Gladding-Hearn Delivers New Rigid Inflatable Pilot Boat

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, has delivered a new launch to the Charleston, S.C., pilots, the first in a new line of rigid bottom, soft-sided pilot boats from the Somerset, Mass.-based shipyard. The new jet-driven, all-aluminum launch measures 40 feet overall. It has a 13-foot beam, including the inflatable collar, and a shoal 2.4-foot draft. Designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates of Boston, the deep-V hull features a steep 24-degree dead-rise at the transom that increases to a very fine entry forward. Ample chines and multiple spray-rails provide an efficient running surface and deflect spray away from the tubes to provide a dryer ride and reduce collar maintenance. A Wing Inflatable’s polyurethane, multi-chambered collar, measuring 28-inches in diameter, is installed around the hull. An on-board, compressed-air system allows the pilot to inflate the tube sections from the console. Half-inch thick fenders are laminated to the tubes’ outside surfaces to increase puncture resistance, and a heavy-duty pipe guard is installed across the transom, along with a grating platform above the waterjets. The vessel is designed to also accept a solid inomer foam collar, as well as Wing’s hybrid air-foam-polyurethane collar. Twin Cummins QSL-405M, six-cylinder diesel engines, each rated 405 bhp at 2,100 rpm, power the new RIB. The engines turn pairs of Hamilton HJ-292 waterjets, through Twin Disc 5075SC gearboxes, which, combined, give the launch a top speed of 34 knots, fully loaded, and a 30-knot cruising speed. Fuel capacity is 300 gals.

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