New state-of-the-art pilot boat ‘will improve the efficiency of port operations’

PUBLISHED: 17:08 15 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:08 15 October 2018

Goodchild Marine Services Limited has won a contract to build a new ORC pilot boat for the Port of Lowestoft. Picture: Stephen Waller

 Stephen Waller

Goodchild Marine Services Limited has won a contract to build a new ORC pilot boat for the Port of Lowestoft. Picture: Stephen Waller Stephen Waller

© Stephen Waller

A trailblazing Norfolk firm is set to build a new state-of-the-art pilot boat for ABP Lowestoft.

Goodchild Marine Services Limited, a family-run business in Burgh Castle, near Great Yarmouth, 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 boat builder construct a 12 metre (ORC 121) vessel – the first ORC of this size in the UK. 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, and the ORC 121 is scheduled for delivery in May 2019.

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 per cent 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. 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.”

This latest high profile contract follows news 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.

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