Another swath joins Elbe pilot fleet

The new pilot station vessel ‘Elbe’ The new pilot station vessel ‘Elbe’

The Elbe Pilot association in Cuxhaven, Germany has strengthened its fleet with the addition of the new 2,462gt pilot station vessel Elbe designed for rough coastal waters and tidal estuaries.

This 60.40m long and 24.60m wide newbuilding is based on the double-hull SWATH (small waterplane area twin hull) design built by Abeking & Rasmussen, in Lower Lemwerder near Bremen, to the order of the Federal Ministry of Transport. The cost of the ship amounted to around 50 million Euros and is the first of two similar vessels for the German pilots. Delivery of the second vessel, named Weser, also took place in 2010.

Propulsion is by means of a diesel electric power plant comprising four MTU 8V 4000 M50A high speed diesels, each delivering 760kW at 1,500 rpm, linked to AEM SE 400 L4 generators to provide power for the two 1,200kW electric motors via ZF 9350 NC gearboxes. These drive the two Schaffran type FP propellers for a maximum speed of 13.2 knots. Manoeuvrability is enhanced by a bow thruster and the vessel is also fitted with two active stabiliser fins.

The newbuilding is equipped with two 8m Chantier Naval Bernard pilot workboats capable of 20 knots. These are launched and retrieved by two 10t SWL single arm davits from Vestdavit. Accommodation comprises 25 cabins for pilots, each with own bathroom and one additional Pullman berth, while the 34 crew each have their own cabin with bathroom.

The German pilot fleet has been consistently modernised culminating in the construction of the two newbuildings and now consists of the 60m SWATH pilot station vessels Elbe and Weser, the 50m SWATH pilot station vessel Hanse and the SWATH pilot tenders Dose, Duhnen, Wangeroog and Borkum.

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