The Sabine Pilots, Port Arthur, Texas, has ordered a new pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. The pilots’ first launch, built by the Massachusetts-based shipyard, is scheduled for delivery in late 2015.

The all-aluminum 53.6'x17.8'x4.8' Chesapeake-class pilot boat has a deep-V hull designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates. The launch will be powered by twin Caterpillar C-18s diesels, each rated at 715 hp at 2,100 rpm. Loaded top speed will reach 28 knots. The engines will turn 5-bladed NiBrAl propellers through Twin Disc MGX-5135A Quick Shift gear boxes. A Humphree Interceptor trim tab system, with automatic trim control, will be installed at the transom. The vessel will be equipped with a 12-kW Alaska Diesel genset.

The boat will include wide side decks, side and rear doors, and boarding platforms on the roof and bow. At the transom are throttle and steering controls and a winch-operated, hinged rescue basket, level with the rescue access.

The wheelhouse will be cooled by two 16,000-Btu air conditioners. A third, 12,000-Btu unit will be installed in the forecastle. Interior accommodations include eight Llebroc seats, head, small galley, and two settee berths forward. The Sabine Pilots serve the Texas ports of Beaumont, Port Arthur, Sabine, Orange and the private terminals located along the Sabine Neches Waterway.