WATCH: New harbour workboat now in service
A NEW purpose-built Guernsey Harbour's workboat is now in the island.
The replacement for the ageing Sarnia has been built by Southampton-based Meercat Boats and is based on their MC15 design.
The boat, known by Meercat as the M35, has now been fully commissioned as the Sarnia.
Harbourmaster Captain David Barker said: 'The new Sarnia will make the task of looking after our harbours, offshore navigational aids and other infrastructure safer and more efficient for our staff. The new vessel is based on a tried and tested design, but has been adapted for the Bailiwick’s needs. It will give our crew more useable space and, more importantly, a better and safer working environment.'
Replacing the Sarnia has been a priority for Guernsey Harbours since a report was compiled in 2010, which recommended a new £1m. vessel.
The Sarnia, was built in 1985 and, at the time, was given a 20- to 25-year lifespan but has now been in service for nearly 35 years.
The cost of the new 15.6 metre replacement was £965,000.
Head of Technical & Estate Services - Ports, Martyn Stanfield said: 'The design of the vessel will provide improved safety and comfort for our maintenance team. It will be ready for a wide range of tasks, including towage, equipment transportation, infrastructure repairs, beacon and buoy maintenance and commercial diving activities. The recent sea trials in the UK and in local waters showed her excellent handling and manoeuvrability in challenging conditions. The crew accommodation and wheelhouse facilities are a marked improvement in design and comfort from the old Sarnia.'