The Southwest Alaska Pilots Association has taken delivery of a new pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, Somerset, Mass. It was delivered to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where the boat was put on a ship bound for the U.S. West Coast.

The 75.7’x20.6’x3.11’ all-aluminum boat features Gladding-Hearn’s Ray Hunt-designed deep-V hull. With twin Cummins QSK38-M1, EPA Tier 3 diesel engines, each delivering 1,400 hp at 1,800 rpm and connected to twin ZF-5000 gear boxes, the pilot launch is propelled by a pair of Hamilton HM651 waterjets for top speed of 29 knots.

Humphree interceptors, with active ride control and automatic trim optimization, are installed at the transom. Ship’s power is provided by two Northern Lights 30-kW generators.

The wheelhouse, mounted to the flush deck amidships, features direct glaze-heated windows. It is outfitted with six Norsap shock-mitigating seats, a settee, berth, and a small galley behind the pilot seats. An eight-camera LCD closed circuit television system is  installed in the wheelhouse, with four cameras to monitor the engine room and two cameras in the jet room. Two deck cameras give views forward and aft.

The forecastle includes two staterooms, head with a shower, dressing area and hanging lockers. Insulation holds interior sound levels at full engine power to under 74 decibels.

A multizone hydronic system provides heating and air conditioning throughout the wheelhouse, forecastle and engine room. Two electric resistance heaters are in the jet room.

On deck the wheelhouse roof, main deck, and all handrails are heated by a combination of electric resistance and hydronic heating systems. The vessel is outfitted with port and starboard hydraulic rescue davits, with remote handheld controls.


Contributing Editor Kirk Moore was a reporter for the Asbury Park Press for over 30 years before joining WorkBoat in 2015. He wrote several award-winning stories on marine, environmental, coastal and military issues that helped drive federal and state government policy changes. He has also been an editor for WorkBoat’s sister publication, National Fisherman, for over 25 years. Moore was awarded the Online News Association 2011 Knight Award for Public Service for the “Barnegat Bay Under Stress,” 2010 series that led to the New Jersey state government’s restoration plan. He lives in West Creek, N.J.