SOMERSET, Mass. – December 18, 2019 – The Association of Maryland Pilots has ordered its fourth Chesapeake Class launch from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. Delivery is scheduled for December 2020.
Since the Chesapeake Class pilot boat was introduced by the Somerset, Mass., shipyard in 2003, 21 have been delivered to 11 pilot associations throughout the United States.
With a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design, the new all-aluminum launch measures 52.6’ overall, with a 16.8’ beam and a 4.8’ draft. Powered by twin Volvo Penta D16, EPA Tier 3-certified diesel engines, each producing 641 Bhp at 1800 rpm; the vessel’s top speed is expected to reach over 25 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim control system, with its Automatic Trim Optimization, will be installed at the transom.
The engines will turn 5-blade Bruntons NiBrAl propellers via ZF500-1-A gear boxes. The launch will be equipped with a 12kW Northern Lights genset.
The vessel’s wheelhouse, with a small trunk, is being installed amidship on a flush deck. With forward-leaning front windows, the wheelhouse is outfitted with five NorSap shock-mitigating reclining seats, baggage racks and built-in furniture and cabinetry. The forecastle will include a porta-potty, split upholstered settee/bunk, a tool box and lockers for immersion suits and other safety gear. The vessel’s interior is heated and cooled by two 16,000 Btu reverse-cycle HVAC units, in addition to 2000 watt 240 VAC heaters in the wheelhouse and in the forecastle.
Outside of the wheelhouse are heated side-decks and handrails to prevent ice accumulation. Ladders on the sides of the wheelhouse lead to hinged boarding platforms on the roof. A control station, along with a powered rescue system, is at the transom for pilot rescue operations.