THE second boat to be delivered to the Port of Fremantle from Dongara Marine, is named Genesis. It joins Berkeley, which has been operating with great success in the Western Australian port since 2015.

Whereas the earlier delivery is owned by Fremantle Pilots, Harbour Services Australia acquired the 19.4 metre long Genesis to join its fleet of 18 work boats. Genesis is the first significant newbuild the company has commissioned.

Dongara Marine’s managing director Rohan Warr says the new pilot launch shares the basic traits that have seen operators describe the Berkeley Class as the “Rolls Royce of pilot boats”.

“High open water speed for fast transits, extreme stability, and confirmed self-righting are all hallmarks of the Berkeley Class,” Mr Warr said, “but it is arguably the high levels of seakeeping and manoeuvrability that contribute most to the pilot boat design maximising overall operability, as well as the safety and comfort of pilots and crew, even in challenging offshore seas.

“The hull design combines a long waterline, fine entry and highly flared bow with twin keels and twin, over-size rudders that reduce roll and increase both directional stability and manoeuvring performance.”

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Genesis runs comfortably at 24.5 knots and achieved 32 knots at full power during trials.

HSA’s operations manager, Eddie Wolsoncroft, said, “On Genesis you can punch straight into head seas at 22 knots and not even realise you are doing that sort of speed, whereas on some boats you simply have to reduce speed and/or alter course”.

Whereas the preceding Berkeley Class are all dedicated to pilot transfers, Genesis has a more diversified role, transferring surveyors, ships agents, crew and, should it be required, pilots between ship and shore. To facilitate this the cabin is arranged with military-grade suspension seats for six passengers and two crew, up from the four pilots of the earlier vessels.

While the layout has changed somewhat, the quality and comfort provided to those onboard has remained at superior levels.

“It’s an extremely high quality build and finish throughout,” said Mr Wolsoncroft, “certainly well beyond what you expect to find in a work boat”.

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