Boaty McBoatface Ready For Launch Today

Posted by Lord Bearkeeper OBE DASc on
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Britain’s new polar research ship Boaty McBoatface RRS Sir David Attenborough is ready to go into the water today. The newly assembled hull of the ship is now standing on the slipway at Cammell Laird’s shipyard here in Birkenhead, awaiting its launch at lunch time. Weather and tide permitting, the £200m vessel should slide gracefully into the River Mersey at around noon. Although the ship has been named after Sir David Attenborough – who we love and admire – to us here at Jammy Toast she will always be “Boaty McBoatface” which was going to be her name following an online poll. Then ministers stepped in to choose what they referred to as “a more appropriate name”. However, on a serious note, she represents the largest commercial ship built in Britain for three decades.

The hull should make for quite a sight as her steelwork floats out onto Liverpool’s famous waters.

“She’s not a huge supertanker but she is a large ship at 128.9m and around 10,000 tonnes on the day – so, there will be a bit of a splash, certainly off the stern,” said Cammell Laird’s David Williams. “She’s got quite a flat transom and as that makes the transition to the water, there will be some waves created,” the business development director told Jammy Toast.

Unfortunately, the event is not open to the public after the company decided on an invited audience only of more than 2,000 people in the yard. It will be made up of VIPs, staff and their families. But star of the day will, of course, be Sir David (not our Bearkeeper but Mr Attenborough) himself. The naturalist will be asked to press the button that unleashes his namesake on its grand slide into the water.

Boaty gets her Official Name

Boaty gets her Official Name.

It will be an important moment for Cammell Laird which has fought hard to position itself in the competitive international shipbuilding market. Not since 1993 has a vessel built at the yard been launched into the water in this dynamic fashion. Once in the water, the hull will be caught by tugs which will manoeuvre it into the company’s harbour. The harbour is where the top decks – built as a large, separate structure – will be put in place. Detailed outfitting then follows before the ship is complete and ready for its official naming ceremony at the end of the year.

“We’ve definitely risen to the challenge, as many people will realise, especially when they see how advanced she is right now, given the timeframe since we first started building her,” said Claire Biggar, assistant ship manager at Cammell Laird. “She’s structurally complete and we’re well on our way with the outfitting. For the company, this is an amazing achievement.”

The BBC will have coverage of the launch and the British Antarctic Survey are streaming the event.

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About the Author

Lord Bearkeeper OBE DASc

A sad and lonely old man who used to have a life but it has now been taken over by his dedication to the cause of saving Renault Bears, running Jammy Toast and searching eBay, car boot sales, charity shops, lofts and even under beds for his beloved bears. He has even now taken in Flat Eric to save him from homelessness – his life is no longer his own!

20 Comments on “Boaty McBoatface Ready For Launch Today”

  1. I’ve been down there this week to have a little nose at Boaty. A million pieces of steel to build her she’s one impressive ship, Cammell Laird should be rightly proud of her!!

  2. It’s nearly as bad as Brexit!! We voted for Boaty McBoatface and we didn’t get it just like we voted for Brexit and it doesn’t look like we will get that either!!

    Why vote for anything in the future?

    Imagine if they called an election and nobody voted!

  3. The day democracy died…

    RSS Boaty McBoatfave — 124,109 votes.
    RRS Poppy Mai — 34,371
    RSS Henry Worsley — 15,231
    RSS It’s Bloody Cold Here — 10,679
    RSS Sir David Attenborough — 10,284

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