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.Β 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.


  1. 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.

    • 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.

  2. 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 a dozen of them and get another T31!

  3. 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….

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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 it for the first time with some political support that has been sadly absent over the last 8-10 years.
    Baby steps, but stops never the less.

  7. 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 ramp or davit and a store of special kit to be put on board as needed.


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