With three similar Gladding-Hearn pilot boats already in their fleet, the Louisiana-based Lake Charles pilots have taken delivery of another launch from the Somerset, Mass., shipyard.
With a length overall of 70 ft, beam of 22 ft, and draft of 6.8 ft, the new all-aluminum pilot boat features the Deep V hull by Ray Hunt Design. It is powered by twin Cummins QSK38-M, EPA Tier 3 diesel engines, each delivering 1,300 Bhp at 1,800 rpm and a top speed of 28 knots. The engines turn Brunton 5-bladed Nibral propellers via a pair of Twin Disc MGX-6620A gear boxes.
To optimize fuel economy, vessel handling and comfort, twin Humphree interceptors, with automatic trim optimization and active ride control, are installed at the transom.
Two Northern Lights 25 kW generators produce electricity.
The wheelhouse is aft of amidships and features forward-leaning front windows, each fitted with retractable solar blinds. It is outfitted with nine Llebroc pilot and crew seats, a sofa and two baggage racks. The forecastle includes a stateroom, with upper and lower berths, enclosed head, a small galley, and hanging lockers and storage.
HVAC is supplied by three 16,000 Btu Marine-Air reverse-cycle air-conditioning units cooling the wheelhouse and two similar 12,000 Btu units serving the forecastle. Interior sound levels are below 80 decibels at full power, said shipyard officials.
Outside the wheelhouse are wide side-decks and handrails, and on the foredeck aft of the wave break are port and starboard boarding platforms. A control station is at the transom, along with a winch-operated J-Basket rescue system and recessed stairs, for pilot-rescue operations.