Home' Ausmarine : November 2012 Contents When Mal Hart established Hart Marine
three decades ago on Victoria's
Mornington Peninsula in Australia, he
combined it with his passion for sailing.
By the time the company shifted focus
into the building of commercial vessels a
decade ago, the company had few peers in
advanced composite construction.
Initially the yard specialised in the
leisure and racing sector, but soon
transferred into the world of commercial
vessels. This change in focus was a logical
path for company growth and allowed Hart
Marine to apply its unique skills more
widely. Early commissions came for
corporate charter vessels and commercial
sport fishing craft, vessels that were an
ideal bridge between the leisure and
commercial worlds. Competing largely
against builders in aluminium, Hart quickly
diversified into workboats and, most
notably, pilot boats.
Hart's series of pilot boats began with a
commission from Victoria's Port Phillip Sea
Pilots (PPSP). PPSP frequently operate in
appalling sea conditions in Bass Strait, and
are often the de facto heavy weather sea
rescue service. In a particularly horrendous
sea at the entrance to Port Philip, a pilot
boat had capsized, resulting in the tragic
loss of vessel and crew.
It was clear that any new vessels had to
offer exceptional seaworthiness and safety
features, and the PPSP immediately began
the process of assessing designs worldwide.
The research was for both the best pilot
boat design and the best builder for the job.
PPSP concluded that the "ORC Pilot Boat"
family from the French naval architects
Pantocarene had the best all-round design,
and that Hart Marine should build it.
For many years, pilot boat designs
have essentially been "more of the same"
with small incremental improvements.
The Pantocarene concept was a
Far from a conventional pilot boat with
self-righting capability, every design
element of the vessel came under the naval
architects' scrutiny. In the case of crew
comfort, suspension seats are combined
with the ORC's wheelhouse unit being
carried on specialised vibration isolation
mounts that are more common in fast
ferries, making an enormous improvement
to the quality of the crew's working day.
The Pantocarene beak bow is the most
visible of the vessel's non-traditional
features. The result of years of calculations,
tank testing and sea trials, the bow shape is
designed for wave piercing in a head sea
and to give early gaining of buoyancy
when the bow dips in a following sea,
inhibiting any broaching tendencies.
This feature is coupled with a wider than
typical waterline for enhanced stability.
The first two boats PPSP ordered were the
'Ranger', a 14.4 metre vessel, and the 18.1
metre 'Akuna IV'.
The success of PPSP's pilot boats quickly
attracted the attention of other operators,
with Western Australia's Albany Port
Authority placing an order for a 15.6 metre
vessel. Svitzer Australia, the company
providing marine services at Chevron's
flagship Gorgon gas project at Barrow
Island, is also a Hart Marine customer.
With world-leading environmental
safeguards that include turtle-friendly
working lights and electric tugs, Chevron
was calling for the best in all areas. Svitzer
proposed a Hart Marine pilot vessel and
Chevron approved. The resulting vessel will
also be the centrepiece of a groundbreaking
training project, with local indigenous
people set to be recruited and trained to
operate Svitzer's tugs and pilot vessel.
Hart Marine continues a path of steady
growth. The company's story demonstrates
the value of collaboration and innovation,
combining international expertise with
local experience in the quest for success.
Currently, the team consists of 35
technicians based out at the company's
high tech Mornington yard.
For further information contact:
Hart Marine, Victoria.
30 years of
By MIKE BROWN
November 2012 AUSMARINE
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