The following is text of a news release from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding:
(SOMERSET, Mass.) — The Association of Maryland Pilots has ordered its fourth Chesapeake-class launch from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. Delivery is scheduled for December 2020.
Since the Chesapeake-class pilot boat was introduced by the Somerset, Mass., shipyard in 2003, 21 have been delivered to 11 pilot associations throughout the United States.
With a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design, the new all-aluminum launch measures 52.6 feet overall, with a 16.8-foot beam and a 4.8-foot draft. Powered by twin Volvo Penta D16, EPA Tier 3-certified diesel engines, each producing 641 hp at 1,800 rpm, the vessel’s top speed is expected to reach over 25 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim control system, with its automatic trim optimization, will be installed at the transom.
The engines will turn five-blade Bruntons nibral propellers via ZF 500-1A gearboxes. The launch will be equipped with a 12-kW Northern Lights genset.
The vessel’s wheelhouse, with a small trunk, is being installed amidships on a flush deck. With forward-leaning front windows, the wheelhouse is outfitted with five NorSap shock-mitigating reclining seats, baggage racks and built-in furniture and cabinetry. The forecastle will include a portable toilet, split upholstered settee/bunk, a tool box and lockers for immersion suits and other safety gear. The vessels’ interior is heated and cooled by two 16,000-BTU reverse-cycle HVAC units, in addition to a 2,000-watt 240 VAC heater in the wheelhouse and in the forecastle.
Outside of the wheelhouse are heated side decks and handrails to prevent ice accumulation. Ladders on the sides of the wheelhouse lead to hinged boarding platforms on the roof. A control station is at the transom, along with a powered rescue system, for pilot rescue operations.