SOMERSET, Mass. – August 2, 2017 – With three similar Gladding-Hearn pilot boats already in their fleet, the Louisiana-based Lake Charles pilots have ordered a fourth pilot boat for delivery next year.
With a length overall of 70’, beam of 22’, and draft of 6.8’, the new all-aluminum pilot boat features the C. Raymond Hunt-designed Deep V hull. It will be powered by twin Cummins QSK38-M, EPA Tier 3 diesel engines, each delivering 1,300 Bhp at 1,800 rpm and a top speed of 27 knots. The engines will turn 5-blade NiBrAl Bruntons propellers, connected to a pair of Twin Disc gear boxes. To optimize fuel economy, vessel handling and comfort, twin Humphree interceptors, with automatic trim optimization, will be installed at the transom. Two Northern Lights 25kW generators will produce electricity.
The wheelhouse is aft of amidships and features forward-leaning front windows, each fitted with retractable solar blinds. It will be outfitted with seven pilot seats, a settee, and baggage rack behind the centerline helm station. The forecastle will include a stateroom, with upper and lower berths, enclosed head, a small galley, and hanging lockers and storage. HVAC will be supplied by three 16,000 Btu Marine-Air reverse-cycle air- conditioning units – two cooling the wheelhouse and the third serving the forecastle. Interior sound levels will be under 80 decibels at full power, said shipyard officials.
Outside the wheelhouse are wide side-decks and handrails, and aft of the wave break on the foredeck are port and starboard boarding platforms. A control station will be at the transom, along with a winch-operated, fixed davit over a recessed platform, with stairs, for pilot rescue operations.