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Glosten to Design SF Bar Pilots’ Boats for Strict Environmental Regs

pilot boat design
Glosten will design a new generation of pilot boats to meet California's strict harbor environmental regulations (SF Bar Pilots)

Published Jan 23, 2023 5:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

San Francisco Bar Pilots retained naval architecture and marine engineering firm Glosten to design new station boats that will meet the strict new California Air Resources Board (CARB) emission requirements.  The three new boats planned from this partnership are slated to make the San Francisco Bar Pilots the first pilot association in California to acquire vessels that will meet CARB’s Commercial Harbor Craft Regulation.

Last year, California voted to update its Commercial Harbor Craft Regulation designed to reduce diesel soot and nitrogen oxides emission from commercial harbor craft including ferries and tugboats as well other critical services including the pilot boats. The new regulations begin to phase in 2024 establishing regulations to limit emissions below what is required by EPA for Tier 4 and must be met for any vessel considered a harbor craft by CARB operating in the harbor and coastal California waters. The new regulations expand the coverage, requiring zero-emission options where feasible, and cleaner combustion Tier 3 and 4 engines on all other vessels. In addition, they will require the use of diesel particulate filters.

“We are pleased to work with Glosten to design our new cutting-edge station boats,” said John Carlier, president of the San Francisco Bar Pilots. “These new vessels will allow the Bar Pilots to continue to provide safe navigation throughout the San Francisco Bay and further our mission of environmental stewardship.”

The first two new station boats are expected to be in service by the end of 2024, with the third in service by the end of 2025. They have to provide broad capabilities to fulfill the demanding mission of the pilots operating in difficult weather conditions in the region and serving more than 200 Bay Area ports and maritime facilities including the ports of San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Benicia, Redwood City, Stockton, and Sacramento. The pilot’s critical service protects more than 1,000 miles of fragile coastline in the Bay area.

In this new assignment for the San Francisco Bar Pilots, Glosten’s efforts for the new station boats include a propulsion feasibility study, as well as the development of a contract design package. Glosten reports that the feasibility studies are currently underway for this project.

“We are thrilled to be working with a long-standing client who shares our commitment to marine decarbonization,” said Morgan Fanberg, president of Glosten.

Glosten previously worked with San Francisco Bar Pilots in 2007, providing engineering support and construction oversight of the third San Francisco class 104-foot pilot station boat, Drake. Introduced in 2010, the vessel is a workhorse designed to stay at sea for up to four days. It has accommodations for up to eight pilots and four crew members, two 1,100-horsepower engines, and a fully equipped galley.

Glosten is a full-service consulting firm of naval architects and marine, electrical, production, and ocean engineers. Founded in 1958, the firm is recognized for integrating advanced analysis with practical, experience-based design. Glosten over the past few years has also expanded its leadership in the design of hybrid and electric-propelled commercial vessels, with multiple vessels already in operation.