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Norfolk boat builders celebrate unveiling of three ground-breaking pilot boats

May 8, 2018

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Three boats designed and built by a Norfolk boat builder have been officially unveiled at the world-famous Albert Dock in Liverpool.

Goodchild Marine Services, currently in its 40th year of business, and based at Burgh Castle, won the £3m long-term contract from UK marine contractor Briggs Marine to construct the ORC pilot vessels.

Kittiwake, Razorbill and Petrel operate from Liverpool to transport maritime pilots to and from ships sailing in and out of the port and were introduced at a naming ceremony.

Each boat was built using an original design by French architects Pantocarene, adapted by Goodchild Marine for the UK market, taking into consideration the different operation and recovery rules.

All stages of the process took place in-house and all three completed river and sea trials before they were released.

Kittiwake, the first of the three 17-metre boats, completed her sea trials last May, while Razorbill left Goodchild Marine’s yard in August.

The final boat Petrel was handed over in January.

Steve Pierce, General Manager at Goodchild Marine Services Limited, said the company was delighted to be involved in the naming ceremony.

“We are very proud to see our pilot boats operational. The naming ceremony was the culmination of nearly two years of hard work by our dedicated team of boat builders, engineers and electricians.

“The boats have been constructed using some of the most innovative technology on the market, in line with the continuing progress of wind farms, which is seeing pilot boat areas moving further offshore.

“Our response has naturally been to make them bigger and stronger to cope in demanding conditions. Each boat has an iRAMS vessel engine and asset management system with real-time monitoring and satellite feed to the port, providing up to the minute information.”

Collieson Briggs, Managing Director at Briggs Marine said the naming ceremony in April was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the company’s capability and commitment to the region.

“We are delighted with these latest additions to our fleet. We chose Goodchild Marine, as its quality is renowned for building reliable and efficient vessels. I am pleased to say that they have been well received by all stakeholders and are fully integrated into the service.

“Their quality and capability bring a further significant improvement in the Liverpool Pilot boat service.”

The next generation ORC pilot boat from Goodchild Marine Services Limited will be a first 13-metre of the range to enter service in the UK. She will be making her way shortly to Estuary Services Limited for operational service in the Thames Estuary.

She will also be on show at Seawork 2018, which takes place at Mayflower Park in Southampton, between July 3 and 5.

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