New workboat, Duchess is officially named

From Port of Jersey
12th November 2021

A new workboat, Duchess, commissioned by Ports of Jersey earlier this year has officially been named and blessed at a short ceremony on Thursday afternoon, 11 November 2021

The new vessel has been built by Damen Shipyards Group at one of its shipyards in the Netherlands. It will be used by Ports of Jersey to further capitalise on the increasing opportunities of commercial work being undertaken by its Marine Services Team and is expected to spend most of its time in Northern Europe, carrying out a number of short and long-term marine related projects.

At 27m length overall and 11 metres beam, Duchess is 2-metres wider than the existing Duke of Normandy vessel, providing extra stability and increased deck space which will allow it to take on larger jobs. The vessel is not a replacement for the Duke, which will continue its obligations in local waters and will continue to be used off-island when required.

The ceremony took place in Hardinxveld and was attended by representatives from Ports of Jersey, including Harbourmaster, Bill Sadler and Head of Marine Services, Donford Nicholas. Also attending the short ceremony was officials from Damen Shipyards Group.

In line with a longstanding naval tradition, a ‘Godmother’ has been chosen to bring good luck and protection to the vessel. This honorary title has been given to Ports of Jersey employee, Fiona Planterose who was heavily involved in the procurement and negotiation stage of the project. Fiona also attended the ceremony in the Netherlands on Thursday afternoon and after giving a short speech, including blessing the boat, the traditional bottle of champagne was smashed against its hull to wish it good luck.

On behalf of Ports of Jersey, the Island’s Harbourmaster Captain Bill Sadler, says, “It has been an important day for our Marine Services business, and it was special to spend it with colleagues, our friends at Damen and partners in the industry. We look forward to Duchess building its own reputation in the workboat industry, as its little sister the Duke of Normandy has over the years”

Duchess is due to engage in its first commercial project imminently and has a number of commercial projects in Europe lined up. Until this time the crew will continue with its onboard training.

Due to its commercial commitments no date has been confirmed when Duchess will appear in local waters and visit her registered port.

A budget of £5.4M from its own commercial revenues has been allocated into the construction and marketing of the new vessel.

View a short video on the naming ceremony


Port of Jersey