The Lake Charles Pilots, which operates on the Calcasieu ship channel in southwestern Louisiana, has ordered its third pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation
. Delivery is scheduled for February 2008. According to Lake Charles pilot, Capt. Mike Miller, the new boat order was prompted by plans for more than 400 LNG tankers traveling to terminals on the Calcasieu River by 2008. “With all of this new traffic on the river, we wanted a stable boarding boat with a deep-V hull that can operate continuously to the outermost sea buoy, 30 miles off the coast. The sea conditions out there normally run three to five feet, but can often climb to ten feet,” he said.
Featuring the C. Raymond Hunt-designed deep-V hull, the all-aluminum vessel measures 75.8 ft. overall, with a 20.6-ft. beam and a 6.8-ft. draft.
With a top speed of 27 knots, the boat will be powered by twin Cummins QSK38M diesel engines, each producing 1350 Bhp at 1900 rpm. The engines will be equipped with Cummins’ Centinel lube-oil management system, adding fresh oil, as needed, to replace oil burned through the fuel system. Two Twin Disc MGX-6620A gear boxes will turn 5-blade Bruntons propellers. The launch will include twin Onan 27kW gensets.
The air-conditioned wheelhouse and finished forecastle will include a fully-integrated navigation system, four Lebroc recliners, galley, enclosed head with shower, and three staterooms. Interior sound level in the wheelhouse will be limited to about 75 decibels.