The Alabama Pilot, Inc., in Mobile, Ala., has ordered a Chesapeake Class pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. Delivery of the new 53-footer is scheduled for mid-2017.
With a length overall of 53.6 feet, a beam of 17.8 feet, and a draft of 4.8 feet, the all-aluminum pilot boat features the C. Raymond Hunt-designed Deep V hull. It will be powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesel engines, each delivering 671Bhp at 2,100 rpm and a top speed of 25 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim-tab control system will be installed at the transom. Diesel capacity is 800 gallons, which shipyard officials say will provide a range of at least 380 miles at an economical speed of about 20 knots.
The engines will turn five-blade NiBrAl propellers via Twin Disc MGX-5135A “Quickshift” gears. The launch will be equipped with a 9kW Northern Lights EPA Tier- 3-compliant genset.
The wheelhouse, flush-mounted to the deck amidships and with forward-leaning front windows, is outfitted with six Llebroc seats and a L-shaped settee and cooled by two 16,000 Btu air-conditioning units. The forecastle includes an enclosed head and built-in cabinetry.
Outside of the wheelhouse are wide side decks, side and rear doors, and boarding platforms on the roof and port and starboard on the foredeck. At the transom are throttle and steering controls, and a winch-operated, rotating davit over a recessed platform for rescue operations.