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Time for Titan – PLA’s £7 million superboat launches

London Titan – the Port of London Authority’s (PLA) new and unique multi-purpose mooring maintenance vessel – will help modernise how the authority works and provide a safe work platform for staff.

Speaking just days after Titan was launched into crystal clear waters at Portland Harbour, Dorset, PLA director of marine operations Peter Steen said: "The boat will be in service by summer."

Representing the PLA’s single biggest investment of the past 20 years, versatile Titan which cost £7 million,is essential for a port that welcomes everything from container ships to HMS Invincible, tall ships to rowing boats. Her unique design means she can work both at sea and in shallower waters all the way up to Richmond Lock, as her folding deck cranes will allow safe passage through the bridges of central London. Titan’s regular work is expected to include:

  • Laying, maintaining and repairing moorings
  • Laying buoys
  • Hauling wreckage from the bottom of the river
  • Supporting dive operations
  • Carrying out ‘plough’ dredging operations
  • Supporting third-party projects when needed.

Weighing more than 600 tonnes with a 36.5-metre length, 13.5-metre width and three powerful engines, Titan’s cranes will be capable of lifting loads of up to 25 tonnes. She’ll work to keep busy river channels marked for trade, travel and sport. With sheer raw power wedded to manoeuvrability, it’s thought Titan will easily fill the void left by the PLA’s Hookness and Crossness salvage ships.

Peter said: “The arrival of Titan will enable us to completely modernise the way we work on the river and provide a safe working platform for our mooring, maintenance and navigational jobs.

“She is far more capable than the vessels she’s replacing, while her plough dredging capacity adds an extra element to the services we provide. That should also mean less need for dredging by otherareas of the PLA and, therefore, reduce costs.”

Peter added that her name is a hat-tip to one of PLA’s former sea cranes.

Titan will remain at Manor Marine, Portland, for fitting out and sea trials, before going on display at marine trade fair Seawork, in Southampton, in mid June. It’s hoped she’ll get to work on the Thames shortly afterwards.

Peter said: “She looks great, even better than expected. The view from the bridge is fantastic, not only from a navigational point of view. There is also a remarkable view of the working area on-deck.”