The Virginia Pilot Association has ordered a Chesapeake Class launch from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Somerset, Mass. The vessel will be the association’s ninth pilot boat built by the shipyard since 1983.
Since the Chesapeake Class pilot boat was introduced by Gladding-Hearn in 2003, 19 have been delivered 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,” explained Peter Duclos, the shipyard’s president.
With a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design, the new all-aluminum launch measures 55.10’ overall, with a 17.2’ beam and a 4.11’ draft. Powered by twin Volvo Penta D13-700, EPA Tier 3-certified diesel engines, each producing 700 bhp at 2250 rpm, the vessel’s top speed will reach 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.