Royal barge heads UK Jubilee convoy

01 June 2012

Built under the supervision of our UKI Marine Operations Team, the barge will proudly bear the Lloyd’s Register coat of arms

The recently constructed royal row barge will be leading the UK’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations this weekend, heading a flotilla of ships along the River Thames

A 24 metre long wooden row barge is heading a flotilla of craft bearing the Queen’s trumpeters and invited guests on the River Thames for the UK Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations this Sunday 3 June.

The barge has been built in London and supervised by Lloyd’s Register’s Southampton-based UKI Marine Operations Team. Keith Vernon, LR’s Principal Specialist, said: “While the vessel will not be classed it will be certificated as an MCA Class V Passenger Vessel. To achieve this level of certification, it has been our responsibility to ensure that the hull was built in accordance with the approved plans and that the machinery and electrical aspects comply with our special service craft rules.”

“It has been a very interesting project because of the unique character of the project. Our initial concerns centred around LR’s limited experience of wood boat-building construction. Fortunately, we were able to recruit a wood specialist for the duration of the project. The special service craft rules do not specifically deal with wood construction so the preceding rules (yacht and small craft rules from 1969), were adopted,” he told a Horizons reporter.

The barge will carry the Lloyd’s Register coat of arms - as pictured on the Hub front page. Granted in 1957, the shield bears a mercantile crown, symbolising links with the merchant marine, above an open Register Book, emblazoned by the image of a sailing ship and set against a red cross for the City of London.

The shield is supported by a golden dolphin marked with the Maltese cross, and a golden lion marked with a sun - representing power and energy. The ground, or compartment, on which they both stand, is half-sea and half-land, denoting the division in the Society’s work.

The crest is a representation of the Lloyd’s Register Lady - her left hand rests upon a blue anchor which signifies strength, security and hope, and was first used on the Register Book in 1768. On her head she wears a mural crown; another symbol of links with the City. The motto, ‘Sine Præjudicio’, or ‘Without Prejudice’, succinctly sums up the impartial and independent approach of the Society.

Apart from a team of 18 oarsmen, the craft can move silently through the water with the aid of twin propellers driven by electric motors. The power will be drawn from a bank of Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries. “While the motors are not very powerful, they could be upgraded later on for operation in the lower reaches of the River Thames,” said Keith.

The barge, which was launched on 19 April, is the first royal barge to be built for almost 100 years. Post-Jubilee, it will be used for more royal occasions and for corporate events by the Mayor of London.

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