Gladding-Hearn Builds New Class of Launch for Maryland Pilots

SOMERSET, Mass, − December 18, 2019 – The Association of Maryland Pilots has ordered a new class of pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. 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’, beam of 15.6’, and draft of 4’, 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 Bhp at 1900 rpm with a top speed of 29 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim-tab control system, with its Automatic Trim Optimization, will be installed at the transom.

The engines will turn 5-blade Bruntons NiBrAl propellers via ZF400A gear boxes. The launch will be equipped with a 6kW 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 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, is at the transom for pilot rescue operations.