Bermuda Pilots order new launch from Gladding-Hearn

Written by Nick Blenkey
Profile view of pilot boat

New launch is set fpr delivery in early 2023.

The Bermuda Government’s Department of Marine and Port Services has returned to Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, for a new Chesapeake Class pilot boat.

The Somerset, Mass. shipyard previously built a 61-foot pilot/rescue vessel for the port service in 2011.

With a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design, the new all-aluminum pilot boat will be built to Lloyd’s Register class. Delivery is scheduled for early 2023

The vessel will measures 52 feet 11 inches in overall length, with a 15 foot 10 inch beam and a 4 foot 8 inch draft.

Top speed is expected to reach 22 knots. It will be powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesel engines, each producing 670 bhp at 2,100 rpm and turning a pair of 5-blade Brunton NiBrAl propellers via ZF 500-1-A gear boxes. Electrical requirement will be met bya 9 kW Northern Lights genset.

The vessel’s wheelhouse is set aft of amidship on a flush deck. With forward-leaning front windows, the wheelhouse, with a center helm, will be outfitted with four Norsap shock-mitigating reclining seats, a baggage rack, settee and cabinetry.

The forecastle will include an enclosed head and a split settee/berth with storage below for safety gear.

The vessel’s interior will be cooled by two 16,000 Btu reverse-cycle Marine-Air air conditioning units.

Outside, a ladder on the back of the wheelhouse will provide access to the roof. A Harken TR-31 safety rail track system will be installed on the wheelhouse handrail. A boarding ladder and a set of recessed steps at the transom will assist in pilot rescue operations.

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