Alabama pilots receive second Gladding-Hearn launch

(SOMERSET, Mass.) — The Alabama Pilot Inc. has taken delivery of its second Chesapeake-class high-speed pilot boat, Mobile Pilot, from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. Delivery of the pilots’ first Chesapeake launch, Dixey, was in 2017.

With a length overall of 53.6 feet, a beam of 17.8 feet, and a draft of 4.6 feet, the new all-aluminum pilot boat features the Ray Hunt Design deep-V hull. It is powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesel engines, each delivering 671 hp at 2,100 rpm and a top speed of 27 knots. The engines turn five-blade nibral propellers via Twin Disc MGX-5136A Quickshift gears.

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding photo

A Humphree interceptor, with automatic trim optimization, is installed at the transom.
The launch is 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, is outfitted with six Llebroc pilot seats: one at the centerline helm station and the observer’s seat to port, and four single pilot seats aft of the helm station.

The forecastle includes a reclining seat and upholstered settee with storage below. The wheelhouse and forecastle are cooled by two 16,000-BTU air-conditioning units.

Outside the wheelhouse are wide side decks, side and rear doors, and boarding platforms on the roof. At the transom is a winch-operated rotating davit over recessed stairs for rescue operations.

– Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding

By Professional Mariner Staff