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Home Well Before Dark for Thunderchild

5th July 2017
Otherworldly – Thunderchild at Rockall Otherworldly – Thunderchild at Rockall

Apart from two essential stops at Portrush in County Antrim and Ballyglass on Broadhaven in County Mayo to take on fuel, Safehaven Marine’s challenge for a viable record for the 2000 kilometres round Ireland and Rockall, powering on with their remarkable new speed machine Thunderchild, has seen only two other stops writes W M Nixon.

One was to get a photo of the boat at Rockall itself last night, when enough daylight was available at the edge of the short northern darkness to produce a memorable and otherworldly image. And the other, specially important to a crew so closely involved with sea safety, was a pause at Black Rock off the Mayo coast this afternoon to pay their respects to the memory of the crew of air-sea rescue helicopter R 116, tragically lost on a March night four months ago in conditions very different from the summer weather which has now settled over Ireland.

But as this calm weather has followed on an unsettled period, the seas have taken time to smooth down. It’s seldom enough that Thunderchild has been able to enjoy a top speed of 52 knots in a voyage which at one stage saw her slowed back – albeit very briefly - to 20 knots. At 1845 hours this evening (Wednesday) she is at 42 knots coming in past the Fastnet, well on track to set a good time when she completes the circuit at the Old Head of Kinsale with an average speed of better than 33 knots, and neatly on time for a proper welcome home to Cobh well before dark.

thunderchild crew at rockall2It has to be the ulltimate selfie – Frank Kowalski of Safehaven and his crewmates on Thunderchild with Rockall looking very small for a place which could be of great maritime economic significance.

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About Safehaven Marine 

Safehaven Marine are designers and builders of FRP Pilot boats, Patrol boats, Crew transfer vessels, Hydrographic survey catamarans, Naval & Military craft and unique custom private motor yachts. All our vessels are built to the highest standards of strength & engineering and are renowned worldwide for their exceptional sea-keeping abilities, we set a new World long-range speed record in 2017 with our own vessel and crew. Established in 1996 we have built over 138 vessels supplied to 27 countries worldwide with over 40 pilot vessels in operation globally, and have become leaders in our field.

Based in Youghal, Co Cork Ireland, Safehaven manufacture our vessels from two modern factories, with all design work carried out in house, and built with our own experienced team of engineers, carpenters, electricians, shipwrights and laminators.

Always at the forefront of new technology and designs we continuously develop our range and push the frontiers of design: In 2020 we aim to set a UIM Transatlantic World record with our unique (patent applied for) new 22m high-speed vessel XSV20

Interceptor 42 pilot boat

The Pilot 42 model built by Safehaven Marine has been delivered to ports worldwide and has proved to be a superb sea boat performing admirably in pilotage operations with all owners extolling its virtues of seakeeping, strength and stability.

L.O.A. (Length overall) 13.2m

L.W.L. (Length along waterline) 11.5m

Length moulded (GRP hull only) 12.7

Beam Moulded (GRP only ex fender) 4.0m

Beam overall (Including fenders) 4.4m

Draft (Depth of hull below waterline) 1.35m

Displacement Lightship 14,500kg

Fully loaded 16,000kg

Fuel capacity 1600 litres

Water capacity 110 litres

Crew capacity 5 persons

Engines Volvo D9 425hp

Gearboxes ZF325

Subdivision 4 x separate watertight compartments

Crew capacity 1-2 crew plus 3- 4 pilots

Classification PRS

Speed 23.5kts fully loaded

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