Western Australia’s Dongara Marine have annuonced delivery of their second Berkeley Class pilot boat, the ‘AMG Winyama’, to Argonaut Marine at the Port of Dampier.

Developed to enhance safety and comfort for Marine Pilots, the design leverages the 40+ years of experience with high speed fishing, patrol and offshore crew boats that resides within Southerly Designs. The design’s ability to safely transfer Marine Pilots to ships in heavy weather has been proven by ‘Berkeley’, which has been in service at the Port of Fremantle since June 2015.

“The design provides an amazing ride at speed, especially in heavy weather, and is very dry,” noted Argonaut Marine Group’s Managing Director, Captain Kim Lyons. “We were also impressed with the quality Dongara Marine has instilled throughout. ‘AMG Winyama’ has certainly lived up to the high expectations we had based on the ‘Berkeley’, and enhances our ability to provide safe, reliable, and flexible pilotage services.”

The design’s generous waterline length contributes to its seakeeping performance, while also improving propulsion efficiency. Twin keels and full-size pintle-hung rudders provide exceptional directional stability, increased manoeuvrability, and roll damping. Coupled with extra wide side decks and first class WA made Northern Star fendering system, these attributes make for a very safe working platform for Pilots and crew.

‘Berkeley’ operated for more than 3,000 hours in its first year, and the heavy workload pilot boats face is reflected in the specification of proven equipment that is rated for intensive commercial use. An example is the selection of twin MTU 8V 2000 M72 main engines at MTU’s 1B (Heavy Duty) rating.

“This rating is specifically intended for fast vessels in high load factor applications operating some 5000 hours per year,” explained Southerly Designs founding Director, John Fitzhardinge. “While some pilot boats use engines rated for yachts and other low load profile applications, we firmly believe the engines and ratings we specify provide end users with greater long term value and performance as a result of their reliability, extended time between overhaul (TBO), and construction quality,” he continued.
Completed by Twin Disc gearboxes and Nakashima propellers, the propulsion package gives ‘AMG Winyama’ a fully loaded cruising speed of 25.5 knots and 29.5 knots at 100% MCR. Penske Power Systems supplied the engines and Kohler gensets.

To deliver ‘AMG Winyama’ quickly, Niche Marine was contracted to fabricate its robust aluminium hull, which was trucked to Dongara Marine as a bare shell ready for the mechanical installation, fitout, and addition of the resin infused composite wheelhouse. This approach resulted in a build time of just over seven months.

The use of composites results in a very lightweight yet durable cabin that is protected against corrosion issues throughout its life. It also provides insulation from the extreme heat ‘AMG Winyama’ will experience in the Pilbara. Further enhancing conditions for those onboard, the wheelhouse is resiliently mounted resulting in very low noise and vibration levels, while Dongara Marine’s composite construction techniques provide a near superyacht finish inside and out.

Also contributing to providing Pilots and crew with a quiet, comfortable work place is Dongara Marine’s high quality interior fitout. This is evident in features such as padded vinyl linings and the carbon fibre and leather dash. Direct glazed windows provide unrivalled 360-degree visibility and are fitted with reflective blinds to reduce heat transfer. Six Shockwave military specification shockmitigating seats add to the exceptional ride provided by the Berkeley Class hullform, whilst the ergonomic dash enables the skipper to easily access the full array of electronics.