Boatbuilder’s job boost for Eyemouth

Winning an order to build two large offshore wind farm support vessels is just the start for Eyemouth based Coastal Marine Boatbuilders.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 5th April 2013, 7:18 am

The boats are larger than anything they have built so far - almost 30m long and 10m wide - which is too big for them to fit into the company’s current yard at the harbour.

With the possibility that larger vessels could be ordered in the future and with an eye to expand, the company are looking to move into additional purpose built premises at Hawk’s Ness at Gunsgreenhill.

They are about to start fabrication on the boats and now that they have planning permission for the new building at Hawk’s Ness, granted this week, they hope to have it built by the start of July so they can meet their contractual commitments to deliver the catamarans on time.

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The new building has been designed so that two boats can be worked on under cover - building materials delivered at the east end of the building and the completed hulls will be moved out at the west end.

Once the boats are ready to go into the water actually getting them down to the harbour from the new premises further up the hillside is no mean feat.

Heavy haulage specialists will be needed to transport the catamarans the 1.7 km from the boat yard to the harbour’s deep water basin and experts have checked out the area and are confident that the delicate operation is possible in the space available.

Some re-working of lighting columns along the new harbour access road may well be required for the delicate manoeuvre and discussions about this have already taken place with council officers, and a solution reached.

Although they had concerns about some of the physical aspects of the new boatyard at Gunsgreenhill SBC’s economic development department welcomed the application for the new building which they say “will generate much welcomed new employment in the town”.

The new boat yard site at Gunsgreen is currently zoned for employment land in the region’s current local plan and is described as being “well accessed for the proposed use along the new harbour road avoiding the main town for deliveries”.

Welcoming the success of the Eyemouth boatbuilders, Eyemouth based Councillor Michael Cook said: “It’s immensely positive news. It could be 18 jobs and serious jobs at that.

“We have been saying and keep on repeating that the harbour is the heart of the place and that’s not just empty rhetoric.

“Here’s something taking place that brings something significant to the town. Despite the anxieties that some have about onshore renewables, this is something we should be in the vanguard of and could put the harbour on the map.”