The Association of Maryland Pilots has taken delivery of a new class of pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, Somerset, Mass., called the “Baltimore Class” after the pilots’ base of operations at the Port of Baltimore. 

With a length overall of 48'6", beam of 15.6', and draft of 4', the all-aluminum pilot boat features the Ray Hunt Design deep-V hull.

Main propulsion comes from twin Volvo Penta D13, EPA Tier 3-compliant diesel engines, each delivering 600 hp at 1,900 rpm, with a top speed of 30 knots. The engines turn 5-bladed Bruntons NiBrAl propellers via ZF 400-A gear boxes. The propulsion package gives the new boat a running speed of 30 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim-tab control system, with its Automatic Trim Optimization, is installed at the transom.

Ship’s service power is the responsibility of a 6 kW Northern Lights M673L3G genset.

Volvo Penta dual-lever slim line combined function electronic controls are positioned at the right side of the helm in the wheelhouse and at the aft-deck control station.

Seastar’s Optimus steering system is installed at the helm in the wheelhouse and at the aft-deck control station. Each station is fitted with an electronic helm unit and stainless-steel destroyer-type wheel. A CanTrak display is located on the wheelhouse console for system programming and rudder-angle indication.

The wheelhouse, flush-mounted to the deck amidship, features 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 is installed in the unfinished forecastle, which includes a Porta-Potty, toolbox and storage for safety gear.                   

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

The electronics suite is made up of two Furuno TZ14 MFD 14" radar with multi-function displays; Furuno DRS12AX UHD digital radar with Furuno XN12A/4 4' open array radar scanner, two Furuno FA-170 AIS and 4' Shakespeare antenna; two Furuno 4800 VHF radios and 4' Shakespeare antennas; twin Furuno GP330B GPS/WAAS sensor; Furuno BBDS1 depth sounder; Furuno LH5000 Loudhailer; and a Richie 5"compass; and FLIR M332 gyro stabilized thermal camera.  


Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.