In late August, Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. delivered a new Chesapeake-class pilot boat — Capt. Bob Moore — to the Associated Federal Pilots, Venice, La.

With a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design, the new all-aluminum 52.6'x16.8' launch is powered by twin Volvo Penta D-16, EPA Tier 3 diesel engines, each producing 641 hp at 1,800 rpm. The vessel’s top speed is 26 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim control system, with its automatic trim optimization, was installed at the transom.    

The marine engines turn 5-bladed Bruntons nibral propellers via ZF 500-1-A gear boxes. The launch is equipped with a 9kW Northern Lights genset.

With a 3.10' draft, the new vessel’s wheelhouse, with a small trunk, is installed amidships on a flush deck. With forward-leaning front windows and the helm station on center, the wheelhouse is outfitted with six Llebroc pilot seats, a bench seat behind them and built-in cabinetry.

Volvo Penta dual-lever slim-line combined function electronic controls are positioned at the right side of the helm in the wheelhouse and at the aft-deck control station. In addition, a Kobelt steering system is installed at the helm in the wheelhouse and at the aft deck control station. Each station is fitted with an electronic helm unit and SS destroyer-type wheel.  

The forecastle includes a split upholstered settee/bunk, porta-potty, shelving and storage space for safety gear. The interior is cooled by two 16,000-Btu reverse-cycle HVAC units.

Outside of the wheelhouse are wide side-decks and two raised boarding platforms on the bow. Ladders on the sides of the wheelhouse lead to hinged boarding platforms on the roof. A control station is located near the stepped transom, along with a winch-operated rotating davit system over a recessed platform for pilot rescue operations.

The electronics suite includes two Furuno TZ14 MFD 14" multifunction display radar; DRS12AX UHD digital radar, XN12A/4 4' open array radar scanner; two 4800 VHF radios; two GP330B GPS/WAAS sensor; FA-170 AIS system; DFF1 Navnet depth sounder; LH5000 loud hailer; and a Richie 4.5" compass.

The boat carries a two-person crew and 690 gals. of fuel.         

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.

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