Maryland Pilots order second Baltimore class pilot launch

Written by Nick Blenkey
The new Maryland Pilots' Baltimore class pilot launch is a sister ship to its first

The new Maryland Pilots' Baltimore class pilot launch is a sister ship to its first, pictured here.

The Association of Maryland Pilots has ordered a new pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. Piloting the Chesapeake Bay since 1852, the Association of Maryland Pilots is the oldest state-codified organization of pilots in the U.S. and is a strong advocate of technology, training, accountability and safety. The high-speed vessel is a sistership to its first Baltimore Class pilot launch, delivered less than two years ago. Delivery from the Somerset, Mass., shipyard is scheduled for 2024.

With a length overall of 48 feet 5 inches, beam of 15 feet 6 inches, 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 and turning 5-blade Bruntons NiBrAl propellers via ZF370A gear boxes to give the pilot launch a top speed of 30 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 ZF370A gear boxes. The launch will be equipped with a 6 kW Northern Lights genset.

The 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.

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