JULY 18, 2013—Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, Somerset, MA, has delivered its fourth St. John’s Class pilot boat to Delta Launch Services, Metairie, LA, to serve the Associated Branch Pilots at the Southwest Pass of the lower Mississippi River.
Designed by C. Raymond Hunt & Associates, the new all-aluminum pilot boat measures 52.6 feet overall, with a 16.11-foot beam and 4.8-foot draft. Coast Guard-approved for 12 passengers-for-hire, the launch has a top speed of 25 knots. The deep-V hull is powered by two Caterpillar C-18 EPA Tier 2-rated diesel engines, each delivering 671 bhp at 2,100 rev/min, with Twin Disc MG5135A “Quick Shift” gear boxes. The engines turn five-bladed ZF Marine NiBrAl propellers. The launch is equipped with a 12 kW Northern Lights generator.
The pilothouse is located amidships on a flush deck and equipped with a boarding platform on the roof. The wheelhouse, with the helm station on center, is equipped with seven Lebroc pilot seats. The forecastle includes four bunks, a settee, and enclosed head. Air- conditioning and heating in the pilothouse and forecastle are supplied by two 12,000 BTU and one 16,000 BTU Marine-Air units.
At the transom is a winch-operated davit over a water-level recessed platform for pilot rescue operations.