The Association of Maryland Pilots has ordered its fourth Chesapeake Class launch from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, Somerset, Mass. Delivery is scheduled for December 2020.
Since the Chesapeake Class pilot boat was introduced by Gladding-Hearn in 2003, 21 have been delivered to 11 pilot associations throughout the United States.
With a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design, the new all-aluminum launch measures 52.6 feet overall, with a 16.8 feet beam and a 4.8 feet draft. Powered by twin Volvo Penta D16, EPA Tier 3-certified diesel engines, each producing 641 bhp at 1,800 rpm; the vessel’s top speed is expected to reach over 25 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim control system, with automatic trim optimization, will be installed at the transom.
The engines will turn five-bladed Bruntons NiBrAl propellers via ZF500-1-A gearboxes.
The launch will be equipped with a 12 kW Northern Lights genset.
The vessel’s wheelhouse, with a small trunk, is being installed amidships on a flush deck. With forward-leaning front windows, the wheelhouse is outfitted with five NorSap shock-mitigating reclining seats, baggage racks and built-in furniture and cabinetry. The forecastle will include a porta-potty, split upholstered settee/bunk, a tool box and lockers for immersion suits and other safety gear.
The vessels’ interior is heated and cooled by two 16,000 Btu reverse-cycle HVAC units, in addition to a 2,000 watt 240 VAC heater in the wheelhouse and in the forecastle.
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 at the transom, along with a powered rescue system, for pilot rescue operations.