Having already built four new pilot boats this year, Gladding-Hearn, Duclos Corporation
, has taken orders for two more of its all-aluminum 52 footers.
The New Orleans pilots will take delivery of their launches in mid-2004.
The new “Jacksonville” class boats, designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates
of Boston, measure 52.6 ft. (16-m) overall, with a 17-ft. (5.1-m) beam and a 5-ft. (1.5-m) draft. The boats will be powered by twin Detroit Diesel Series 60 D-DEC engines, each developing 600 bhp at 2,100 rpm with top speed is expected to be at 25 knots. The engines will run 5-blade Hall & Stavert bronze propellers via Twin Disc MG 5114A
, 2:1 reverse/reduction gear boxes. The generators are Northern Lights, with 12kW of output.
After riding the “St. Johns,” built by the shipyard for the St. Johns Bar Pilots in Jacksonville, Fla., the New Orleans pilots wanted a similar boat, because the wave action at the mouth of the St. Johns river was similar to that at the South Pass of the Mississippi, said shipyard officials.
The New Orleans pilots’ boats are equipped with wide side decks, side and rear doors, heated front windows, and a boarding platform on the roof. The pilot house includes Furuno NAVNET integrated radar, chart plotter, and GPS and sounder with multiple displays. At the transom are redundant throttle and steering controls and a winch-operated U-frame over the water-level, recessed platform for pilot rescue operations. The heated and air-conditioned wheelhouse and forecastle are equipped with shock-mitigating Stidd pilot seats, bunks, and an enclosed head.