22 March 2013

Staff at Shoreham Port waited in anticipation as their new work boat arrived to the Fishersgate Terminal this week. The workboat is a multipurpose landing craft with a large flat deck area, crane and front ramp. She was found using the website www.findafishingboat.com which is like the marine equivalent of Autotrader. The Port had previously looked at another boat with the same owner, but it couldn’t handle the weight of cargo and lifting required. Fortunately an alternative boat was then found and two members of the Port’s Engineering team went up to Scotland to survey her and make the arrangements to bring her down South to Shoreham.

There is a certain amount of work required to get the boat refurbished and coded (certificated for commercial work) to suit the Port’s purposes, however once she is in the water in a couple of weeks’ time she will be a great asset to both the Engineering and Marine teams. She will be used for routine maintenance, projects and tasks such as replacing Zara Dawn as the dive tender, fendering, lock gate maintenance, quay wall inspections and repairs, mooring maintenance, coast protection works and wreck clearance.

The whole team have been looking forward to her arrival and now she is on the quay at Fishersgate they can do a full assessment and plan for her refurbishment work. The plan is to set the boat up with a number of interchangeable ‘pods’ like Thunderbird 2! Allowing for quick changes between diving, and the various other maintenance roles.

Brian Rousell, Deputy Port Engineer at Shoreham Port commented “We have been looking to replace our dive tender and also to increase our capabilities to do more water-based in-house maintenance for several years now. This vessel provides an excellent platform to do this and will be a valuable new asset to the Engineering and Marine teams. Whilst she is 25 years old, the basic hull is sound and the engine is relatively new so with some planned modifications and careful maintenance, we hope to get many years of useful service out of her.”

The previous name of the vessel was Glen Grant, but the current favourite for her new name is Juno, to keep in line with the astronomical theme of the Port’s other floating crafts and paying regard to Shoreham’s role in the D-Day landings on the Normandy beaches, Utah, Omaha, Sword, Gold and Juno.