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December 4 2012.

After taking delivery of two second-hand pilot vessels last month, the boats were craned out and checked over in sheds on the East Quay. The Pelorus has spent the last three weeks being cleaned and painted, had the signage changed from Ramsgate to Newhaven, had a new fire suppression system fitted, and finally surveyed by the MCA. Given a clean bill of health and passed fully fit for pilotage services, the Pelorus was yesterday craned back into the river and has taken up station as Newhaven's main pilot vessel.

The second vessel, the Pathfinder will remain out of the water as it is surplus to requirements at the present time, thus allowing plenty of time to receive tender love and care from the Pilot Boat Crews to bring her up to full spec.

Both vessels are Halmatic Nelson 44 Class Trinity House Pilot Launches with the following specification:

Built in 1986

LOA 13.4m

Beam 4.05m

Draft 1.30m

Displacement 18 tonnes

Complement 6 persons

Engines Twin Volvo TAMD 121C at BHP of 350 each

Max speed 21knots

Fuel Capacity 1300 litres giving approximate endurance of 14 hours at full speed

The boats are certificated as MCA Category 3, which gives a limit of 20 miles from a safe haven. More than enough to reach the extremity of the proposed Rampion Windfarm and also to the Greenwich Buoy, enabling vessels in the south west bound lane of the Channel Traffic Seperation Scheme to be serviced if required, such as for Deep Sea Pilot transfer, crew changes, etc.

The present Pilot Boat "Magnus Musson", built by Newbury Engineering of Newhaven, has served the port well over many years and through many storms. She is much loved by Newhaven Pilots, past and present, and the intention is to keep her working in the port as the back up pilot vessel and general harbour workboat.