Historic Lifeboat to Provide Pleasure Cruises
Allchorn Pleasure Boats of Eastbourne will soon be welcoming a new addition to their fleet in the form of an ex-RNLI lifeboat.
Arriving by low loader transport at Sovereign Harbour, the 47 foot historic vessel ‘Harriet Claire’ will be joining the Allchorn fleet of classic pleasure boats in time for the 2004 summer season. She will undergo a period of refit and upgrading before entering service alongside the famous ‘William Allchorn’ and the ‘Southern Queen’ in the early spring.
The only lifeboat in the country to have been formally stationed in Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales, she is still close to her original condition and was the last of her class on station duty.
Built at Littlehampton in 1960 and last stationed at Beaumaris in Angelsey, ‘Harriet Claire’ is a ‘Watson’ class twin-screw lifeboat, powered by two Gardiner diesel engines.
She will compliment the existing wooden hull vessels in service and will be integrated into the company’s ongoing restoration and preservation programme. Over the coming years, Allchorn Pleasure Boats intends to restore her to an ‘as built’ condition and layout, so that she can operate as a true tribute to the professional dedication of Eastbourne’s lifeboat Coxswains and crews, past and present.
Christopher Laycock, Co-Director of Allchorn Pleasure Boats said “We are excited about this new acquisition and the pleasure boating opportunities that it will provide for Eastbourne’s residents and visitors alike.”
Allchorn Pleasure Boats have been operating pleasure cruises for 142 years and last year celebrated the 100 year anniversary of Beachy Head lighthouse. Every year thousands of passengers enjoy pleasure cruises from their beach launch station near Eastbourne Pier to national beauty spot Beachy Head.
Eastbourne Borough Council Spokesman for Culture, Councillor Mike Thompson said “I am pleased that Allchorn Pleasure Boats are able to extend the number of boats they operate to three. I am sure that with the arrival of ‘Harriet Claire’, visitors and residents will be able to enjoy cruises along our lovely seafront. The investment by Allchorn Pleasure Boats reinforces the message that tourism is a key contributor to the local economy”.
‘Harriet Claire’ will be providing cruises to Beachy Head from the resorts £50 million Sovereign Harbour Marina, which also boasts a Waterfront complex of shops and restaurants.
New cruises are also planned to some of the South Coast’s key areas of attraction, including the Royal Sovereign Light Tower to view shipping in The Channel. For more information on cruises visit http://www.allchornpleasureboats.co.uk
Author: Tracey Robertson
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04 January, 2004
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