Berthon has a rich history of boatbuilding in the UK, servicing both the domestic and international commercial markets. Based in Lymington, Hampshire, Berthon employs over 100 skilled craftsmen working from modern shipyard facilities. Berthon has the ability to deal with all aspects of commercial boatbuilding work.
Berthon facilities include fully equipped marine engineering workshops, lineside stores and 10,000m of boatshed space including modern paint spraying and finishing sheds. We follow robust marine project management processes and are qualified to take commercial vessel builds from the initial design stage, right through to sea trial and delivery. Berthon is a financially secure business and is ISO 9001 (2008) certified for boatbuilding processes, as you would expect. This assures both high-quality boat construction and the reliable delivery of shipbuilding projects for our commercial clients. Full build registers are available to view.
You may have seen the new Shannon class lifeboat around the UK and Irish coastlines. Berthon built the first 12 of these superb vessels and, at the height of production, produced 6 Shannon lifeboats in a year. We have worked with the RNLI for the past 30 years to deliver the Arun, Severn and Shannon class lifeboats to the RNLI fleet producing 36 boats during this time, as the video below attests to.
Full Video Transcript – Charles Hunter-Pease Chairman of the RNLI
“Hi, my name’s Charles Hunter-Pease and I have the great honour and privilege of being the Chairman of the RNLI. I think the best evidence of the contribution of Berthon to the RNLI is that we’ve had a relationship for 30 years, and during that time, Berthon has built 36 lifeboats: Arun, Severn and Shannon and indeed they’ve built all the Shannon’s so far, that we have had. Berthon has displayed amazing qualities during the build and I think this is down to the teamwork within the organisation. Every single person in Berthon gets involved and discharges their responsibility to ensure that we receive a world class product. It’s proof because the crews are very proud of the boats that they get and, so far, in the last 30 years, Berthon lifeboats have saved 584 lives. They’ve also brought ashore something like 20 times that number; so Berthon boats have saved the equivalent of the population of Lymington.
The Shannon has proven to be probably the most acceptable boat to the crews, even before they’ve received it. We took the prototype round almost every station that was possibly going to receive the boat and any views that they had that it might not be the boat for them were completely overcome. It is so versatile, it also gets to the casualty in probably half the time that today it would take a Mersey to get there, and that was one of the principle reasons that we designed the boat; to get to the casualty sooner and to save more lives.
The crews think it’s wonderful. In fact, they’re so excited that they’re always pestering us to know if they’re going to get one and when it’s going to be. Berthon has proven to be one of the best organisations with which we’ve worked; to be able to deliver such a complex product as the Shannon Lifeboat, and I think I go to sea in my little boat feeling that the Shannon will be out there, if I need it, heaven forbid, but the crews will be there to ensure that I am safe”
Charles Hunter-Pease RNLI Chairman accepts an aneroid barometer from Berthon Director, Dominic May. The barometer was given by the RNLI to the Kingsdown Lifeboat station in the 1840s and we hope it’s found a good home, now that it has found it’s way home!