Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation
, has delivered a new rigid-bottom, soft-sided pilot boat to the Matagorda Bay pilots in Port Lavaca, Texas. This is the shipyard’s second Resilient Class launch, following delivery of a similar RIB to the Charleston, S.C. pilots last year.
The jet-driven, all-aluminum Matajet measures 43’ (13m) overall. It has a 13’10” (4.2m) beam, including the hybrid foam/air collar, and a shoal 2’5” (.75m) draft. Designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates, the deep-V hull features a steep 22-degree dead-rise at the transom that increases to a very fine entry forward. A flat chine and multiple spray-rails provide an efficient running surface and deflect spray away from the collar to produce a dryer ride and reduce collar maintenance.
The pilot boat’s CPI Marine hybrid “D” collar has a polyurethane fabric outer shell, over closed-cell polyethylene foam, with an inner air bladder. The collar, installed in a recess around the hull, measures 26 inches in diameter. Half-inch-thick, vinyl rub-strakes are laminated to the outer surface of the polyurethane shell to increase puncture and abrasion resistance. A heavy-duty pipe guard was installed across the transom, along with a grating platform above the vessel’s water jets.
The new RIB is powered by twin Caterpillar C-9, six-cylinder diesel engines, which are fully accessible through large lift-assisted deck hatches. The engines, each rated at 503 Bhp at 2500 rpm, turn a pair of Hamilton HJ-292 water jets, through Twin Disc 5075SC gearboxes, which give the launch a light-weight, top speed of 35 knots and a 32-knot loaded, cruising speed. Fuel capacity is 300 gals.
The aluminum pilothouse on a flush deck, with forward-leaning front windows, has roof and foredeck boarding platforms. The interior is outfitted with four, heavy-duty suspension seats, air-conditioning system, a porta-potty, and complete navigation, electronics, and safety equipment packages.