Virginia Pilots Order Ninth Launch

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

August 19, 2019

Image by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding

Image by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding

The Virginia Pilot Association has ordered a Chesapeake-class launch from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, its ninth pilot boat built by the Somerset, Mass., shipyard since 1983.

Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding said that its Somerset shipyard delivered 19 Chesapeake-class pilot boats  to 11 pilot associations throughout the United States.

The Virginia pilots’ new boat incorporates the performance benefits of Volvo Penta’s IPS 3 pod system and Humphree interceptors. “The combination of the Volvo Penta IPS system and the Humphree interceptors gives the pilots faster acceleration and higher speeds and improved comfort, while burning about 25 percent less fuel,” said Peter Duclos, the shipyard’s president.

With a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design, the new all-aluminum launch measures 55.1 feet overall, with a 17.2-foot beam and a 4.11-foot draft. Powered by twin Volvo Penta D13-700, EPA Tier 3-certified diesel engines, each producing 700 bhp at 2,250 rpm, the vessel’s top speed is over 32 knots.

Each engine will be connected to an IPS 3 propulsion pod, fitted with dual forward-facing, counter-rotating propellers and integrated exhaust system, and Volvo Penta’s integrated EVC electronic steering and control system.

A Humphree interceptor trim control system, with its automatic trim optimization, automatic list control, and coordinated turn control functions will be installed at the transom.    

The vessel’s wheelhouse is being installed well aft of amidships on a flush deck to improve comfort and provide for a larger foredeck. The aft deck has a large engine removal hatch made possible by the Volvo Penta IPS system.

The wheelhouse is outfitted with five NorSap shock-mitigating reclining seats, a 12-kW Alaska Diesel generator for electricity and a 16,000-BTU reverse-cycle HVAC unit. A second 16,000-BTU HVAC unit will be installed in the forecastle, along with a settee berth, enclosed head, small galley and lockers.

Outside of the wheelhouse are heated side-decks and handrails to prevent ice accumulation. Ladders on the sides of the wheelhouse lead to hinged boarding platforms on the roof. A control station is located at the transom, along with a winch-operated rotating davit system over a recessed platform for pilot rescue operations.  

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