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UK First for Wormit Boating Club as it takes delivery of Electric Safety Vessel

A Fife boating club has become the first in the UK to take delivery of a fully electric safety and training vessel, which was officially launched on the River Tay estuary yesterday.

UK First for Wormit Boating Club as it takes delivery of Electric Safety Vessel

Article Source: Wormit Boating Club
Last Updated: 25 May 2024 15:38

Boat officially launched and named by local school pupil

A Fife boating club has become the first in the UK to take delivery of a fully electric safety and training vessel, which was officially launched on the River Tay estuary yesterday (Friday 24th).

The purpose-built, latest model Pulse 63 RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) has been built for Wormit Boating Club and Watersports Hub by RS Electric Boats in Hampshire.

Members of the club, the public and invited guests will gather at the club’s open day tomorrow (Saturday, May 25) following the unveiling of the vessel’s name, eWOC (electric Wormit Operational Craft), which was suggested by nine-year-old Wormit Primary School pupil, Archie Dowdell.

Sailing and rowing boats, paddleboards, kayaks and other vessels will also be on display in the Tay estuary tomorrow.

With a top speed of up to 23 knots, a range of up to 100 nautical miles and capacity for up to six people, the new vessel is a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to the club’s ageing existing safety boats, which are fuelled by petrol.

Its sealed, onboard batteries can be charged via the mains in the same way as an electric car.

The purchase of the £100,000 vessel has been made possible by a grant from the Crown Estate Scotland and generous donations from local companies, individuals and club funds.

The new safety boat will support the club’s current 225 members who take part in a range of watersports between the Tay road and rail bridges, including open water swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, skiff rowing, dinghy sailing and powerboating.

The purchase of the new vessel is part of a wider modernisation strategy for the club, which includes plans for a Community Asset Transfer of the club grounds from Fife Council and ambitions to create a new clubhouse with a balcony and potentially a café overlooking the Tay.

Ralph Webster, Commodore of the Wormit club, said: “As a small but friendly boating club in Fife, we are proud to be the first in the UK to have this fantastic electric safety vessel, pioneering the use of its innovative design, features and specification on our local waters.

“We are all trying to help clean up the River Tay so are very aware of our commitment to preserving the local area, so as well as being the next generation in safety boats, eWOC is both sustainable and kind to the marine environment which provides so much enjoyment to our members.

“This lifesaving rescue boat will be the first of its type in Scotland and we are hopeful the modern technology will help us to continue to reduce levels of pollution, as our other sporting activities are generally carbon neutral.”


Captain Webster added: “As a registered charity, we’d also like to acknowledge and thank everyone who has supported the fundraising campaign for the Pulse 63 RIB which has allowed us to lead the way in the UK as well as ensuring our members can continue to enjoy a host of watersports with the vital support of the safety vessel.”

Based at Woodhaven Pier in the village of Wormit, close to Dundee, the club is a registered Royal Yachting Association Member and Training Centre.

The club’s volunteer RYA Powerboat instructor Andrew will also use this vessel as part of the RYA Powerboat Level 2 Courses run by the club. This will give those undertaking the course to experience new boat technology in addition to the club’s current fleet of petrol-powered vessels.

Andrew said: “We are delighted to have received this vessel in full compliance and safety guidelines as set by the RYA and offers fully inboard seating for increased safety during Powerboat courses.”

Jon Partridge, co-CEO of manufacturer RS Marine Group, said it was pleased to work with the club.

“We were pleased to work with Wormit Boating Club to supply its new vessel, which features advanced electric propulsion, is economically efficient and virtually silent. As well as being completely environmentally friendly, the boat requires ultra-low maintenance.

“It has a real-time range and uses the very latest technology to comply with the RYA Power and Safety Boat standards. We hope the club and its members will be very happy with their new vessel,”
he said.

A deliberate fire in the clubhouse during the Covid-19 lockdown was the catalyst for rejuvenating the club. The clubhouse was repaired by the members themselves and paddleboarding, kayaking and open water swimming were added to the club’s activities bringing in new members.

Since then, a development plan was approved which has seen the club becoming a registered Scottish Charity (SCIO) and submitting a Community Asset Transfer of the club grounds from Fife Council.

A secure kayak shed and additional storage facility has been recently constructed and it is hoped that a new two-storey clubhouse will follow to complement the new, eco-friendly rescue craft and newly enhanced facilities.

For further information about Wormit Boating Club and Watersports Hub or to join the club, visit www.wormitboatingclub.org.uk

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