The Association of Maryland Pilots has ordered a new class of pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. Called the Baltimore class after the pilots’ base of operations at the Port of Baltimore, the vessel’s delivery is scheduled for April 2021.

The 48'6"x15.6'x4' aluminum pilot boat will feature the Ray Hunt Design deep V hull. It will be powered by twin Volvo Penta D13, EPA Tier 3-compliant diesel engines, each delivering 600 hp at 1,900 rpm with a top speed of 29 knots. The engines will turn 5-bladed Bruntons nibral propellers via ZF400A gears.

The launch will be equipped with a 6-kW Northern Lights genset, and a Humphree interceptor trim-tab control system, with its Automatic Trim Optimization, at the transom.

The wheelhouse, flush-mounted to the deck amidship, will feature a center-line helm station, five NorSap shock-mitigating reclining seats, a bag rack, refrigerator and a 16,000-Btu reverse-cycle HVAC unit. A second 12,000-Btu HVAC unit will be installed in the unfinished forecastle, which will include a portable toilet, tool box and storage for safety gear.

Outside the wheelhouse will be wide heated side decks and hand rails, side and rear doors, and boarding platforms on the roof. A Harken safety rail will be installed on the sides and around the front of the wheelhouse. A control station, along with a powered rescue system for pilot rescue operations, will be installed at the transom.