(SOMERSET, Mass.) — The Association of Maryland Pilots has taken delivery of its fourth Chesapeake-class launch, Susquehanna, from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp.
Since the Chesapeake-class pilot boat was introduced by the Somerset, Mass., shipyard in 2003, 22 have been delivered to 12 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 over 26 knots. The engines turn five-blade Bruntons nibral propellers via ZF500-1-A gear boxes. A Humphree interceptor trim control system, with its automatic trim optimization, is installed at the transom. The launch is equipped with a 12-kW Northern Lights genset and 100 percent LED lighting.
The vessel’s wheelhouse, with a small trunk, is installed amidships on a flush deck. With electrically heated forward-leaning front windows, the wheelhouse is equipped with five Norsap shock-mitigating reclining seats, a baggage rack and control console. The forecastle includes a porta-potty, split upholstered settee/bunk, lockers for tools and safety gear and a custom immersion suit rack. The vessel’s interior is heated and cooled by two 16,000-BTU reverse-cycle HVAC units, in addition to a 2,000-watt heater in the wheelhouse and in the forecastle.
Outside the wheelhouse are heated side decks and handrails to prevent ice accumulation. An aft ladder leads to hinged boarding platforms on the roof. A control station is at the transom, along with a hydraulically powered J-basket system for pilot rescue operations.
– Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding