Goodchild Marine Services Ltd. of Burgh Castle, Norfolk, England has been awarded a contract from Estuary Services Ltd. to build two ORC 171.P 17 metre Pilot Launches to work in the River Thames estuary and offshore area – to be named Estuary Elan and Estuary Elite.
These modern craft are well-proven worldwide with over 50 boats built in different configurations designed by French Naval Architects Pantocarene, but these are the first of this design built by a British builder and to work in the UK. The modern hull design has a double chine with a forward ‘beak’ that gives exceptional performance in head seas reducing slamming and vertical accelerations.
Extensive research in Europe over a number of years has perfected the hull design to also provide excellent course keeping with little tendency to broach even in large following sea conditions. Crew comfort is paramount with a novel acoustically separate wheelhouse fitted on cushioned feet, suspension seating for 8 and air conditioned climate control.
Dimensions are 17.58 m LOA, 5.39 m Beam, and 1.44 m draft, displacing 24.5 tonnes with over 2000 litres fuel capacity for the twin 600 hp Scania engines driving 5-blade Hyperform propellers through Twin Disc ‘Quickshift’ gearboxes.
This combination will give a speed of 26 knots fully loaded and the hull shape is designed to be very economical at cruising speeds. Furuno navigation electronics, Sailor VHF sets and a Sea Marshall MOB system complete these professional pilot launches built to operate up to 3,000 hours per year.
Goodchild Marine Services is well-known within the industry for building high quality fit-for-purpose Pilot and work boats and is currently building a pilot boat for Calais/Boulogne in addition to the two ORC 171.P’s.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, February 10, 2012; Image: goodchildmarine