UK boatbuilder, Meercat Workboats of Portchester, has beaten competition from across Europe to secure an important contract to build its 24th newbuild vessel.

The 14m multi-purpose workboat will be built for Cattewater Harbour Commissioners (CHC), one of the harbour authorities at Plymouth in Devon and the largest port in the South West of the UK.

James Lewis, operations director, Meercat Workboats, said:

With the tender open across Europe it was gratifying to see the Cattewater Harbour Commissioners select a company just down the South Coast. It is further recognition of the excellence of design, engineering, manufacturing and boatbuilding we still have in this country.

The new workboat will be powered by twin Doosan L136Ti engines delivering a total of 460hp with a top free-running speed of 8 knots. It will also have a bow thruster and two foot-controlled one tonne CH-10 ‘North Sea’ capstans.

Its Heila HLM 10-3S deck crane will be capable of lifting 800kg at 10.4m metres, whilst the four-tonne ‘North Sea’ Tugger winch has remote control capabilities.

Other features include a deck strength of nine tonnes/sq m, deck cargo capacity of 12 tonnes and a Sleipner hand hydraulic twin rudder.

The workboat will be the fourth to be delivered by Meercat after it was bought by Britain’s largest independent ship repairer Burgess Marine in September 2014. It will be the 24th vessel built by Meercat since it was formed in 2006.

Meercat is on target to complete the 14m by 5m vessel for the harbour authority’s fleet in mid-November.

The new contract means continued job security for Meercat’s skilled and experienced workforce.

Meercat aims to expand its versatile range to include barges, canal tugs, larger workboats and wind farm support vessels. All vessels are designed and built at Portchester, in the Solent region.

Multi-purpose Meercats are easily transportable around the country by road, including for use on the coast, ports, harbours, lakes and watercourses inland.