Conglin Kewa delivers its first water-jet aluminium pilot boat

The first water-jet all-aluminium pilot boat in China made by Conglin Kewa.

In a ceremonial handover on 25 January 2018, the Shanghai Port Pilot Station accepted delivery of the first water-jet all-aluminium pilot boat built by Shandong Conglin Kewa Aluminium Boat Co Ltd.

The vessel has a linear deep V-hull, with total length 18.5 metres, beam 4.56 metres, draft 2.15 metres, with a maximum speed of 27 knots. The entire vessel is made of high quality imported marine aluminium alloy, offering fast, safe and stable operation and can carry 12 people.

Shandong Conglin Kewa Aluminium Boat Co Ltd, mainly focuses on R&D of modern advanced boat technology and specializes in the design, development and production of aluminium boats. The company is a joint venture between Conglin Group of China and Kewatec of Finland.

The company’s professional R&D team is led by an experienced Finnish engineer and supported by a Finnish and Australian design team. The company’s boat development and production has design qualification approval and a CCS quality system certificate.

After the delivery ceremony, Mr. Zhu Weizhong, general manager of Shandong Conglin Kewa Aluminium Ships Co Ltd gave an exclusive interview to Seawork Asia.

Mr Zhu Weizhong explained why the delivery of this vessel is such a milestone for Conglin Kewa, “This new technology may have more impact on the users of the Pilot Station than the more established vessels offer.  The controllability, safety and flexibility of the jet provides a strong guarantee for working conditions and safety promotion within the piloting industry. In addition to the selection of the jet, the boat design also incorporates many other new pilot craft features, that will become a model product in the piloting industry.”

Asked what challenges were faced in building this vessel, Mr Zhu Weizhong, remarked, “The first challenge was the requirement of reaching the high speed of 27 knots at a regulated power of 750Kw, which meant that the linear hull and certification of the vessel had to be more sophisticated. To solve this problem, Conglin Kewa selected an established pilot vessel from Kewatec of Finland, as a benchmark and designed their new vessel on this technical basis, with vessel model tests. Through multi-dimensional verification, modifying and optimizing the design, finally all the requirements were met.”

“The second challenge was noise control.  In order to ensure the comfort of pilot work in the cabin, the noise level had to be significantly reduced. Thanks to the Finnish technology owned by Conglin Kewa and Conglin's own quality control, special measures were taken to reduce vibration and noise that ensured that the cabin noise was brought to within 68 dB. The third challenge was the environmental protection requirement. The use of aluminium material met this need perfectly. Secondly, as a professional manufacturer, Conglin Kewa also excelled in reducing cabin emissions, including oil and water treatment. Lastly, the vessel interior was manufactured with environmentally friendly materials. In short, the problems we faced when the order was secured have been all conquered.  At the same time, we created a comfortable working environment for pilots, with the addition of a lounge and shock-absorbing seats, it has proved that the boat provides great comfort to the crew and pilot.”

When asked what the advantages were for using aluminium as opposed to traditional fiberglass for the jet pilot boat, Mr Zhu Weizhong, commented, “There are three main benefits, the first being environmental protection; in the process of construction, we avoided more pollution and achieved zero soot. Also, aluminium alloy is a recyclable resource and can be converted into a tangible value again, whereas fiberglass cannot be successfully recycled and could therefore cause future environmental pollution. The second benefit is the longevity of the vessel, in general, the life span of an aluminium alloy boat is usually defined as 15 years, but this boat has a life expectancy of up to 25 years, with a proper maintenance programme and no accidents. The third benefit is sustainability, since aluminium alloy generates little secondary pollution because of the minimal maintenance it requires."