Vessel:

Pilot Boat — Astoria

Owner:

Columbia River Bar Pilots

Homeport:

Warrenton

Year built:

2014

Designer:

Camarc Ltd. Design, UK

Engine:

(2) MTU 16V2000 1410 BHP

Propulsors:

(2) Hamilton 651 water jets

Cruising speed:

About 29 knots

Fuel:

1,655 gallons

Length:

75 feet 6 inches

Beam:

21 feet 6 inches

Draft:

3 feet 6 inches

Crew:

2 crew and 4 pilots

Stability: 

Self-righting through 180 degrees

Use:

"We go out to get on ships and navigate them into the river, and the boat gets us there," said Capt. Chris Farrell, a bar pilot and master mariner. The crew gets the boat lined up with a ladder on the ship, and the pilots jump across. "If we can't get on a ship, then shipping would stop on the river, so what we do is an important piece of the gateway to the Columbia River."

The Columbia River Bar Pilots have two pilot boats, including the Astoria, as well as a helicopter. Brian Junes, the marine transportation manager, said the boats need be kept in top notch condition and the crew members on duty need to be ready to go at a moment's notice.

"I feel we have some of the best jet boat operators in the world working for our company," Junes said.

Farrell added that the mouth of the Columbia has some of the most challenging boating conditions in the world, and the pilots and crew members have specific local knowledge for getting over the bar safely.

"We love these boats and we're proud of them," Farrell said. 

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