The Lake Charles Pilots of Louisiana have ordered their fourth pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp., Somerset, Mass., for delivery in 2018.

The 70’x22’x6.8’ all-aluminum vessel will be similar to the earlier boats, with a deep-v hull design by C. Raymond Hunt Associates, New Bedford, Mass.

Propulsion will be twin Cummins QSK38-M, EPA Tier 3 diesel engines, each delivering 1,300 hp at 1,800 rpm, for a top speed of 27 knots. Twin Disc gears will turn 5-bladed nibral propellers from Bruntons. At the transom, twin Humphree Interceptors with automatic trim optimization will optimize fuel economy, vessel handling and crew comfort. Ship’s power will be provided by two Northern Lights 25kW generators.

The wheelhouse will be aft of amidships, with forward-leaning front windows fitted with retractable solar blinds. It will be outfitted with seven pilot seats, a settee, and baggage rack behind the centerline helm station.

A stateroom in the forecastle will include upper and lower berths, an enclosed head, small galley, and hanging lockers and storage. Climate control will be supplied by three 16,000 Btu Marine-Air reverse-cycle air- conditioning units – two cooling the wheelhouse and the third serving the forecastle. Even at full power, interior sound levels will be under 80 decibels at full power.

Wide side decks and hand rails will provide security for the crew. Port and starboard boarding platforms will be located aft of the wave break on the foredeck. For pilot rescue operations, there will be a second control station at the transom, along with a winch-operated, fixed davit over a recessed platform with stairs.