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Associated British Ports (ABP) has welcomed the first of nine new pilot launch vessels from Goodchild Marine Services.

Monday, 26th July 2021

Earlier this year ABP announced an investment of around £9 million to build nine new pilot boats. These vessels were ordered from Goodchild Marine Services Limited and are being built in Norfolk along with much of the supply chain coming from East Anglian suppliers. 

The first pilot boat received a warm welcome on its arrival at the Port of Grimsby. Named the OUSE and is the first of five which will be delivered to ABP Humber. Three vessels will be heading to ABP Southampton in 2022 and one to ABP South Wales in 2023.

All nine vessels boast improved fuel efficiency, along with Ouse being the first pilot boat built and enter service in the UK to be fitted with an IMO Tier III compliant engine complete with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR).

These MAN engines supplied by PME Group of Plymouth help to reduce emissions by using of the latest technology thus minimising the impact on the environment. 

Many other features help improve the comfort and safety of those onboard. The Man Overboard Recovery Platform is a standard fit on all Goodchild Marine pilot vessels, air conditioning, suspension seating and a resiliently mounted wheelhouse all act to reduce vibration, impact, and noise when at sea. Additionally, the wave piercing hull design, adds to what makes these ORC pilot boats so comfortable, fuel efficient and above all highly effective in coming alongside and breaking away from ships for a safe pilot transfer. 

Mike McCartain, ABP’s Group Director for Safety, Engineering and Marine said; 
“We are delighted with our new ‘Orc’ Pilot Boat vessel from Goodchild Marine. The outstanding build quality, safety and environmental features are the hallmark of this superb British boat building company. This vessel is the second in our modernised ABP fleet, and we very much look forward to our next eight boats over the next few years.’

Stephen Pierce, General Manager Goodchild Marine Services Limited, said:
“Our aim is to deliver the highest quality pilot boats, which provide a safe, comfortable, reliable and efficient vessel. This ensures the best possible working space for the boat crews, pilots and the maintainers.”

ORC Pilot Boats first entered service in the UK in 2012 designed by French company Pantocarene Limited (Naval Architects) and provides fuel-efficient running at service speed, combined with excellent sea-keeping allowing surprisingly high transit speeds even in rough weather. Globally to date; 159 + ORC boats ranging from 7.5 meters long up to 22 meters have been built and are on duty in various different configurations, including; 72 pilot boats 50 rescue, coast guard boats 28 fast fishing boats 9 RIBS and passenger boats.

Ports / Harbours in the UK also using our ORC range of pilot boats 
  • Estuary Services Limited - Thames Estuary 2 x ORC 171’s and 2X ORC136’s 
  • Port of London Authority ORC 136 Hybrid the UK’s first and only Hybrid pilot boat 
  • Cattewater Harbour Commission (Plymouth) ORC 121
  • Port of Bridgwater ORC 121
  • Dublin Port ORC 171
  • Briggs Marine (Liverpool) 3 X ORC 171’s 2 x ORC 136’s 
  • Associated British Ports Lowestoft ORC 121 
For further information contact:
Tony Birr 
Business Development 
Tel +44 (0)1493 782301
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