Success of pilot vessels with Volvo Penta engines02/07/2018
Norwegian company Bukser & Berging provides a number of marine services, including the sea transportation of pilots to and from large vessels such as cruise liners, cargo ships and oil tankers in and out of the country’s main ports. Steering alongside the huge ships in all sea conditions, in order for pilots to embark and disembark safely, requires precision maneuvering and an accurate holding of position. Since the beginning of 2018, Bukser & Berging has been using four Pilot 1820 boats, supplied by Finnish manufacturer, Kewatec AluBoat. The pilot boats are equipped with twin Volvo Penta D13-IPS900 units – a premium propulsion package – and the successful use of the vessels has led Bukser & Berging to order two more of the boats.
“The pilot boats are used in all kinds of weather, from minus 30 degrees Celsius to plus 30 degrees, and have to face waves of up to eight meters,” says Sjur Jacobsen, fleet manager at Bukser & Berging. “Speed, safe maneuverability and stability are vital in all sea conditions. We have found the Pilot 1820 boats with Volvo Penta engines to provide excellent acceleration and top speed, good torque and maneuverability, and exceptional fuel efficiency and low emissions. It’s because of these characteristics that we’ve ordered two more boats to replace our older and less fuel efficient boats.”
Bukser & Berging was founded in 1913 and is based in Lysaker, which borders Oslo. The company provides sea transportation of pilots on behalf of the Norwegian Coastal Administration (a governmental organisation) and its fleet needs to be available 24/7. It also provides harbour towage and ship escorts, salvage and emergency response – to incidents such as onboard fires and oil spills – and offshore support and marine contracting.
The current four Pilot 1820 boats are used in the ports and seas around Karmoy, Fedje, Floro and Tromso. The two new boats – to be delivered by the end of 2018 – will be used in Kristiansund and Sandnessjoen.
“We have had a lot of collaboration with Kewatec and Volvo Penta, and there is a very good relationship between us,” adds Jacobsen.
Tailored vessels for customers’ requirements
Kewatec AluBoat was founded in 1998 and is based in Kokkola, on the west coast of Finland. The company designs and makes aluminum boats for tough usage, including oil recovery vessels, pilot and other work boats, as well as passenger and leisure craft. Its vessels are tailored to customers’ needs, with appropriate hull structures, propulsion systems, electrical equipment, and other functional or design requirements.
The Pilot 1820 boat has a length of 18.2 m (60 ft), a top speed of 35 knots, heated deck for ice-free operation, and can carry 12 passengers and two crew. When cruising at 30 knots, the vessel uses 6.5 liters of fuel per nautical mile. It is equipped with twin Volvo Penta D13-IPS900 propulsion package.
“During our initial discussions with Bukser & Berging, it was especially important for them to achieve low fuel consumption with Volvo Penta’s IPS system compared to traditional shaft propulsion with fixed pitch propellers,” says Jens Ahlskog, chief executive officer at Kewatec AluBoat. “In addition, maintenance is easy for the customer as Volvo Penta takes care of servicing the whole drive-train and steering components.”
He adds: “For us as a shipyard, it has been very easy to buy a complete package from one company. We received good technical support during the engineering and installation phase and are happy to be installing more of the same propulsion systems in the new deliveries for Bukser & Berging.”
Integrated package for safe transport of pilot boats
Volvo Penta’s D13-IPS900 is an integrated package, with an in-line 6-cylinder 12.8-liter, common-rail diesel engine with a twin-entry turbo. Its perfectly matched Inboard Performance System pod – IPS3 – features twin counter-rotating propellers that sit under the hull for superior grip in the water. The unit is operated by Volvo Penta’s Electronic Vessel Control (EVC) system, which enables the IPS pods to be steered individually. The D13-IPS900 runs at 700hp but provides propulsion power equivalent to 900hp, and offers excellent performance and maneuverability, as well as low emissions and low onboard noise.
“The Volvo Penta D13-IPS900 offers much lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions than engines that are equipped with fixed pitch propeller propulsion,” says Gerard Torneman, sales project manager for Volvo Penta’s Marine Commercial segment. “Due to the design, the maneuverability with the IPS pods makes the transport and transfer of crew from the pilot boats onto and off the large ships very efficient and safe. Our engine and IPS package has proven to be very successful in Kewatec AluBoat’s pilot boats for Bukser & Berging.”