Pilot (icebreaker)

Pilot (icebreaker)

"Pilot" ( _ru. Пайлот) was a Russian icebreaker, often referred to as the world's first steam-powered icebreaker.

Pilot had been built as a steam-powered propeller thug. It had the bow altered to achieve an ice-clearing capability (20° raise from keel line). Conversion had been done in 1864 under an order of its owner M.O. Britnev. This allowed the Pilot to push itself on the top of the ice and consequently break it. It's said that M.O. Britnev fashioned the bow of his ship after the shape of Pomor boats, which had been navigating icy waters of the White Sea and Barents Sea for centuries.

The Pilot was used between 1864-1890 for navigation in the Gulf of Finland between Kronstadt and Oranienbaum thus extending the summer navigation season by several weeks. Inspired by the success of the Pilot, M.O. Britnev built a second similar vessel "Boj" ("Battle" in Russian) in 1875 and a third "Buj" ("Buoy" in Russian) in 1889.

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