The Association of Maryland Pilots has awarded a contract for the construction of a new pilot boat to Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. The high-speed vessel is a sistership to the first Baltimore-class launch, the Fells Point, delivered less than two years ago to the Maryland Pilots. Delivery is scheduled for 2024.
The 48.5’x15.6’ aluminum pilot boat features 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 1900 rpm with a top speed of 30 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim-tab control system, with its automatic trim optimization, will be installed at the transom. The launch has a draft of 4’,
The engines will turn 5-bladed Bruntons nibral propellers via ZF 370A gear boxes. The launch will be equipped with a 6kW Northern Lights genset.
The vessel’s wheelhouse, with a small trunk, is being installed amidships on a flush deck. With forward-leaning front windows, the wheelhouse is outfitted with a center-line helm station, four NorSap shock-mitigating seats, a bag rack, refrigerator and two 12,000-Btu reverse-cycle HVAC units. A second 10,000-Btu HVAC unit will be installed in the forecastle, which will include a porta-potty, tool box and storage for safety gear.
Outside of the wheelhouse are wide heated side decks and hand rails, side and rear doors, and boarding platforms on the roof. A Harken TR-31 safety rail will be installed on handrails on the sides and around the front of the wheelhouse. A control station, along with a powered J-Basket rescue system for pilot rescue operations, will be installed at the transom.