Gladding-Hearn will build new class of launch for Maryland pilots

Written by Nick Blenkey
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Image: Gladding-Hearn

The Association of Maryland Pilots has ordered 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, the vessel’s delivery is scheduled for April 2021.

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 29 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim-tab control system, with automatic trim optimization, will be installed at the transom.

The engines will turn 5-bladed Bruntons NiBrAl propellers via ZF400A gear boxes.

The launch will be equipped with a 6 kW Northern Lights genset.

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 will be installed in the unfinished forecastle, which includes a porta-potty, tool box and storage for safety gear.

Outside of 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, is at the transom.

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