The first boat in Under Armour founder Kevin Plank’s planned fleet of Baltimore water taxis is nearly ready for passengers.
The Key’s Anthem, a slick, black 55-foot Hooper’s Island draketail boat, can carry 49 passengers plus a captain and first mate. It was custom-built by Baltimore-based Maritime Applied Physics Corp. after a 1920s-era crabbing vessel that was popular for its unique design and speed capabilities.
It is the first of 10 that will eventually replace Harbor Boating’s current fleet of water taxis and go to new stops around the city including Plank’s hotel, whiskey distillery and the planned Port Covington development. The Key’s Anthem still needs additional Coast Guard certifications, but officials expect it to hit the Inner Harbor in the coming weeks.
The boat is Baltimore-themed from bow to stern, with a “W” logo made out of the city’s black-and-yellow checkered flag and the longitude and latitude of the Inner Harbor painted on the rear. The inside ceiling bears the outline of Fort McHenry.
Its twin beta marine diesel engines are capable of speeds up to eight knots.
“One of the main targets was to make this thing eco-friendly and cost-effective to operate, so we didn’t throw 1,000 horse power at it, because it’s only in a six-knot zone, so the boat has a top speed of about eight knots,” said Nathan Baugher, the production manager at Maritime Applied Physics Corp.