Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, is nearing completion of a second Chesapeake class pilot boat for the Delaware pilots. Delivery of the new 53-footer, Lewes, in March will mark the ninth pilot boat of this new class since 2002. Designed by C. Raymond Hunt & Associates, the new all-aluminum pilot boat measures 52.5 feet overall, with a 17-foot beam and 4.8-foot draft, and will have a top speed of 26 knots. The launch will be powered by twin Daewoo V180TIM, 10-cylinder, diesel engines, each delivering 640 bhp at 2100 rpm, with ZF 350A gears. The engines will turn 5-blade Hall & Stavert bronze propellers through three-inch shafts. The Delaware pilots chose an unpainted launch to reduce maintenance. A three-zone diesel-fired Espar Hydronic cabin, deck, and handrail heating system, which circulates heated water through tubes below the wheelhouse, the main deck and handrails, and three 24,000 btu fan coil units will heat the vessel’s interior as well as prevent ice build-up on the decks in the winter. The forward wheelhouse windows feature ¾-inch electrically heated laminated glass for de-icing. The wheelhouse will be outfitted with five Stidd reclining seats and a settee. Interior sound levels are projected to be 78 dba. At the transom are throttle and steering controls, and a winch-operated U-frame over a recessed platform for pilot rescue operations.