New Pilot Boat for The Bar by Kvichak Marine Industries

Peter Marsh New Boats Power Boating Working boats

I was fortunate to cross attend Astoria’s christening ceremony, meet the Scottish designer, survey the boat and even get aboard for crossing the bar. This is a great story. Here’s the rundown from Kvichak’s web site:


Photo credit John Fleck Photography.

Kvichak Marine Industries recently delivered Astoria, a self-righting 74’ all-aluminum pilot boat, to the Columbia River Bar Pilots (CRBP) of Astoria, OR.  Astoria is the third CRBP pilot boat designed by Camarc, Ltd., of the UK and built by Kvichak.  The pilots christened Astoria at a ceremony last week where the vessel has joined Columbia, built in 2008.  Chinook, built in 2000 is retiring this spring.

The pilots operate the vessels over the bar at the mouth of the Columbia River.  Known for its extreme weather and turbulent waters, the Columbia River Bar is where the Columbia River collides with the Pacific Ocean.  The resulting conditions require reliable, stable and self-righting pilot boats that safely and successfully transport pilots to and from the ships and tugs that navigate across the Bar.


Peter Marsh photo.

Power for the 75’-6” x 21’-6” Astoria is provided by twin MTU 16V2000 M70 marine diesel engines rated for 1410 BHP @ 2100 RPM and twin ZF 3050 electric shift transmissions.  The engines are coupled to a pair of Hamilton 651 waterjets.  Top speed is ~29 knots; cruise speed is ~25 knots.

For more information on Kvichak and the many commercial vessels it produces, visit Kvichak’s web site.


Additional vessel features include:

  • Overall Length: 75’ 6”
  • Beam, overall: 21’ 6”
  • Draft: 3’ 6”
  • Fuel capacity: 1,655 gallons
  • Top speed: ~29 knots
  • Extensive Furuno electronics package
  • (2) Kohler 40kW Gensets
  • Climate controlled pilot house
  • 2 crew, 4 pilots
  • Accommodations for 2
  • Popsafe fendering
  • Rescue davit w/ 500lb SWL capacity




Peter Marsh

Written by

Peter Marsh grew up in Greenwich, England, started dinghy sailing in 1963, and was on the dockside in Plymouth in 1964 before the second Singlehanded Trans-Atlantic Race start. He has been fascinated by nautical design and performance ever since! He emigrated to the US in In 1972 and in 1981 designed and built the small trailerable trimaran that he still sails. He continues to follow ocean racing in Europe, returning to France in 2012 to see the end of the Vendee Globe and again in 2013 to watch the start of the Mini Transat and Transat J.V. He lives in Astoria, Oregon, and also writes PR materials for boat builders and related businesses.

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