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Bellcraft pilot boat powered by Volvo Penta IPS is welcomed in Sicily


The busy Strait of Messina which separates the island of Sicily from the Italian mainland is now home to a new pilot boat, manufactured by Bellcraft and powered by Volvo Penta IPS (Inboard Performance System).

The Bellcraft Work 12 pilot boat, powered by Volvo Penta IPS, will flank ships in the Strait of Messina. Commissioned by the Guild of Messina Strait Pilots, the boat was officially welcomed in Sicily last week. The pilot boat, powered by twin Volvo Penta IPS450 and matched to two six-liter engines, will flank up to 13,000 ships per year in the busy sea channel.

Volvo Penta’s innovative IPS was selected for installation in the boat due to its excellent performance capabilities and durability.

“The Strait of Messina is crossed by about thirteen thousand ships a year, which means that the pilot boat will accrue a very high number of work hours,” says Giuseppe Raffa, long course captain of the Guild of Messina Strait Pilots. “The Volvo Penta IPS system will allow us to obtain more power with the same weight, and fuel savings of up to 30 per cent.”

The Bellcraft Work 12 was given an official welcome to the port by Commander Livio Maria Donato, chief pilot of the Guild of Messina Strait Pilots, and a presentation by Volvo Penta executives was held, followed by sea trials.

Powering the pilot boat

The Bellcraft Work 12 will operate at an average of 16 knots, and will flank ships in the Strait of Messina. The pilot will board the ships and help the captain navigate through the strait, and then disembark to return to the pilot boat. The delicate operation requires precision maneuvering and excellent engine responsiveness of the pilot boat at all times, to flank ships safely.

Bellcraft, based in Viareggio, in Italy’s north-western Province of Lucca, has been building workboats for more than 30 years. The Bellcraft Work 12 is fitted with twin Volvo Penta D6-330 engines and matched with IPS450 pod drives.

The D6-330 engine has a common-rail fuel injection, double overhead camshafts, turbocharger, and aftercooler. It produces torque of 810 Nm at 2500 rpm, and has a maximum power of 3500 rpm.

Volvo Penta’s IPS450 is perfectly matched to the D6-330 engine. As with all Volvo Penta IPS drives, the twin forward-facing, counter-rotating propellers sit below the hull in undisturbed water, which enable superior grip for excellent performance and low emissions.

Nicola Pomi, Volvo Penta’s head of the marine market for Italy, Spain and Portugal, says: “The choice of our pod propulsion system by Bellcraft and the Guild of Messina Strait pilots shows that the IPS not only is the ideal solution for commercial vessels, but it also offers the best balance between efficiency and performance on the market.”

To watch the Bellcraft Work 12 pilot boat powered by Volvo Penta IPS, click here.


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