New pilot boat is a “little gem”

New pilot boat is a “little gem”

On 21 April, the Le Havre pilot station took delivery of the L’Hirondelle de la Manche, a new 12-metre pilot boat designed by the Pierre Delion naval architecture bureau in cooperation with the Sibiril Technologies boatyard. For the design and production teams she’s a “little gem”. On 17 March, the new model passed a capsize recovery test with three people aboard, which is no mean feat for a boat of this size.

 

18 April 2017: STP 120 IPS sea trials (© Pierre Delion Architecture)

 

The STP 120 IPS is based on a similar type delivered to Cherbourg in 2014 after the port authority became the first to adopt this innovative design developed to perform missions traditionally assigned to larger boats. The new boat’s delivery trip took it from the Sibiril boatyard at Carantec in Brittany to Cherbourg in Normandy, which meant braving the often rough waters around the Cotentin peninsula. “The type specification for the STP 120 IPS was challenging for both us and the boatyard as we had to achieve the same stability as the 15.5-metre boats Le Havre pilots have long used despite our boat’s smaller size — it is 3.5 metres shorter — and different lines. The good news is that we rose to the challenge and are very pleased with the result”, says lead naval architect Pierre Delion.

 

18 April 2017: STP 120 IPS sea trials (© Pierre Delion Architecture)

The L’Hirondelle de la Manche, which will soon join Le Havre’s pilot boat fleet, will offer the port authority virtually the same capabilities as its larger boats at lower operating costs. This is made possible by the boat’s azimuth pod propulsion, instead of conventional shaftlines, and a hull that performs well in rough seas. The boat will shuttle pilots between their dedicated pontoon and ships in or approaching Le Havre harbour. The L’Hirondelle de la Manche will replace the Havre de Grâce, a 15.5-m boat that was recently transferred to Lorient.

The L’Hirondelle de la Manche features an all-composite structure and the deck was produced using an infusion process, also known as vacuum bagging. The entire construction process was refined to reduce weight without compromising ruggedness or strength. The STP 120 IPS is powered by two 330-hp Volvo Penta engines driving IPS1 pods offering a top speed of 28 knots and a recommended operating speed of 20 knots. The self-righting design also features a suspended wheelhouse ensuring low propulsion noise and vibration levels, the key parameter being a wheelhouse noise level of just 70dB at 25 knots.

 

18 April 2017: STP 120 IPS sea trials (© Pierre Delion Architecture)

 

This little gem is an important addition to the combined portfolio of Sibiril Technologies and Pierre Delion products alongside the STP 120 IPS delivered to the Cherbourg port authority in 2014. Following an order placed by the Seine pilot station, work will begin in 2018 on a 14.5-m version offering the capabilities of a 16-m boat.

 

Translated and adapted by Steve Dyson