SOMERSET, Mass. – September 20, 2021 – Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation delivered a new Chesapeake class pilot boat to the Associated Federal Pilots in Venice, Louisiana.
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 3.10’ draft. Powered by twin Volvo Penta D-16, EPA Tier 3-certified diesel engines, each producing 641 Bhp at 1800 rpm; the vessel’s top speed is 26 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim control system, with its Automatic Trim Optimization, was installed at the transom.
The engines turn 5-blade Bruntons NiBrAl propellers via ZF500-1-A gear boxes. The launch is equipped with a 9kW Northern Lights genset.
The vessel’s wheelhouse, with a small trunk, is installed amidships on a flush deck. With forward-leaning front windows and the helm station on center, the wheelhouse is outfitted with six Llebroc pilot seats, a bench seat behind them and built-in cabinetry. The forecastle includes a split upholstered settee/bunk, porta-potty, shelving and storage space for safety gear. The interior is cooled by two 16,000 Btu reverse-cycle HVAC units.
Outside of the wheelhouse are wide side-decks and two raised boarding platforms on the bow. Ladders on the sides of the wheelhouse lead to hinged boarding platforms on the roof. A control station is located near the stepped transom, along with a winch-operated rotating davit system over a recessed platform for pilot rescue operations.