Captain Bob Moore: Latest Chesapeake class pilot boat

Written by Heather Ervin
Captain Bob Moore pilot boat

The Captain Bob Moore (Credit: Gladding-Hearn)

As we reported back in our November issue, the Associated Federal Pilots in Venice, La., recently took delivery of a new Chesapeake class pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, Somerset, Mass.

Named the Captain Bob Moore, the all-aluminum vessel features a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design and measures 52.6 feet overall, with a 16.8 foot beam and a 3.10 foot draft.

Main propulsion power is delivered by twin Volvo Penta D-16, EPA Tier 3-certified diesel engines, supplied by Power Products, Wakefield Mass. Each producing 641 bhp at 1,800 rpm, they turn 5-bladded Bruntons NiBrAl propellers via ZF500-1-A gearboxes to give the vessel a top speed of 26 knots.

A Humphree interceptor trim control system, with automatic trim optimization, is installed at the transom.

The launch is equipped with a 9 kW Northern Lights M773LW3 genset.

Kobelt steering system is installed at the helm in the wheelhouse and at the aft-deck control station. Each station is fitted with an electronic helm unit and SS destroyer-type wheel.


The wheelhouse, with a small trunk, is installed amidships on a flush deck. With forward-leaning front windows and the helm station on center, the wheelhouse is outfitted with six Llebroc pilot seats, a bench seat behind them and built-in cabinetry. The forecastle includes a split upholstered settee/bunk, porta-potty, shelving and storage space for safety gear. The interior is cooled by two 16,000 btu reverse-cycle HVAC units.

The vessel is equipped with a comprehensive suite of Furuno navigation and communications electronics supplied by MacDougals Marine Electronics, Falmouth, Mass., and installed by Gladding-Hearn.

Outside of the wheelhouse are wide side-decks and two raised boarding platforms on the bow. Ladders on the sides of the wheelhouse lead to hinged boarding platforms on the roof. A control station is located near the stepped transom, along with a winch-operated rotating davit system over a recessed platform for pilot rescue operations.

For more than 65 years, Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, has built steel and aluminum commercial vessels. Located on the Taunton River in Somerset, the family-owned and operated shipyard has built more than 430 vessels, including pilot boats, patrol vessels, tugs, passenger vessels, and more. 

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