SOMERSET, Mass. – January 23, 2023 – The Association of Maryland Pilots has ordered its fifth Chesapeake Class launch from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. Delivery is scheduled for early 2024.
With a deep-V hull designed by Ray Hunt Design, the new all-aluminum launch measures 52.6’ overall, with a 16.8’ beam and a 4.8’ draft. Powered by twin Volvo Penta D16, EPA Tier 3-certified diesel engines, each producing 641 Bhp at 1800 rpm; the vessel’s top speed is expected to reach over 26 knots. A Humphree interceptor trim control system, with its Automatic Trim Optimization, will be installed at the transom.
The engines will turn 5-blade Bruntons NiBrAl propellers via ZF500-1-A gear boxes. The launch will be equipped with a Northern Lights 12 kW genset.
The vessel’s wheelhouse, with a small trunk, is being installed amidships on a flush deck. With electrically heated, forward-leaning front windows, the wheelhouse 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 to electric heaters in the wheelhouse and in the forecastle.
Outside of the wheelhouse are heated decks and handrails 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 transom will also include a hydraulically-powered J-Basket rescue system capable of rescuing a pilot to the main deck by a single operator.