Being a member of the South Australian Sea Rescue Squadron it would have been difficult not to have heard about our new search and rescue vessel being built over the past months, especially with its construction being followed through our website.
Well, it has now arrived and what a vessel it is! It is the fourth generation of this style of vessel developed by Nautic Star boat builders especially for use in our Gulf waters. The first vessel was built for our colleagues, the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard with a walk around version, the next was the Ross Williams III, specifically designed for the transfer of passengers at sea, followed by the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol at Port Victoria whose vessel was delivered late last year, and the fourth version, the Allen Phillips, Sea Rescue 01.
With each version the hull has been further refined. The Allen Phillips is 8.4 m long and 2.9 m wide with a huge rear cockpit. Comfort has been a main focus with the design of the cabin as in the Ross Williams III, with four very comfortable high backed adjustable seats with folding arm rests and fold up lumbar support which are a great asset when standing in rough seas. The question has been raised a number of times, Why haven’t we had suspension seats installed to cope with our choppy waters. This was a matter extensively explored when we were considering the seating options for the Ross Williams III where it was decided not to use them because of the cost and additional weight. This decision was a sound one as the current seats and the performance of the hull make the suspension bases unnecessary, especially when combined with the shock absorbent foam under the cabin carpet.
Inside the cabin black materials have been used, especially the dash where carbon fibre has been laid over the dash to assist in reducing the glare and making it look very stylish. Non slip grey vinyl has been laid on the cockpit deck and on top of the engine cover, and the remaining deck surfaces have been treated with a grey non-slip coating which works extremely well, especially in wet conditions.
Two small storage box/seats either side of the rear bi-fold cabin doors with upholstered removable cushions provide steps to the 300 mm wide walkways giving access to the bow as well as providing cockpit storage spaces.
Two additional seats in the cockpit are provided by the engine cover which, when raised, gives access to a Volvo Penta D4 300 hp (221 kW) turbo charged, after cooled, dual overhead camshafts, four cylinder diesel engine driving a Volvo Penta leg with twin counter rotating props. The Volvo engine was selected to provide continuity of product throughout the Squadron’s fleet. The engine compartment has a Kidde built-in fire suppressant system operated from the helm position. The 300 litre fuel tank is located under the cockpit floor.
The bow area is protected by a 900 mm high bow rail which also acts as support for four Hella Roklume LED spot lights that supply a total output of 31,200 lumens, 7,800 each. There are also two addition Roklume lights, one either side of the roof to act as mooring/ searchlights.
Furuno electronics have been used to provide continuity through all VMR vessels. Two Navnet TZT2 multifunction 12 in screens have been installed in the dash, one to the helm and the other to the navigator’s station. These screens will display AIS targets as well as the radar, FLIR and sonar images. The Furuno FLIR (forward looking infrared camera) thermal imaging system is mounted at the top of the radar mast and controlled remotely from the skipper’s and navigator’s positions and will assist with search and navigation at night and in low light conditions.