The existing Police launch “Lady Elizabeth III” which has been around for nearly 20 years patrolling Wellington Harbour is to be replaced with a larger and more powerful boat.
The new boat will cost around $3.5 million and will be built around the same design as the Deodar III based in Auckland but with modifications to handle Wellingtons conditions, especially Cook Strait.
The police minister, Judith Collins announced the replacement earlier this month.
The head of the Wellingtons Police Maritime, Senior Sergeant John Bryant said his staff are rapt about the replacement but said that the Lady Liz III had done a fantastic job over the years being involved in many rescues and other exercises.
He said that the Lady Liz III had done some 600 incidents and 400 patrols each year.
The new boat will be longer than Lady Liz III and have twin hulls unlike the existing mono hull. At a length of 18.5m and being a catamaran hull it will be able to travel across the water quicker with a speed of 30knots (56kph) which equates to around 62% of maximum power.
Q-West boat builders from Wanganui is expected to start work on the new boat in July and sea trials will take place in 12 months.
Updated 11th March 2009