Text and photos by HumphreeThe Associated Federal Pilots in Metairie, La., has ordered a Chesapeake-class pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding. The pilots’ first launch, built by the Massachusetts-based shipyard, is scheduled for delivery in July 2021.
Since the Chesapeake-class pilot boat was introduced by the shipyard in 2003, 21 have been delivered to 12 pilot associations throughout the United States. With a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design, the new all-aluminum launch measures 52.6 feet overall, with a 16.8-foot beam and a 3.10-foot draft. The vessel is powered by twin Volvo Penta D-16 EPA Tier 3-certified diesel engines, each producing 641 bhp at 1,800 rpm. The top speed is expected to reach over 26 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim control system, with its automatic trim optimization, will be installed at the transom.