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ABP Lowestoft celebrates new contract with trailblazing Norfolk boat builder to construct new state-of-the-art pilot boat

October 15, 2018

Goodchild Marine ABP Pilot Boat

Credit: Stephen Waller

Goodchild Marine Services Limited has been awarded a contract to build an ORC pilot boat for the Port of Lowestoft, which will be faster and more fuel efficient than previous models.

The deal will see the Burgh Castle-based boat builder construct a 12 metre (ORC 121) vessel – the first ORC of this size in the UK, for owners Associated British Ports (ABP).

It brings with it continued industry prosperity, safeguarding existing local jobs throughout all stages of construction, maintenance and operation.

This latest high profile contract follows the announcement that Goodchild Marine Services Limited will build the UK’s first ORC 136HY hybrid pilot boat for the Port of London Authority, as well as the first export of an ORC 171 to the Dublin Port Company.

These collective contracts have enabled Goodchild Marine Services Limited to invest further in the business in 2018 with a 10% increase in staff, the purchase of a CNC router used in the manufacturing process, staff training and investment in the yard to improve energy efficiency.

The new vessel will benefit from all the features of the company’s ORC range, and has been designed by French company Pantocarene.

It will be faster and more fuel efficient than any previous Lowestoft-based pilot boat. This combined with excellent sea-keeping, enabling higher transit speeds – even in challenging conditions, will increase the overall efficiency of the pilot services for the port.

Steve Pierce, General Manager, at Goodchild Marine Services Limited said: “We built the last pilot boat Osprey for the Port of Lowestoft, so it is a privilege to continue our strong relationship locally with ABP in building the next one.

“We are fortunate to be able to draw on our knowledge of the piloting area in Lowestoft and it is a chance to showcase our services at local level.

“Current operators of our ORC range are reporting fuel savings of up to 40% compared to similar sized vessels in their fleets. This obviously brings with it some very positive financial implications, which will represent a saving for our economy in the east.

“The boat will also be able to reach speeds of up to 26 knots, a faster operating speed than other craft of that size and weight. The hull design allows the boat to gain maximum strength by using materials such as carbon fibre.

“We believe the vessel will achieve the highest standards of quality and strength, as well as significantly reduce the carbon footprint.”

Andrew Harston, ABP Short Sea Ports Director, said: “We are delighted to be working with Goodchild Marine Services Limited once more to produce the latest addition to ABP’s pilot boat fleet.

“The state-of-the-art vessel will improve the efficiency of port operations and will ensure that we can continue to service our customers’ needs to a very high standard.”

ABP has a network of 21 ports around Britain, handling a huge range of different types of cargo, more than any other port group in the UK.

The ORC 121 is scheduled for delivery in May 2019.

Media Contact: Produced and distributed by TMS Media on behalf of Goodchild Marine Services Limited. For more information contact, 01493 382701 or Louisa Lay, 01493 662929.

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