Alabama pilots order high-speed launch from Gladding-Hearn

The following is the text of a news release from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding:

(SOMERSET, Mass.) — The Alabama Pilot Inc. in Mobile, Ala., has ordered a Chesapeake-class pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. Delivery of the new 53-footer is scheduled for mid-2017.
With a length overall of 53.6 feet, a beam of 17.8 feet and a draft of 4.8 feet, the all-aluminum pilot boat features the C. Raymond Hunt-designed deep-V hull. It will be powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesel engines, each delivering 671 bhp at 2,100 rpm and a top speed of 25 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim-tab control system will be installed at the transom. Diesel capacity is 800 gallons, which shipyard officials say will provide a range of at least 380 miles at an economical speed of about 20 knots.
The engines will turn five-blade NiBrAl propellers via Twin Disc MGX-5135A Quickshift gears. The launch will be equipped with a 9-kW Northern Lights EPA Tier 3-compliant genset.
The wheelhouse, flush-mounted to the deck amidships and with forward-leaning front windows, will be outfitted with six Llebroc seats and a L-shaped settee and cooled by two 16,000 Btu air-conditioning units. The forecastle includes an enclosed head and built-in cabinetry.

Outside of the wheelhouse are wide side decks, side and rear doors, with boarding platforms on the roof and port and starboard on the foredeck. At the transom are throttle and steering controls and a winch-operated rotating davit over a recessed platform for rescue operations.

By Professional Mariner Staff