HMS Gleaner has ended her career in the Royal Navy, HMS Magpie will now take her place.

The vessel replacing HMS Gleaner is a catamran based on the ‘Wildcat 60’ design (pictured above) with a beam of 6.2m and a draft of 1.4m. The vessel has a 33,000kg lightship displacement and a loaded displacement of 37,000kg.

Cork based shipyard Safehaven Marine are constructing the vessel, the largest of a fleet of up to 38 new workboats, ranging in size from 11 to 18 metres, being supplied to the UK Ministry of Defence by prime contractor AEUK.

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.


0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I know it’s not a warship and doesn’t need an incredible name, but magpie, really?

Stephen G.

h.m.s. Diamond is another joke, that’s not going to strike fear into an enemy’s heart, it sounds like the name for a cruise ship.

Paul Braham

Tell that to the succession of destroyers called Diamond.


Well, it’s not as if there have been 11 previous RN warships named Diamond or anything.
It’s a historic name.


What were you thinking, HMS Eagle?

james hastings

And its armed with ?


…… a strongly worded letter..

Harry Nelson

Probably the same as GLEANER as it’s an inshore survey vessel……..

Harry Bulpit

No requirement for armourment


It’s a survey ships idiots.


It’s not just me then ?


In Wartime the RN took up numerous small private pleasure craft into navy. They were usually commissioned ships. They were usually armed to scare off marauding German aircraft. My 37ft launch was an Echo Sounding Boat or Minehunter on the Clyde from 1941 to 1944, HMS Amy ll. That’s a lot stupider name than HMS Magpie or HMS Mouse another Echo Sounding Boat, which sadly was destroyed with considerable loss of life in Falmouth by exploding ordinance.
Small boats in harms way. Lest we Forget.


Speaking as an Australian, magpies are vicious territorial [email protected] So, the RN should plan to use her for harassing the opposition, dive bombing unsuspecting pedestrians, and generally striking fear in anyone within a 10 mile radius.


The name Magpie has graced 8 previous RN ships going back over 200 years, perhaps the most prominent being a Black Swan class sloop of WWII. That particular Magpie took part in sinking a U-boat and was used to stand in for HMS Amethyst in moving shots during the filming of The Yangtse Incident. I have to say that the choice for Gleaner’s replacement surprised me as I was expecting something more directly connected to survey vessels of recent vintage. Having said that, several of Magpie’s ancestors were used for survey work in the 19th century, although originally built as… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

I like the name actually.

What did people expect? Hood? Ark Royal?

Ian Skinner

Good name- as it will be looking out for stuff on the sea bed- always good to see traditional names re-used


It should be noted that this vessel represents an enhancement to the fleet as it is much larger and presumably better than Gleaner.

So all in all a good day for the RN – saying goodbye to an old friend but getting a much better replacement.

Daniele Mandelli

No reason why if in dire threat scenario the vessel could not be given GPMG for patrol work.

Otherwise no need for weapons.


See my comment above regarding small commissioned RN vessels in WW2.