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Norfolk boat builder’s pilot boat exported to Dublin

Wednesday, 11th December 2019

The first ORC pilot boat to be exported from a Norfolk boat builder has arrived at its new home.

Goodchild Marine, based in Burgh Castle, secured a contract with the Dublin Port Company to construct the ORC 171 in 2018.

Last week DPC Tolka took her maiden voyage to Dublin Bay, piloted by managing director Alan Goodchild, who set sail from Great Yarmouth, via Dover, Gosport, Plymouth, Falmouth and Milford Haven.

The new addition to the port’s fleet of working vessels, will replace the oldest pilot boat Dodder, which now retires from service.

Designed by French naval architects Pantocarene, for both fuel efficiency and performance in challenging weather conditions, DPC Tolka features the latest navigational and safety equipment on board, including a dedicated pilot workstation in the wheelhouse and the hydraulic Goodchild Marine Man Overboard Recovery Platform in the stern.

With shipping companies increasingly deploying longer, deeper ships capable of carrying more cargo, DPC Tolka represents a vital upgrade in the provision of pilotage services at the Port and will allow Dublin Port’s team of highly skilled marine pilots to reach and board these ships in all weather conditions from a greater distance out into Dublin Bay.

Alan Goodchild, Managing Director of Goodchild Marine, said: “Our flagship ORC range of pilot boats are certainly making waves within the industry and we are delighted to be able to export our first 171 to Dublin. The pilot operation across the UK and Europe now demands bigger and stronger boats that can withstand the most challenging conditions, and we feel we have responded to market demand by producing such a vessel.”

Steve Pierce, General Manager, added: “It is very important for us to consider the impact that our boats make, both financially and environmentally. Our ORCs are becoming renowned for cutting fuel emissions, with customers reporting fuel savings of up to 40% a year, which we hope is an incentive for both existing and potential clients.”

Dublin Port Harbour Master, Michael McKenna, said: “Dublin Port Company is delighted to take delivery of DPC Tolka, and we’ve already started training our pilots and pilot boat teams on the workings of the new vessel ahead of entering service later this week. Demand for pilotage continues to grow as more and more ships service Dublin Port, and DPC Tolka will help meet the operational and navigational needs of both regular customers and visiting vessels in the years ahead. Our thanks to the crew at Goodchild Marine for their skills and workmanship in designing and delivering this vessel.” 

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