Jump On Board Virginia Pilot’s New Launch

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

August 30, 2018

  • On board the Hampton Roads (Photo: Eric Haun)
  • Hampton Roads at work alongside the Maersk Atlanta (Photo: Eric Haun)
  • On board the Hampton Roads (Photo: Eric Haun) On board the Hampton Roads (Photo: Eric Haun)
  • Hampton Roads at work alongside the Maersk Atlanta (Photo: Eric Haun) Hampton Roads at work alongside the Maersk Atlanta (Photo: Eric Haun)

MarineLink was given the opportunity to ride aboard the Virginia Pilot Association's new pilot boat Hampton Roads.

The newly-built Chesapeake class MKII launch from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding was delivered earlier this summer, equipped with a range of state-of-the-art technologies for improved safety, stability, reliability and efficiency.

Chief among Hampton Roads' high-tech features is its Volvo Penta propulsion system. The vessel is powered by twin D13-700, EPA Tier 3-certified diesel engines, each connected to a IPS-3 propulsion pod, fitted with dual forward-facing, counter-rotating propellers and integrated exhaust system, and Volvo Penta’s integrated EPS electronic steering and control system. This setup provides a number of operational enhancements, including higher speed (top speed over 32 knots), lower fuel consumption and greater comfort.

The all-aluminum vessel features a deep-V hull designed by C. Raymond Hunt & Associates and measures 55.1 feet overall, with a 17.2-foot beam and a 4.11-foot draft.

According to the builder, key design changes in the Chesapeake class MKII launch include positioning the wheelhouse aft of amidships to improve comfort and provide for a larger foredeck. With the pods close-coupled to the engines, the engine room is located well aft of the wheelhouse with easy access to machinery through a deck hatch.

Watch below as a Virginia Pilot Association harbor pilot disembarks the U.S.-flagged Maersk Atlanta onto the Hampton Roads as the containership leaves Virginia for a journey north along the U.S. East Coast.


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