The following is text of a press release from Gladding-Hearn:
(SOMERSET, Mass.) — Delta Launch Services, the operating company for the Associated Branch pilots on the SW Pass of the Mississippi, has taken delivery of a new pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. The new 52-footer is the fifth St. John’s Class launch built by the Somerset, Mass. shipyard for the Delta pilots.
The new all-aluminum launch, named Assistant, is a sister-ship to the Mississippi Delta delivered in 2013. It measures of 52.6 feet overall, with a beam of 16.11 feet and a draft of 4.8 feet, the boat features the C. Raymond Hunt-designed Deep V hull. It is powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 EPA Tier 4 diesel engines, each delivering 671 hp at 2,100 rpm and a top speed of 26 knots. Twin Disc QuickShift gears turn a pair of five-blade Brunton’s NiBrAl propellers. The launch is equipped with a 12kW Northern Lights genset.
The wheelhouse, with a small trunk, is flush-mounted to the deck amidships. Aft of its helm station are six Llebroc pilot seats. The forecastle is equipped with enclosed marine head, settee and three berths. The wheelhouse and forecastle is heated and cooled by three reverse-cycle air-conditioning units, totaling 40,000 Btu’s.
Outside of the wheelhouse are wide side-decks, rear and side doors, and boarding platforms on the roof. At the transom is a winch-operated, rotating davit over a recessed platform for rescue operations. The new launch is USCG subchapter T-certified to carry twelve passengers for hire.
For more information, contact Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, 165 Walker St., Somerset, MA 02725.