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UK's first 'Hybrid Pilot boat' aims to cut pollution



Engineers from Norfolk claim to have built the UK's first hybrid pilot boat to help cut pollution.

The boat, built by Goodchild Marine Services at Burgh Castle near Great Yarmouth, will be used to take maritime pilots to and from large vessels like cruise liners and container ships at the Port of London on the River Thames.

The role of a pilot is to board a vessel and use local knowledge to guide it safely into the port.


The Port of London Authority commissioned the hybrid pilot boat as part of its Air Quality Strategy, which aims to reduce river-based air pollution.

"This is certainly the UK's first hybrid pilot boat and we believe it's probably the world's first hybrid pilot boat.

This boat has been developed and built for the Port of London Authority who have got a clean air strategy where they're looking to have zero emissions in and around the centre of London so it's the ideal platform to start the process off.

It's been developed to operate 90% of its operational duty cycle in electric mode and then, when it's needed for high speed, it converts over to diesel power.In diesel mode it then regenerates the batteries when it's at the higher speeds in diesel model.

– ALAN GOODCHILD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, GOODCHILD MARINE SERVICES

He admitted it was more expensive to build than a standard vessel but said the operational cost is lower. The hybrid cost more than £1 million as well as research and development costs to build, while a diesel pilot boat costs around £850,000.

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