Cork based shipyard Safehaven Marine have finished building the vessel the largest of a fleet of up to 38 new workboats ranging in size from 11 to 18 metres, for the Ministry of Defence.

These 18m catamarans have a loaded displacement around 37 tonnes with a capacity for up to twelve-crew to be berthed on-board, and an endurance of seven days. They are capable of deploying a range of sonar options and are all weather capable.

Safehave Marine say the design is suited to an ocean research and hydrographic survey catamaran capable of operating offshore for 7 days duration for 12 crew. To facilitate this the vessel has two sleeping cabins, one in the lower port hull and one in the st/bd hull, each fitted with 6x bunk berths and each cabin with its own separate heads compartment. A full galley is positioned in the f/wd port hull and is equipped for extended sea operations, fitted with a large capacity fridge freezer, dishwasher, 240v hob and microwave, large worktop areas and storage.

The vessel is fitted with twin Volvo D16 engines that provide the vessel with a 23kts maximum speed and an 19-20kts operational cruise speed.

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Why no phalanx CIWS yet more RN cut backs ….


better to paint the gosport ferry grey and call it a patrol boat. the magpie type is another sign that the M.O.D, is a complete mess run by idiots.

Daniele Mandelli


Geoffrey Roach

There are times when I think I’m living on some distant star……….

Nigel Collins

Due to the last round of cutbacks, we couldn’t even afford a second Magpie!


People do seem to forget that Magpies predecessor HMSML Gleaner was vital in actually getting HMS Queen Elizabeth out of Rosyth. I do not think she’s a waste of money at all. Small but at times vital.


Chris, irony I believe my dear fellow


Yes she’s an inshore survey vessel primarily, so not due for phalanx, especially when warships & others still lack them. Does QE even have miniguns yet?


Umm where is the 5 inch naval gun, 100 cell Mk41 vls, ciws and artisan…

David Steeper



magpie class ? another pointless waste of money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Rob Collinson

What a cracking replacement for HMS Gleanor. More robust and much more up to date. Can’t wait for the rest to come into service as well!!!


the whole class is a pointless waste, it will end up as another ‘fanny’ boat for some hooray henry’s at a university, like the archers are,at least drill a squadron of archers, mount the 20mm cannon they were designed to carry, and let them loose on the somali pirates.

Daniele Mandelli

You do know most will be work boats don’t you?

HMS Magpie is the biggest of the lot and fills a certain niche role.

She’s bigger than Gleaner I believe.


Indeed. Out of the ~ 38 planned workboats, only one is due to be commissioned, and that’s obviously Magpie.

Some will fill training roles, which are currently carried out by Army workboats, as shown here:

Magpie is larger than Gleaner – the Gibraltar squadrons vessels will now hold that title.

Rob Collinson

To right! Well said!


as the archers retire, they should be given to gibraltar to replace poor old sabre and scimitar, those boats have earned their retirement.


Sabre and Scimitar are up for replacement soon, though I don’t think there’s any word on what the replacements will be yet.

Nigel Collins

I wouldn’t mind one of these for fishing.
We might even be considering using it as a Russian escort ship through the English Channel!


lol we’ve nothing else.may as well give them something to do

Nigel Collins

All jokes aside, It’s a very well designed boat.
I hope the crew aren’t superstitious!


(Solemnly ) “The first of another class of Royal Navy Super Dreadnought has slid down the ways to join her brethren in the mighty battle squadrons of Scapa Flow…”

Seriously… 😀

Looks like it’s based on an oil field service boat design… Many USN small craft are, including this one I believe…


R Cummings

Aren’t these, at a guess, just workboats for what used to be the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service (RNXS), which was contracted out aka privatised and is now run by Serco? They have about 65 boats performing all manner of tug work, passenger ferries, etc, including 20 tenders, scattered around the 3 RN bases and various trials establishments. The Magpie looks fine for that kind of stuff, would be a good harbour/coastal tender. And it’s a nice shade of battleship grey as well! Quite why the RN needs so many harbour vessels for our small fleet is anyone’s guess. Scrap half… Read more »

Mr J Bell

She will be commanded by a rear admiral as we have enough of these for all the vessels in the Royal Navy and be deployed as the UKs contribution to NATO standing warship groups armed with a GPMG.
The magpie class shows the Royal navy is a growing navy and BMG are bringing more warships into service. NATO 2nd largest defence budget, growing navy….blah..blah…blah….

Mr J Bell

Grrr auto correction sorry folks meant HMG not BMG.


No problem Mr J Bell. Your comment seemed a bit whiney anyway.

John West

As a survey vessel she looks very well speeced.

Even if she only maps the UK ports for Naval vessels, including Belfast and the Mersey she will be worth the costs.

Geoffrey Roach

If andyreeves can get me one of the ‘ers’ as they retire I’m game to do trips ’round the bay…at a price.

Daniele Mandelli

He’s obsessed by the Gosport Ferry it seems, it keeps cropping up. Will that do?

Geoffrey Roach

Not built for speed Daniele, but with a 20 cal. behind the bridge and a RIB on the stern there is room for a commando group…

Daniele Mandelli

What are we waiting for? Nothing wrong with a bit of STUFT.

Geoffrey Roach

She ain’t the Canberra though!

Andy G

3 cell sea ceptor anyone?


3 cell ESM probably a better fit!


Mr J Bell

Gosport ferry. Retrofitted with torpedoes, RAM, sea ceptor and labelled axillary warship.

Lee H

Morning Slowly but surely the RN is recapitalising its fleet. More change is coming, some good, some will be perceived as bad. Who would have thought 12 months ago, the RN deployed worldwide on operations, bringing new ships into Service, being given Brexit money to keep legacy platforms going for longer and a 65,000 aircraft carrier busily working up with FOST getting ready for FJ trials towards the end of the summer. The RN still has lots of problems (weapon stocks, manpower and what to do with the Amphibious Fleet) but they now have the space to do it, doing… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach

hear, hear.

Daniele Mandelli



All the kit on HMS Magpie should be transferable, and the boat itself should just be one of a hundred CB90s or similar. A bit like our Multi-mission Wildcats. We have several and the one in hand gets the ASW kit or whatever other kit as needed for the mission. Our logistic trucks are/should be the same. Need a well drilling? Just put the well drilling kit on a lorry and off you go. You don’t need a “special” lorry, just special kit on a standard lorry. These work boats should be the same. Just a boat on a stern… Read more »