Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, has delivered a new rigid-bottom, soft-sided pilot boat to the Galveston Texas-City Pilots.
The jet-driven, all-aluminum Galveston Bay measures 43 ft. (13m) overall. It has a 14 ft. beam, including the hybrid foam/air collar, and a shoal 2.5 ft. 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 boatâ€™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 vesselâ€™s water jets.
The new RIB is powered by twin Cummins QSL-9, six-cylinder diesel engines, which are fully accessible through large lift-assisted deck hatches. The engines, each rated at 400 Bhp at 2100 rpm, turn a pair of Hamilton HJ-292 water jets through Twin Disc 5075SC gearboxes, 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, heating and air-conditioning, a vacuum-flush MSD system, and complete navigation, electronics, and safety equipment packages.