Mallorca by Land, Air and Sea

Australia. Brisbane yard of Norman R Wright and Sons launches Pilot Boat Aramoana

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

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Internationally acclaimed Brisbane boat builder Norman R Wright and Sons Pty Ltd achieved another significant milestone in their 99 year history with the April launching of the custom built Pilot Boat Aramoana.

The impressive 13.63m Aramoana specifically designed and built to a USL class 2 survey standards for the Otago Port Corporation will be officially commissioned later this month to service the busy New Zealand commercial shipping ports of Dunedin and Port Chalmers.

Winning this type of contract in a country which also has a proud boat building history is a personal reward for the Wright family managed Bulimba boat yard which rolled their first commercial vessel Olivene down their Brisbane River slipway almost 97 years ago.

Olivene built for the Humpybong Steamship Company to provide a ferry service between Sandgate and Woody Point on the Redcliffe Peninsula before the Hornibrook highway bridge was built officially wrote the first chapter in the maritime history of the proud company now managed by third generation boat builders Bill and Ian Wright.

Aramoana the first Wright Pilot Boat built for export follows on from a fleet of all weather purpose-built vessels servicing the busy commercial shipping ports on both the east and west coast of Australia.

Their performance to safely transfer marine pilots in all types of weather has contributed to a reputation as being among the best sea-boat available.

Their rigid construction tested daily in the rough water environment off Mooloolaba has been further developed with Aramoana which completed an impressive sea trial in moderate south west winds on Moreton Bay earlier this month.

Test skipper and designer Bill Wright was reasonably confident when he pressed Aramoana into a complete test including high speed running fully powered turns and man overboard drills.

Her twin Cummins QSL 9 405 HP diesel engines delivered a GPS recorded peak speed 24.49knots while the vessel effortlessly achieved an equally impressive 20.8knots cruising with the engines synchronized at 1900 RPM.

Manoeuvrability is the key feature which separates a very good pilot boat from an average pilot boat particularly when they are forced to make a safe pilot transfer in rough weather.

Positive steerage at low speed and the ability to ‘glue’ to the side of a ship allowing the pilot access to scale the rope ladder is the paramount safety issue.   

Aramoana surveyed to comfortably carry a crew of eight combines a well designed easily driven hull complimented with her fully air conditioned cabin promises to provide an ultra modern working environment for the Otago Marine pilots.

She also has the design pedigree and all weather performance which promises to attract interest when she is unloaded from the deck of her Tasman Sea transporter and commissioned for service.

Her presence will offer a working model for other New Zealand port authorities who are looking to upgrade their pilot boat services. 

Basic Specifications

Length        overall        13.63m
                  Waterline     12.25m
                  Beam           4.45m
                  Draft            1.20m
                  Engines   Twin Cummins      405 hp
Fuel            1800 litres  
Water           100 litres.

Ian Grant

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 13 May 2008 )