Port of London Authority inks deal on new catamaran survey vessel

Mon, 02 February 2015

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has sealed a deal to put a new purpose-built survey catamaran on the river Thames. The robust and fuel-efficient CTruk MPC19 is set to replace the PLA’s Yantlet vessel as she reaches the end of her service life.

The new boat is due to enter service later this year and will continue the PLA Hydrography team’s vital survey work which facilitates safe navigation on the tidal Thames. The river is an essential link for trade, travel and leisure. It is home to the UK’s second biggest port, is the busiest inland waterway and hosts the largest concentration of rowing clubs in the country.

The CTruk MPC19 is a hydro-dynamically optimised twin-hull design that boosts smooth passage through the water. It also has a low draught for shallow water access and a low air draught (height) so it can get under Thames bridges with ease. The boat can accommodate up to 12 people (two crew and 10 passengers) and is loaded with features including:

 Water-jet propulsion (for a high level of control and low draught)

 Multi-beam sonar platform

 A 4-metre survey-capable Rigid Inflatable Boat (R.I.B.)

 Cruise speed of 18 knots

 Survey speed from 2 knots

 Fuel efficient to save operating costs

 Top-of-the-range echo sounding systems and ancillary survey equipment

 Deck that can take loads of up to 1 tonne per square metre

 Equipment includes a Palfinger foldable knuckle crane

This type of boat is popular with offshore wind farm support work. Essex-based supplier CTruk will build the FRP composite vessel using a vacuum resin-infusion technique, giving a smooth hull shape and lean body frame that will allow for a more efficient passage along the Thames.

Capt. John Pinder, port hydrographer, said:

“This boat should be an excellent addition to our fleet. It offers more space to our busy crew and its fuel efficiency is a bonus that will help us keep costs down. We very much look forward to taking delivery of the craft and naming her.”

CTruk has built 18 of these multi-purpose cats to date, with the popular design racking up thousands of service hours on 24/7 operations in the UK and Europe.

Chairman Pete McIntosh commented:

“Building for a client as highly regarded in its field as the PLA is a great endorsement for CTruk. We look forward to working closely with the PLA team to produce a boat that is well suited to the complex demands of their important work on the river Thames.” 

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