Pilots face a unique set of conditions and the boats which take them to ships need to function in the worst weather, take rough treatment and still go fast enough to deliver pilots to bridge decks in an economical amount of time. The Hunt deep-V hull is a proven rough-weather performer, with a high dead-rise bottom, spray deflecting strips and chine, flat and flared topsides. This shape works well at planing speeds in head seas and following seas, minimizes roll in cross seas and retains good control at displacement speeds in gale conditions.
In 1978, C. Raymond Hunt Associates began a long collaboration with Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding of Somerset, Massachusetts, to design and build tough, high-speed deep-V pilot boats. The first Hunt deep-V pilot boat was built in steel in 1978 for the Delaware pilots. Low-powered by today's standards, she was highly successful, her 20-knot speed cutting running time in half and allowing higher boarding speeds. Other steel boats were built for Tampa and Detroit before the switch to aluminum construction for Charleston, Virginia, and Corpus Christi. Hunt Associates and Gladding-Hearn continue to work together to create a line of rugged, fast pilot boats which now dominates the US pilot boat market.