Cammell Laird kite boat

'CL Challenger' will embark on a series of fundraising challenges 'CL Challenger' will embark on a series of fundraising challenges
Industry Database

Merseyside, UK shipyard and engineering company Cammell Laird has held a special ceremony to launch a unique kite boat designed to raise funds for charity Claire House Children’s Hospice.

The CL Challenger was designed by retired shipyard naval architect Bill Owen incorporating a kite as the main power source to propel the vessel. The eco-friendly vessel also generates electric power for radio, lights and GPS through batteries charged via solar panel.

It will now be used by a team of intrepid kite surfers for a range of sea-faring challenges to raise vital cash for the Bebington children’s charity.

The boat-building project was funded and completed with support from a number of firms within the local marine community.

The vessel’s main hull was built by volunteers Bill Syvret and Bill Owen with the assistance of Cammell Laird foreman shipwright Barry Wong and his team of shipwrights. During the later stages Mark Gillam of Seaking Electrical and Pyeroy painting contractors provided additional expertise.

Meanwhile, Birkenhead based MPE Interiors supplied plywood and cut out vessel frames with CNC wood cutting machines. GRE material for the tubular sponsons was supplied by Pipex, and upon completion the vessel was surveyed by Steve Roberts of SR Marine Surveyors.

The official hand-over saw crew members - Neil Gyllenship, Mike Palmer, Ben Kirkpatrick, Dean Jagger and Jayne Dixon – who were also involved in the design phase taking charge of the vessel.

They will now embark on a series of adventurous fund-raising challenges in 2017 starting with a return voyage from Liverpool to the Isle of Man.

By Jake Frith

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