Newly launched Pilot Boat POTOMAC designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates
The pilot boat Potomac, designed by C. Raymond Hunt Associates, naval architects, New Bedford, MA and built by Gladding – Hearn Shipbuilding, Somerset, MA arrived yesterday during acceptance trials at the Portsmouth RI dock of Hunt Yachts. Hunt Yachts, headquartered in Portsmouth, RI, is the recreational division of C. Raymond Hunt, making it unique in the powerboat world—formed and owned by naval architects. There are several factors which set Hunt designs conspicuously apart from other boats. Foremost is their hull design, the latest iteration of the legendary deep-V, which is the heart of every Hunt design and the soul of their remarkable performance. That breakthrough innovation came from C. Raymond (“Ray”) Hunt, whose ongoing design firm has developed and refined deep-V design for more than 45 years. The first Hunt pilot boat was put in service in 1978 in Newport, RI. The Hunt Deep-v has since earned acceptance among the pilot community for its capabilities in rough water and its ability to lie alongside a ship providing a stable platform for pilots to board from. Potomac is the third Hunt/ Gladding-Hearn pilot boat built for the Maryland pilots and the 24th of the class built since 1978. The Potomac will be based near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay where it will deliver pilots to ships bound for Baltimore and other ports in Maryland.
These fast rugged launches serve major US ports from Canada to Mexico, and are the most popular pilot boats in the US. Powered by twin 600 hp diesels the boat achieves a top speed of 26 knots. Service speed is 23 knots. The boats are very heavily built to take the abuse of coming alongside ships in all weather conditions year round. Features include heavy rubber guards at the sheer, heated decks and rails to melt winter ice, heated windows, secure shock absorbing seating, latest electronics, and a rescue platform with davit. As a fast boat that runs out 5 to 10 miles and back, there is no head or galley and a bunk for medical emergencies only.