Humphree USA reports that it has won numerous orders this year for its automatic stabilization technology in the North American pilot boat segment, with nine new boats either delivered or under construction for eight different pilot associations.
"Humphree has established a strong reputation among architects, builders and operators in the pilot boat community," said Sean Berrie, president of Humphree USA. "That's because we can deliver a field-proven, fully automatic turnkey solution that provides improved comfort and higher safety margins when maneuvering alongside ships in rough seas. Better stabilization also optimizes vessel speed and performance and reduces fuel consumption substantially."
Humphree's transom-mounted electric-powered interceptors deploy retractable blades that adjust automatically to create lift that counteracts the vessel's roll and pitch motions, providing a smooth, stable ride even in extreme weather conditions. The interceptors' response times are less than one second. Humphree also supplies a range of automatic computer-controlled stabilization solutions, including Active Ride Control, which uses inputs from GPS, gyro and accelerometers to measure 3D rates of turn and acceleration to adjust the boat's roll, pitch, list and trim dynamically. The 24VDC systems are easy to install and low maintenance with no hydraulics.
The Brazos Pilots Association in Texas has taken delivery of a new 64-ft. launch equipped with a pair of Humphree custom tunnel-shaped HE 900 interceptors with automatic trim control. The Defiant-class custom-welded aluminum vessel, which was designed and built by Metal Shark, boasts a top speed of over 28 knots with a nominal cruising speed of 18 knots. It was selected by WorkBoat magazine as one of the 10 most significant boats of 2019.
The new 75.7-ft. Galveston-Class pilot boat delivered in March to the Southwest Alaska Pilots Association has two HA 1100 interceptors with Active Ride Control, including auto trim and auto list. The water-jet propelled launch with a top speed of 28 knots was designed by C. Raymond Hunt and built by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation.
The latest addition to the Lake Charles Pilots Association Fleet is a 70-ft. all-aluminum boat equipped with twin custom tunnel-shaped HE 1500 interceptors with Active Ride Control, including auto trim and auto list. The builder was Gladding-Hearn, and the architect was C. Raymond Hunt.
The Humphree stabilization package for Tampa Bay Pilots' new 54-ft. launch from Breaux Bay Craft includes two HE 1250 interceptors with Active Ride Control and Coordinated Turn Control.
In addition to these recent deliveries, Humphree interceptors and automatic stabilization systems are specified on five new pilot boats currently under construction. They include newbuilds for Virginia Pilots and Seaway Pilots from Gladding-Hearn, Los Angeles Pilots from Vigor and Long Beach Pilots from Nordlund Boat Company. The Long Beach Pilots vessel will include a set of Humphree fixed fins for course stabilization as well as interceptors with Active Ride Control and Coordinated Turn Control.
Capt. Ron Ward of the Southwest Alaska Pilots Association said, "In pilotage operations, we are required to operate day and night regardless of the weather, and it's vitally important to provide a safe platform for embarking and boarding pilots. We are very impressed with the ability of the Humphree interceptors and Active Ride Control to hold the boat steady and stable even with high winds and heavy seas and swells."
Peter Duclos, president of Gladding-Hearn, said, "We are installing Humphree interceptors as standard fit on most of our new Chesapeake-class pilot boats in response to demand from our customers. They are far superior to traditional trim tabs and do not require high-maintenance hydraulics."