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Electric boat launched

Electric boat launched
The eco-friendly electric boat that was shown on the Seawork pontoon has recently been launched onto the broads.

The eco-friendly electric boat that was shown on the Seawork pontoon has recently been launched onto the broads.

The eco-friendly electric boat that was shown on the Seawork pontoon has recently been launched onto the broads. It was one of two built by Goodchild Marine Services Ltd of Burgh Castle, UK, for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT). These will both be used for educational trips for school children.

Over 3,000 school children a year visit Ranworth and Hickling Broads and the new boats will enable them to once again explore back dykes, bird hides and waterways to learn about Norfolk"s wildlife. The boats will also be available for public trips.

The new craft have a very shallow draft, just 25cm, to enable them to get in amongst the shallow waters and reed beds. They also have very low noise emissions, the electric engine, with a boatload to settle it into the water, is very quiet indeed and won't scare the wildlife too much.

With a top speed of around 7 knots, they can be run for seven and a half hours before recharging. But as these boats are more likely to do around 2-3 knots, this will mean they can go for longer between recharging if need be. Electric boats are also eco-friendly which is another point in their favour with the Broads Authority.

A recent competition held by NWT to name the new educational boats in time for their launch resulted in two lovely and appropriate names: Damselfly and Swallowtail.

NWT has been operating boats for school parties and visitors since 1974, making them one of the oldest wildlife boat trips in the UK. The Trust raised £75,000 for the new boats, which will work alongside NWT"s current boat Little Tern at NWT Hickling Broad.

Alan Goodchild Managing Director of Goodchild Marine Services Ltd of Burgh Castle said: 'We consider it a privilege to construct the two new Aqua X-plorer 870 boats for Norfolk Wildlife Trust. It is an exciting departure from our core marine business, into an area that we are keen to explore as part of the continual development of our business. I am sure the new boats will provide many years of good service as part of the Trust"s education work.'

NWT is now taking bookings for the new boats. Please call 01603 625540 for further information.


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