11 months of work.
“It was a bit of a disruption with the initial lockdown but were essential manufacturing as the pilot boats are critical for the movement of good by sea, so we were locked down for two or three weeks. With all of the disruptions that came with it, we were probably three weeks behind on delivering the boat,” said Frank Kowalski, managing director of Safehaven Marine.
The pilot boat was taken out to sea alongside the Taccola dredger, which is currently operating at Cork harbour as part of the extensive rough weather sea trials to fully test the vessels ability.
The sea trials showed that the vessel is capable of softening the inevitable hard impact it will encounter in poor conditions and sea.
The boat is powered by a pair of Volvo D13 500hp continuously rated engines and ZF Gearboxes and so far, it has proved to be quite economical, using under 80 litres per hour on each engine when moving at 25kts.
Following the slight delay, ‘Practicos Coruna Ochna’ will be sent to Spain on 7 October.
“It’s always nice when you launch a new boat and you get to see it go off to work in another country, so it’s very satisfying,” said Mr Kowalski.