New pilotboat/tug to enter service.Lerwick Port Authority’s powerful new pilotboat/tug is expected to arrive at the Shetland port on Monday 5 June.

The 20 metre vessel has a bollard pull of 19 tonnes – much more than that of the 18.8 metre Knab which she replaces and complementary to the port’s larger Kebister which has been in service at the port since 1990.

Port Authority Chief Executive, Allan Wishart, said: “The new vessel is very much a sign of the times, with the increased power required to help handle the range of larger vessels which now call at Lerwick and are making a growing contribution to port activity. She represents another important investment in the future of the port.”

With a minimum crew of three, the new vessel’s primary function will be in pilotage, with towing capacity to assist berthing and a general workboat role in support of the Port Authority’s operations.

The £1.8 million pilotboat/tug has been built at the Vestvaerftet shipyard, of Hvide Sande, Denmark, over the past year. Port Authority staff had close involvement in the design by naval architects, McCaig and Napier, Glasgow, who also designed the Knab, built in Norway in 1980.

The Authority’s Deputy Harbourmaster, Captain Calum Grains, and Engineer, Chris King, participated in the new vessel’s successful trials in Denmark and are delighted with her performance.

The Authority’s delivery crew for sailing the Knab to Lerwick are Captain Grains, with Pilot, Neil McLean, as Mate for the voyage, and crew members, Chris King and Michael Smith, both engineers.

On arrival at Lerwick, she will berth for a few days at a pontoon - recently installed at Albert Wharf for use in transferring cruise ship passengers and by yacht crews - where she will be on view to the public before crew familiarisation and entering service.

The pilotboat/tug will be officially christened Knab on 1st July. The original Knab is to be renamed and advertised for sale.

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