VESSEL REVIEW | Gannet – Hybrid boat for litter collection at UK’s Lowestoft Port

VESSEL REVIEW | Gannet – Hybrid boat for litter collection at UK’s Lowestoft Port

Photo: GAC

UK port operator Associated British Ports (ABP) has begun operating a new litter-collecting catamaran workboat at the Port of Lowestoft in Suffolk. The craft’s principal function is to support the efficient collection of litter, debris, and aquatic vegetation from the water surface, thus helping keep Lowestoft Harbour and Lake Lothing clear of pollution.

Built by Liverpool-based Water Witch, the vessel has been named Gannet following the Port of Lowestoft’s tradition of using the names of bird species for new equipment at the port. The vessel has an unladen displacement of 1,200 kilograms, length of eight metres, a beam of 2.5 metres, a depth of 0.7 metre, and a minimum operating draught of only 0.2 metre.

The workboat is notable for being hybrid-powered to help further reduce emissions at the port. Solar panels mounted on the wheelhouse roof supply some of the power needed by the propulsion and the onboard systems. The recycled aluminium construction meanwhile ensures that the material may be used again after the vessel reaches the end of its operational life.

Photo: Associated British Ports

Gannet’s design incorporates an array of pods that sit between the twin hulls, enabling multiple tasks to be undertaken. The pod system allows heavy items to be loaded directly onto the quayside and lifted onto the vessel via a crane with no need to manhandle the equipment to the water.

The litter is lifted from the surface of the water into a removable basket, which can be lifted and tipped directly into a skip or shoreside receptacle for disposal. The design allows floatables as well as semi-submerged debris to simply collect between the hulls without any complex equipment or machinery.

When not in collection mode, the basket can be winched up to allow slightly higher transit speeds, and the system can even be operated with the deck plates in position. The catamaran hulls meanwhile support a spacious working deck area with ample room for waste sorting.

A cargo pod is fitted for transporting up to 1,000 kilograms of cargo and equipment for use on or off the water. The pod can be craned in and out of the vessel either empty or full, allowing the operator to keep a range of pre-configured pods on hand for jobs such as discrete mobile pump-out and grey water storage, wash down, and waste disposal.

Click here for more news, features, and vessel reviews as part of this month’s focus on marine pollution control.

Type of vessel: Litter collection boat
Owner: Associated British Ports, UK
Builder: Water Witch, UK
Hull construction material: Aluminium
Superstructure construction material: Aluminium
Deck construction material: Aluminium
Length overall: 8.0 metres
Beam: 2.5 metres
Draught: 0.2 metre
Depth: 0.7 metre
Displacement: 1,200 kilograms
Capacity: 1,000 kilograms
Other equipment installed: Solar panels; litter removal basket
Crew: 1
Operational area: Port of Lowestoft, UK

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