Gladding-Hearn Introduces New Pilot Boats

Thursday, October 27, 2005
Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation introduced a new line of rigid bottom, soft-sided launches, named the Resilient Class. The first of this class will be a 40-footer for the Charleston, S.C. pilots.

Available in lengths from 30 ft. to 70 ft. (9.14 m to 21.3 m), the Resilient Class of vessels is designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates of Boston, whose association with the Somerset, Mass., shipyard dates back to 1978, and features the firms’ latest developments in Hunt’s deep-V hull design. With a narrower bottom and fine entry forward and the stability of an oversized, lightweight collar, the launch will provide pilots with a “softer ride” and less roll when boarding ships. The first 40-footer will be delivered with a 28-in. diameter, fully inflatable urethane tube, manufactured by Wing Inflatables. Since the inflatable collar is not suited for every application, the new launch design can also accept an ionomer-foam collar, as well as Wing’s hybrid, air-foam-polyurethane collar. To facilitate repairs, the eight-chamber, inflatable collar is attached to the hull in two sections with a lower bolt-rope and a flat, aluminum bar, bolted to the top of the tube at the edge of the deck. Half-inch thick fenders are laminated to the tubes’ outside surfaces to increase puncture resistance. An onboard, compressed-air system enables the operator to inflate the tube sections from the console in the event the over-pressure release valve opens during a very hard landing. According to shipyard officials, the Resilient Class of vessels can be powered by a variety of twin engine and water jet combinations for speeds from 30 to 45 knots.

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