Gladding-Hearn delivers high-speed launch to Alabama pilots

The Alabama Pilot Inc., Mobile, Ala., has received a new Chesapeake-class 53.6’x17.8′ pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp.

With a draft of 4.8′, the all-aluminum pilot boat Dixey features the C. Raymond Hunt-designed deep-V hull. It is powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesel engines from Milton CAT, each delivering 671 hp at 2,100 rpm and a top speed of 27 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim-tab control system was installed at the transom. Diesel capacity is 800 gals., which shipyard officials said in a prepared statement, provides a range of at least 400 miles at an economical speed of about 20 knots.

The engines turn 5-bladed Bruntons nibral propellers via Twin Disc MGX-5135A Quickshift gears. The launch is equipped with a 9-kW Northern Lights EPA Tier 3-compliant genset.

Engine controls are Twin Disc EC-300 Quick Shift controls and the steering system is a Seastar hydraulic; Humphree’s interceptor system, with automatic trim optimization.

The wheelhouse, flush-mounted to the deck amidships and with forward-leaning front windows, is outfitted with six Llebroc seats and a bag rack and cooled by two 16,000-btu air-conditioning units. The forecastle includes a settee and safety gear storage.

Outside of the wheelhouse are wide side decks, side and rear doors, and boarding platforms on the roof and port and starboard on the foredeck. At the transom is a winch-operated, rotating davit over a recessed platform for rescue operations.

Electronics include Furuno TZ radar, FA-150 class 1 AIS with GPS antenna, DT 800 depth sounder, twin Standard Marine GX5500 VHF and Kahlenburg air horn.

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