The Lake Charles Pilots, which operates on the Calcasieu ship channel
in southwestern Louisiana, has ordered its third pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. Delivery is scheduled for February 2008.
According to Lake Charles pilot, Capt. Mike Miller, the new boat order was prompted by plans for more than 400 LNG tankers traveling to terminals on the Calcasieu River by 2008.
Featuring the C. Raymond Hunt-designed deep-V hull, the all-aluminum vessel measures 75.8 ft. overall, with a 20.6-ft. beam and a 6.8-ft. draft. At the shear is a heavy-duty, 12-inch D rubber fender in addition to tires.
With a top speed of 27 knots, the boat will be powered by twin Cummins QSK38M diesel engines, each producing 1350 Bhp at 1900 rpm. The engines will be equipped with Cummins’ Centinel lube-oil management system, adding fresh oil, as needed, to replace oil burned through the fuel system. Two Twin Disc MGX-6620A gear boxes will turn 5-blade Bruntons propellers. The launch will include twin Onan 27kW gensets.
The launch is designed with wide side decks, inverted front windows and roof windows, and a roof-top boarding station. The wheelhouse roof will also be equipped with a control station to improve communication between the operator and the boarding pilot. Recessed steps, built into the transom, lead to a rescue platform. A pipe davit, equipped with a self-tailing winch, will be located alongside the aft control station for pilot rescue operations.