Article

Gladding-Hearn Delivers Refitted Chesapeake Class Pilot Boat


published on 4 April 2023 61 -

The Tampa Bay pilot association has taken delivery of Tampa, a newly refitted Chesapeake Class pilot boat built by Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding in 2003, when the Mass., shipyard introduced the class of mid-size, high-speed launches. In 2015, the Tampa pilots also took delivery of the shipyard’s first Chesapeake Class MKII, which incorporates the performance benefits of Volvo Penta’s IPS 2 pod system.

After 19 years of hard work, the vessel was showing some wear and tear but she still had a lot of life left so it was definitely worth re-investing in.” said Peter Duclos, Gladding-Hearn’s co-president and director of sales.

With more than 50,000 operating hours, the 53’ all-aluminum pilot boat’s twin 600 Bhp Caterpillar 3406E engines were replaced with a new pair of Caterpillar C18, EPA Tier 3-compliant diesel engines, each delivering 670 Bhp at 2100 rpm and a top speed of over 25 knots. The engines turn new 5-blade Bruntons propellers via Twin Disc MGX-5136A “Quickshift” gears. In addition, the pilot boat received a new Seastar Optimus steering system and a new Northern Lights 12 kW generator.

To accommodate the engines, the shipyard modified the launch’s engine beds, hull frames, exhaust systems, cooling and fuel system piping.

Other upgrades included new Norsap 1500 pilot seats, new windows, three new doors to the pilothouse and four new hatch covers. The boat’s bottom, topsides and pilothouse were stripped to bare metal. After some minor plating repairs, the vessel received a fresh coating system.
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