The Mobile Bar Pilots (Alabama Pilot Inc.) Mobile, Ala., has awarded a new contract for a second Chesapeake-lass high-speed pilot boat to Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. Delivery of the 53-footer is set for mid-2023. Delivery of its first Chesapeake-class launch for the Mobile Bar Pilots, Dixey, was in 2017.

The 53.6’x17.8’ all-aluminum pilot boat will have a draft of 4.6’. The Ray Hunt Design deep-V hull will be powered by twin Caterpillar C-18 diesel engines, each delivering 671 Bhp at 2,100 rpm. The boat will have a top speed of 25 knots. A Humphree interceptor, with automatic trim optimization, will be installed at the transom. Diesel capacity is 800 gals., which should provide a range of at least 380 miles at a speed of 20 knots, Gladding-Hearn officials said.

The engines will turn 5-bladed nibral propellers via Twin Disc MGX-5136A quickshift gears. The launch will be equipped with a 9-kW Northern Lights EPA Tier 3-compliant genset.

The wheelhouse, flush-mounted to the deck amidships and with forward-leaning front windows, will be outfitted with six Llebroc pilot seats, one at the centerline helm station and the observer’s seat to port and four single pilot seats, aft of the helm station. The forecastle will include a reclining seat and upholstered settee, with storage below. The wheelhouse and forecastle will be cooled by two 16,000-Btu air-conditioning units.

Outside of the wheelhouse are wide side decks, side and rear doors, and boarding platforms on the roof. At the transom are throttle and steering controls, and a winch-operated, rotating davit over a recessed platform for rescue operations.

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