Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. recently delivered a Chesapeake-class pilot boat to the Seaway Pilots Inc. in Cape Vincent, N.Y. The Seaway pilots navigate ships in and out of the ports and harbors of the St. Lawrence Seaway between St. Regis, N.Y., and Port Weller on Lake Ontario.

With a 4.8' draft, the 53.6'x17.8' all-aluminum pilot boat features the Ray Hunt Design Deep V hull. It is powered by twin keel-cooled Volvo Penta D16, EPA Tier 3-compliant diesel engines, each delivering 641 hp at 1,800 rpm. This gives the boat a top speed of 23 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim-tab control system, with automatic trim optimization is installed at the transom. Diesel capacity is 800 gals., which shipyard officials said will provide a range of at least 300 miles at an economical speed of about 20 knots.

The engines turn 5-blade Nibral propellers via ZF 500-1-A gear boxes. The launch is equipped with a keel-cooled 12 kW Northern Lights EPA Tier 3-compliant genset.

The wheelhouse, mounted to the flush deck amidships, features a center-line helm station, heated forward, side and roof windows, five Llebroc seats and a settee. It is heated/cooled by a 32,000-Btu reverse-cycle air-conditioning system. The decks, handrails and cabin are heated by a 100,000-Btu diesel-fired hydronic heating system, augmented by main engine waste heat.

Outside of the wheelhouse are wide side decks, side and rear doors, and heated roof and boarding platforms on the roof. Because of seasonal icing, the launch’s bottom has extra thick plating. At the transom are throttle and steering controls, and a winch-operated, fixed davit over stairs to a recessed platform for rescue operations.