The Association of Maryland Pilots has placed an order with Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding Duclos Corporation for a new pilot boat, aimed at delivering in 2024. The new boat is a sister ship to the Baltimore-class ship, which was launched just under two years ago. The all-aluminum pilot boat will be equipped with a Ray Hunt Design’s deep V hull, which will help with stability and speed. It will be powered by two Volvo Penta D13 diesel engines that are EPA Tier 3 compliant. They will each deliver 600 hp at 1,900 rpm and a top speed of 30 knots.
The engines will drive five-blade Brunton NiBrAl propellers via ZF370A gearboxes. A Humphree Interceptor trim tab control system with automatic trim optimization will be installed at the stern of the boat. The ship will have a 6 kW Northern Lights genset installed. The boat is 48.5 feet long and has a beam of 15.6 feet and a draft of 4 feet.
The wheelhouse of the boat has forward-sloping front windows and is fitted with a centreline helm station, as well as four shock-absorbing NorSap seats, a luggage rack, refrigerator, and two 12,000 Btu reversible air conditioners. A second 10,000 Btu HVAC unit will be installed forward foredeck. The area will also be fitted with a portable potty, tool box, and storage space for safety gear. The boat will have wide heated side decks, handrails, side, and rear doors, and boarding platforms on the roof.
A Harken TR-31 safety railing is fitted to the handrails of the sides and around the front of the wheelhouse. Additionally, a control station will be installed at the stern of the boat, as well as a powered J-Basket rescue system for pilot rescue operations. This new boat is a testimony to the Association of Maryland Pilots’ commitment to state-of-the-art technology and design and will enhance their capabilities to navigate the waters of Maryland.