Challenging conditions for new pilot

'Kingfisher', ABP’s new Lowestoft boat, built by Goodchild Marine, is set to be replicated by the Great Yarmouth company for the Port of Bridgwater

Strength and endurance are the qualities needed for successful pilot services where a large tidal rise and fall and continual movement of navigation channels are amongst the day to day challenges.

Pilot boat operations within the Bristol Channel are set to include a new vessel with an ORC 121 from Goodchild Marine currently under construction. Contracted by Sedgemoor District Council and operated by the Port of Bridgwater, it is a first for Goodchild Marine.

Steve Pierce, General Manager for Goodchild Marine said: “Goodchild Marine ORC vessels have traditionally been maintained by north of England, East Anglian or southern England based companies, but this will be the debut for one of our ORCs in the south-west.”

Deputy Harbour Master for the Port of Bridgwater, Captain Jessica Tyson said: “Pilotage is extremely important at our port and challenging due to the large tidal rise and fall and the fact that our navigation channels continually move.”

Captain Tyson continued, “Therefore we wanted a strong and enduring boat to stand the test of time and weather all conditions. We have closely followed the work of Goodchild Marine and were impressed by the capabilities of their ORC range, so it made perfect sense to invest in a product that we believe will tick all boxes.”

The ORC 121 will follow the same design as ‘Kingfisher’, the recent boat built and released to ABP Lowestoft. Flagship features include a beak-bow hull design with minimal drag, allowing it to reach speeds of up to 26 knots. The higher transit speeds, even in challenging conditions, will allow the craft to increase the overall efficiency of the pilot services for the port, as well as promote fuel savings and carbon reductions.

Pierce added, “We hope that our partnership and collaboration with Sedgemoor District Council, along with the reputation of our flagship ORC range will attract other similar ports in the area.”

Delivery is due Spring 2020

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