With three similar pilot boats from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding in its fleet, Louisiana-based Lake Charles Pilots took delivery of another launch from the Somerset, Mass., shipyard earlier this month.
At 70’x22’ and with a draft of 6.8’, the new all-aluminum pilot boat, the Cameron Pilot II, features the deep-V hull by Ray Hunt Design. It is powered by twin Cummins QSK38-M, EPA Tier 3 diesel engines, each delivering 1,300 hp at 1,800 rpm, producing a top speed of 28 knots. The engines turn Bruntons 5-bladed nibral propellers, connected to a pair of Twin Disc MGX-6620A gear boxes. To optimize fuel economy, vessel handling and comfort, twin Humphree interceptors with automatic trim optimization and active ride control are installed at the transom. Two Northern Lights 25-kW generators produce electricity.
The wheelhouse is aft of amidships and features forward-leaning front windows, each fitted with retractable solar blinds. It is outfitted with nine Llebroc pilot and crew seats, a sofa and two baggage racks. The forecastle includes a stateroom, with upper and lower berths, enclosed head, a small galley, and hanging lockers and storage. HVAC is supplied by three 16,000-Btu marine-air reverse-cycle air conditioning units cooling the wheelhouse and two similar 12,000-Btu units serving the forecastle. Interior sound levels are below 80 decibels at full power, said shipyard officials.
Outside the wheelhouse are wide side decks and handrails, and on the foredeck aft of the wave break are port and starboard boarding platforms. A control station is at the transom, along with a winch-operated J-basket rescue system and recessed stairs, for pilot-rescue operations.