Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation
, has begun construction of a new pilot boat
for the St. Johns Bar pilots of Jacksonville, Fla. Delivery is scheduled for February 2008.
The all-aluminum Chesapeake class launch, designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates, measures 53.6-ft. overall, with an 18-foot beam and 4.8-ft. draft, and is expected to reach a top speed of 24 knots. The deep-V hull will be powered by twin Lugger 6140AL2 diesel engines, each producing 600 bhp at 2100 rpm and turning a 5-blade NiBrAl propeller. The gear boxes are Twin Disc model MG5114A. The launch is equipped with a 12kW Northern Lights generator.
The vessel is equipped with port and starboard hinged, air-actuated boarding platforms on the roof of the pilothouse, which is located amidships on a flush deck. At the transom are throttle and steering controls and a winch-operated davit over a recessed platform for pilot rescue operations.
Interior accommodations include three Marine-Air, reverse-cycle HVAC units, Stidd reclining seats, a settee, two bunks, a small galley, and a head.