Gladding-Hearn, Duclos Corporation continues
its dominance in the pilot boat sector. The company that has already built four boats this year, 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. overall, with a 17-ft. beam and a 4.8-ft. draft. They will be powered by twin Detroit Diesel Series 60 D-DEC engines, each developing 600 bhp at 2,100 rpm. Top speed is expected to be 25 knots. The engines will run five-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 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.