Team Britannia

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Team Britannia is a £multi-million British bid to design and build the fastest and most fuel efficient wave-slicing powerboat to circumnavigate the globe for the much coveted UIM world record currently held by the New Zealander Pete Bethune at 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes.

The World Record Authorities (UIM) dictate that for a recognised circumnavigation the craft has to pass through the Suez and Panama Canals and must start and finish in the same place.

The boat is a completely new design from Professor Bob Cripps, former Technical Director of VT Halmatic. It has been designed in the UK and will be constructed in the Portsmouth area out of marine grade aluminium. It encompasses “an exceptionally efficient hull”, which will cut fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent.

In addition to the design the vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion, a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifying agent from Clean Fuel Ltd. This will reduce harmful emissions such as particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide.

The effects of the emulsified fuel on the engines and the emissions will be monitored for the duration of the voyage and the results published online.

The boat is being built by Hampshire based ABC Marine, out of marine grade aluminium. The metal was produced by Blackburn metals and laser cut by specialist firm Aalco in Southampton.  

The whole construction process is expected to take around 36 months before it starts a programme of sea trials around the UK.  

Team Britannia aim to launch their record bid in one of the two weather windows, March or October. More news to follow.

Boat specifications:

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  • Length – 80 feet

  • Internal beam – 13 feet

  • External beam – 19 feet

  • Draft – 30 inches

  • Material – Marine grade aluminium

  • Hull thickness – 8mm

  • Build weight – 15 tonnes

  • Range 4,000 nautical miles

  • Engines – Two customised Fiat Power Train C13 500, 6 cylinders

  • Power – Each engine is capable of generating 500HP at 2,000 RPM

  • Water jets – Two Castoldi turbo drive 490 HC

  • Fuel – Emulsified diesel (diesel and water)

  • Navigation station – Raymarine

  • Total crew – 20 (12 onboard with 5 rotating on and off the boat plus 3 shore based)

  • Berths –up to 12

  • Communications equipment - Standard Horizon & Iridium Everywhere

  • Batteries – Mastervolt

  • Crew clothing - Sebago