London's New Hybrid Pilot Boat

The Port of London Authority (PLA) ordered the UK’s first plug-in diesel hybrid pilot boat from Norfolk boat builder, Goodchild Marine, in 2019, delivering on a commitment to encourage the installation of green technology. The new pilot cutter is expected to deliver dramatic improvements in the PLA’s overall environmental performance.

The ORC hull design typically uses 40% less diesel per nautical mile than a conventional hull such as Patrol and fuel consumption is further reduced as the vessel is less than half the weight of its predecessor.

The batteries of the hybrid cutter will be charged from existing shore power facilities while it’s alongside at the PLA’s Royal Terrace Pier in Gravesend. The boat will run on batteries for approximately 40 nautical miles on one charge at speeds up to 15 knots. The diesel engines will boost top speed up to 19 knots and provide a backup to the electric propulsion for longer duty cycles.