29 Oct 2018

Periodic Vessel Survey – Pilot Boat - Spitfire

Posted in Recent Projects by Admin 0

MSA completed stability tests and a domestic commercial vessel survey on the pilot boat Spitfire in Newcastle. The survey was carried out in accordance with marine Order 503 as a transitional vessel for the addition of passenger carrying capacity to their survey. The vessel was found compliant with stability for the maximum complement of 12 passengers for class 2C operations.

Built in 1989 by 'Norman R. Wright & Sons' in Queensland for the Brisbane Pilot Services, the Spitfire was purpose built as a 'Fast Pilot Vessel' capable of over 22knots.

Initially used in Queensland at Mooloolaba for 6 years, she was later transferred to Esperance where she undertook pilotage duties out of the port of Esperance for nearly two decades.

In 2013 Spitfire was damaged during a job due to large swell and taken from the water.  With a new Pilot Vessel already in the works Spitfire was taken out of survey and sold at auction in an "as is, where is" sale.

A commercial fisherman who liked the look of Spitfire paid an undisclosed sum of money to the Esperance Port Authority, patched the damage that was sustained and steamed to Albany.

The Spitfire was taken out of the water and professionally repaired with documentation, photos and put back into 2C survey by the W.A DOT.

The Spitfire’s owner at this time, intended to use her as a live aboard for himself and his wife out at the Abrolhos Islands off Geraldton. Soon after repairing and relocating the Spitfire to Geraldton he landed a job on the islands with a boat and housing. Spitfire was put on the hard stand where her current owners found her for sale.

In early 2017, she was purchased and relocated to Newcastle by its current owners, Dave and Trish, for the purpose of running a tourism operation, maritime training and other commercial opportunities.

Spitfire Pilot Boats offer a range of services ranging from whale watching and harbour tours to training in vessel handling, safety and nautical fundamentals.  For more information please visit

The hull is cold moulded,  triple layered Oregon with an epoxy sheathing. 


Initially surveyed 2C for 2 crew and 6 "Special Persons" to 30 nm she has 2 x Caterpillar 3208 TA 375hp engines with 2 x 800 ltr fuel tanks.


The deck and cabin are plywood and the interior is all hand moulded and varnished.


Originally built with a large Vee-Berth accommodation for two, with full standing height clearance, shower and marine toilet, saloon area with plenty of storage and loads of seating/sleeping.





Do you have a vessel that is due for its survey in accordance with its survey certificates?

Contact Maritime Survey Australia today to discuss your project requirements.

Our Marine Surveyors are accredited with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), members of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) and members of the certifying authority of the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS). We believe we have the most competitive rates offering the best value to Victorian commercial vessel operators. The benefits of using Maritime Survey Australia ensure that the vessel operator has to engage with only one company. Unlike many of our competitors, our Surveyors are experienced Marine Engineers, Masters and Naval Architects accredited for ALL categories including periodic electrical and communication meaning you do not need to engage with a third party to complete the survey.

The survey is carried out accurately interpreting standards and guidelines, and applying rules and/or regulatory requirements.

The owner will be informed of any deficiencies discovered during the survey of a vessel that requires repair, replacement or action and will be recorded on a survey activity report, a copy of which will be given the owner or owner's representative at the time of the survey. We will remain impartial in all of our business dealings, and we will never conduct business in a manner which could place our business integrity or impartiality at risk or question.

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