Maryland Pilots back at Gladding-Hearn for a fifth launch

Written by Marine Log Staff
Chesapeake Class pilot launch

The new vessel is a sister to the Chesapeake Class pilot launch delivered to the Maryland Pilots by Gladding-Hearn last year.

The Association of Maryland Pilots has ordered a Chesapeake Class launch from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation, Somerset, Mass. Delivery is scheduled for early 2024.

With a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design, the new all-aluminum launch measures 52.6 feet in overall length, with a 16.8 foot beam and a 4.8 foot draft.

The vessel is powered by twin Volvo Penta D16, EPA Tier 3-certified diesel engines, each producing 641 bhp at 1,800 rpm and is expected to reach a top speed of over 26 knots, The engines will turn 5-bladed Bruntons NiBrAl propellers via ZF500-1-A gear boxes.

The launch will be equipped with a Northern Lights 12 kW genset.

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

The wheelhouse, with a small trunk, is being installed amidships on a flush deck. With electrically heated, forward-leaning front windows, it is outfitted with five NorSap shock-mitigating reclining seats, a baggage rack and three weathertight doors.

The forecastle will include a porta-potty, split upholstered settee/bunk, a tool box and lockers for immersion suits and other safety gear.

The vessels’ interior is heated and cooled by two 16,000 Btu reverse-cycle HVAC units, in addition there are electric heaters in the wheelhouse and in the forecastle.

Outside of the wheelhouse, decks and handrails are heated to prevent ice accumulation. A Harken TR-31 safety rail system will be installed on the wheelhouse handrail.

An aft wheelhouse ladder leads to hinged boarding platforms on the roof. A control station at the pilot launch transom will also include a hydraulically-powered J-Basket rescue system, enabling a single operator to rescue a pilot to the main deck.

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