Gladding-Hearn delivers launch for Bermuda port duty

(SOMERSET, Mass.) — 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. It follows delivery of a 61-foot pilot/rescue vessel to the 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.

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding photo

Powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesel engines, each producing 670 horsepower at 2,100 rpm, its 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 Peter Duclos, the shipyard’s co-president.

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 low maintenance, he added.

The vessel’s wheelhouse is set aft of amidship on a flush deck. With forward-leaning front windows, the wheelhouse, with a center helm, 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 is cooled by two 16,000-BTU reverse-cycle Webasto air conditioning units.

Outside, a ladder on the back of the wheelhouse provides access to the roof. A Harken TR-31 safety rail track system has been installed on the wheelhouse handrail. A boarding ladder and a set of recessed steps at the transom assist in pilot rescue operations.

– Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding

By Professional Mariner