Maryland pilots order second Baltimore-class launch

(SOMERSET, Mass.) – The Association of Maryland Pilots has ordered a new pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. The high-speed vessel is a sister ship to the yard’s first Baltimore-class launch, delivered less than two years ago. Delivery is scheduled for 2024.

With a length overall of 48.5 feet, beam of 15.6 feet and draft of 4 feet, the all-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 1,900 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 new launch will be a sister ship to Fells Point, shown here, which was the first Baltimore-class vessel from Gladding-Hearn. Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding photo

The engines will turn five-blade Bruntons nibral propellers via ZF370A gearboxes. The launch will be equipped with a 6-kW 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 portable toilet, tool box and storage for safety gear.

Outside of the wheelhouse are wide heated side decks and handrails, 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.

– Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding

By Rich Miller