Guernsey Harbours has selected Meercat Boats of Southampton to build its new multi-purpose workboat.
The new vessel will replace the existing Sarnia workboat that was constructed and delivered for Guernsey Harbours in the late 1980's.
Guernsey's Harbourmaster Captain David Barker said:
"The Sarnia has given over 30 years of valuable service but this new vessel will be significantly more capable. It will make the task of looking after our harbours and offshore navigational aids safer and more efficient. The new boat is based on a tried and tested design, adapted for our needs, and will give our crew more useable space and a safer working environment. The design was chosen as it can support the large range of tasks required to keep our harbours running, and be flexible enough to provide assistance to other agencies as required. It will be sad to see the Sarnia go, as she has been a real workhorse for Guernsey Harbours, but we now need to prepare for the challenges that the next 30 years will bring. "
The new vessel, M35, is based on Meercat's MC15 design. It is a 15.6-metre steel multi role vessel, which will feature a modern off-centre wheelhouse configuration, providing a large useable deck area. She will be built at Meercat Boats' facility in Hythe near Southampton.
Technical Manager of Meercat Boats Jim Mair said:
"Guernsey Harbours' tender was extremely challenging due to the complexity of the multiple tasks the new workboat is expected to undertake. The wide variety of on-board equipment, combined with exacting performance requirements will certainly make her an incredibly versatile vessel. As well as Meercat's broad portfolio of proven workboat designs on offer, our main differentiator is our unrivalled ability to work with our customers in order to fully tailor a vessel to their specific needs."
Head of Technical & Estate Services - Ports, Martyn Stanfield, said:
"The new work boat will provide a modern, safe and highly manoeuvrable working platform, with the addition of increased deck space and crane capacity, to carry out a wide range of duties. The design of the vessel will provide improved safety and comfort for our maintenance team. It will be ready for a wide range of tasks, including towage, equipment transportation, infrastructure repairs, beacon and buoy maintenance and commercial diving activities. The ability to be able to work closely with the design team at Meercat will enable us to achieve the right vessel for the ever-demanding role that is required now and for the future of Guernsey Harbours."