Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp., has delivered a Chesapeake-class pilot boat, certified to Lloyd’s Register class, to the Bermuda Government, Department of Marine and Port Services. The delivery follows that of a 61-foot pilot/rescue vessel to Bermuda’s port services in 2011.
The new all-aluminum launch, St. George, replaces a 10-knot steel pilot boat built by the Massachusetts-based shipyard in 1980. With a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design, the new boat measures 52.11 feet overall, with a 15.10-foot beam and a 4.8-foot draft.
Powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesel engines, each producing 670 horsepower at 2,100 rpm, the boat’s top speed is 24 knots. The engines turn a pair of five-blade Bruntons nibral propellers via ZF-500-1A gearboxes. The launch is equipped with a 9-kW Northern Lights genset.
With oversized fendering, thicker hull plating, and conservatively rated machinery, “the new launch was intentionally overbuilt to be heavier than the typical target displacement to improve seakeeping and longevity and to reduce maintenance,” said Gladding-Hearn co-President, Peter Duclos.
The mechanical systems, with keel cooling and dry exhaust for the main engines and generator, copper nickel piping for fire, and HVAC seawater piping, also contribute to the vessel’s longevity and minimal maintenance needs, he added.
St. George’s wheelhouse is set aft of amidship on a flush deck with forward-leaning front windows and a center helm and is outfitted with four Norsap shock-mitigating reclining seats, a baggage rack, settee, and cabinetry. The forecastle includes an enclosed head and a split settee/berth with storage below for safety gear. The vessel’s interior features two 16,000-BTU reverse-cycle Webasto air conditioning units and a Harken TR-31 safety rail track system is installed on the wheelhouse handrail.