Safehaven Marine have supplied a new pilot boat to the UK Port of Portland. The pilot boat is an Interceptor 42 (13m) pilot. The hull is Safehaven’s renowned Interceptor Deep V, twin chine design which provides exceptional sea keeping abilities. Portland ’s Harbour Master Mike Shipley ordered the vessel after undertaking sea trials aboard the Cork Harbour pilot boat during gale force conditions, during which he was very impressed with her abilities to provide a gentle dry ride into head seas but also excellent directional stability in big following seas. The port of Portland is situate amongst some of the most treacherous waters in the UK, the Shambles Bank and Portland Bill, where tidal races produce dangerous seas so a vessels seakeeping is paramount.

‘Culverwell’ is fitted with twin Volvo D12 engines rated at 450hp continuous at 1800rpm, they give the vessel an operational speed of 24.5 kts on a  lightship displacement of 15,000kg (16,500kg loaded). Stern gear was supplied by Clements Engineering, it was decided to try 5 blade propellers for the first time and they proved very successful with lower vibration levels with no loss of speed. The propeller run in tunnels to give optimum shaft angles and high tip clearances eliminating cavitation problems. Power steering gives a light responsive helm with 5 turns lock to lock, ample sized rudders allow her to respond well at slow speed and provide sharp high speed turns the vessel staying very level with a slight inward heel.

Sea trials on a lumpy day offshore, see a video of her in action from this link-


‘Culverwell’ is very strongly built, 150x150mm transverse frames with large, substantial knees provide exceptional strength, especially at the hull to deck join at the vessels shoulders, most important on a pilot boat that undergoes multiple controlled collisions daily. Heavy D 150mm section main fendering augmented by a lower line and multiple diagonals provide protection to the hull.

‘Culverwells’ internal arrangement has been specially designed to suit her intended role of pilot boat with occasional crew transfer duties. To this end her main cabin has twin CAB 300 seats for helm and pilot with additional bench seating with seat belts for 7 passengers. Down below in the forward accommodation area there is further bench seating to provide a total capacity of 12 passengers. A central helm position provides a panoramic view all around through a high glass area, the central helm also allows the helmsman to come alongside ship on either port or st/bd depending on prevailing sea conditions with equal ease and confidence.

From an engineering front, ‘Culverwell’ has a large engine room, 5m in length providing a spacious area allowing easy maintenance of the vessel. There is 5ft 10” headroom diminishing outboard and all maintenance components have been designed to be easily and quickly accessible. An important design feature is the allowance for easy engine removal, which can be carried out in under 3 hrs with the removal of seating pedestals, all on quickly unbolted modules, removal of the roof hatch and lifting of the hinged main cabin sole hatch allowing the engines to be quickly lifted straight off their mount and taken vertically upwards thorough the cabin roof hatch. On a final note the vessel has a very striking design. Safe haven’s Interceptors have graceful lines with a very striking appearance on the water, enhanced in the Culverwell’s case by two red stripes on her hull sides.

 'Culverwell' undertook her first rough weather sea trails in force 7 conditions with wind against tide producing some lumpy conditions, here are some pics, there is a new video on our video download site from this link-  SEE A VIDEO OF HER BEING SEA TRIALED IN GALE FORCE 7

Her distinctive colour scheme featuring two diagonal red stripes enhances the Interceptors sleek and graceful lines.

Her transom has been plated in 2mm mirror finish stainless with additional fendering to provide greater protection.

The seating throughout her is arranged to allow for the carrying of up to 12 passengers during crew transfer, the main cabin  provides room for 8 passengers and one pilot with a central helm seat. The bench seating is fitted with seatbelts and is constructed from mirror stainless tube, it is removable and allows for storage of luggage underneath

Her electrics are all contained in a spacious dedicated compartment with everything easily accessible. 

The team at our Little Island factory who built her standing proudly by her as he is lifted onto the transport trailer.