UK first for Wormit Boating Club as it takes delivery of electric safety vessel


Boat officially launched and named by local school pupil

Wormit Boating Club & Watersports Hub has become the first in the UK to take delivery of a fully electric safety and training vessel, which was officially launched on the River Tay estuary on Friday 24th May 2024.

The purpose-built, latest model Pulse 63 RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) was built by RS Electric Boats in Hampshire.

Members of the club, the public and invited guests gathered at the club's open day on Saturday, May 25 following the unveiling of the vessel's name, eWOC (electric Wormit Operational Craft), which was suggested by nine-year-old Wormit Primary School pupil, Archie Dowdell.

Sailing and rowing boats, paddleboards, kayaks and other vessels were also on display on the river.

With a top speed of up to 23 knots, a range of up to 100 nautical miles and capacity for up to six people, the new vessel is a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to the club's ageing existing safety boats, which are fuelled by petrol.

Its sealed, onboard batteries can be charged via the mains in the same way as an electric car.

The purchase of the £100,000 vessel has been made possible by a grant from the Crown Estate Scotland and generous donations from local companies, individuals and club funds.

The new safety boat will support the club's current 200 members who take part in a range of watersports between the Tay road and rail bridges, including open water swimming, paddleboarding, kayaking, skiff rowing, dinghy sailing and powerboating.

The purchase of the new vessel is part of a wider modernisation strategy for the club, which includes plans for a Community Asset Transfer of the club grounds from Fife Council and ambitions to create a new clubhouse with a balcony and potentially a café overlooking the Tay.

Our Commodore, Ralph Webster,  said: "As a small but friendly boating club in Fife, we are proud to be the first in the UK to have this fantastic electric safety vessel, pioneering the use of its innovative design, features and specification on our local waters.

"We are all trying to help clean up the River Tay so are very aware of our commitment to preserving the local area, so as well as being the next generation in safety boats, eWOC is both sustainable and kind to the marine environment which provides so much enjoyment to our members.

"This lifesaving rescue boat will be the first of its type in Scotland and we are hopeful the modern technology will help us to continue to reduce levels of pollution, as our other sporting activities are generally carbon neutral."

Ralph added: "As a registered charity, we'd also like to acknowledge and thank everyone who has supported the fundraising campaign for the Pulse 63 RIB which has allowed us to lead the way in the UK as well as ensuring our members can continue to enjoy a host of watersports with the vital support of the safety vessel."

Based at Woodhaven Pier in the village of Wormit, close to Dundee, the club is a registered Royal Yachting Association Member and Training Centre.

The club's volunteer RYA Powerboat instructor Andrew Lumsden will also use this vessel as part of the RYA Powerboat Level 2 Courses run by the club. This will give those undertaking the course to experience new boat technology in addition to the club's current fleet of petrol-powered vessels.

Andrew said: "We are delighted to have received this vessel in full compliance and safety guidelines as set by the RYA and offers fully inboard seating for increased safety during Powerboat courses."

Jon Partridge, co-CEO of manufacturer RS Marine Group, said it was pleased to work with the club.

"We were pleased to work with Wormit Boating Club to supply its new vessel, which features advanced electric propulsion, is economically efficient and virtually silent. As well as being completely environmentally friendly, the boat requires ultra-low maintenance.

"It has a real-time range and uses the very latest technology to comply with the RYA Power and Safety Boat standards. We hope the club and its members will be very happy with their new vessel."