New PLA Patrol Boats
We have begun a £2 million investment in a fleet of five purpose-built patrol boats that will improve the environmental and operational performance of our patrol vessels on the Thames.
Northumberland boat builder Alnmaritec Limited, has won the contract to build the new catamaran-hulled boats. The design has been developed so that the boats create the least resistance when they move through the water. As a result, each boat will use far less fuel, produce less carbon dioxide and cause much smaller waves on the river than existing craft - helping to protect the riverbank environment.
We have a presence on the tidal Thames between the estuary and Teddington, helping to ensure river users stay safe. This investment is about making sure that we maintain this vital presence with the best efficiency. Once the programme is complete, we will have five boats of the same design, as opposed to the variety of vessels we have now. This will improve our operation markedly, for both the crews and maintenance teams alike, as well as reducing our environmental footprint..
With tank tests on the hull at Newcastle University now complete, construction of the first launch has just started and we expect to take delivery in the spring of 2009 - around the time of our centenary celebrations.
We will then put the new boat through its paces, trialling it in all the duties that patrol vessels are expected to carry out, so that any necessary minor changes can be identified before the remaining boats are built by Alnmaritec.