Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Somerset, Mass., has signed a contract with the Mobile Bar Pilots to build a new 53.6'x17.8' Chesapeake Class pilot boat.

Designed by C. Raymond Hunt with a draft of 4.8', the Deep V, all-aluminum pilot boat will be powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesel engines, each delivering 671 hp at 2,100 rpm and a top speed of 25 knots. The engines will turn 5-blade Nibral propellers through Twin Disc MGX-5135A “Quickshift” gears.

Ship’s service power will be the responsibility of a 9kW Northern Lights EPA Tier- 3-compliant genset. A Humphree interceptor trim-tab control system will be installed at the transom.

Diesel capacity is 800 gals., which shipyard officials say, will provide a range of at least 380 miles at an economical speed of about 20 knots.

The wheelhouse, flush-mounted to the deck amidships and with forward-leaning front windows, will be outfitted with six Llebroc seats and a L-shaped settee and cooled by two 16,000 Btu air-conditioning units. The forecastle includes an enclosed head and built-in cabinetry.

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 are throttle and steering controls, and a winch-operated, rotating davit over a recessed platform for rescue operations.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.