Tel: +44(0)1590 673312 E-Mail:

Contact Berthon

  • Our monthly E-News.
  • Occasional details of our upcoming events, products and services.
  • An email version of our annual Lifestyle Publication.

Pilot boat refit case study: Pilot vessel ‘Providence’ from ABP South Wales – Part 1

ABP - Associated British PortsABP Providence

Download the full casestudy – Pilot boat refit – ABP Providence

Built by VT Halmatic in 1998, the Providence has been in continuous use at ABP South Wales since then. With around 15000 hours under its belt, the boat was beginning to become unreliable and was looking very tired.

Rather than commission a brand new pilot boat, ABP South Wales decided to extend the life of Providence by giving her new machinery and improving the design of several aspects of the boat based on user experiences over the years.

In order to fully assess the fabric condition of the hull, all of the fendering and skin fittings were removed and a full polish carried out with any local repairs being carried out as required. The signature double yellow flash was re-painted to ensure the hull looked clean and fresh post refit.
Providence APB South Wales

The underwater section was blasted back to reveal any damage which was repaired before new layers of Antifoul paint were applied

The original and now unreliable Scania D14s were removed early on so that the engine room bilges could be drained of any residue water and oil, cleaned, repaired and re-painted. Many of the detailed overhaul and repair jobs were carried out whilst the engines were removed so that access was clear and easy. Among other jobs, new hydraulic pipework and the steering overhaul were completed at this time.
Providence - Engine
The main longitudinal stiffeners which provide the engine foundations were cut out and remodeled to accept the new engine and gearbox geometry, ensuring a perfect alignment was created for the new propeller shafts.  Once this was completed, brand new Scania DI13s were fitted, these are not only more powerful than the D14s, they are lighter and more fuel efficient too.

In order to transmit the power to the propellers efficiently and reliably, the old gearboxes were removed, fully re-built with many new parts and re-fitted at the same time as the engines.

Commercial Yacht Engine replacement

One of the major re-design jobs that Berthon carried out was the re-arrangement of the Engine room ventilation system. The original ‘factory’ fitted trunking was very large, taking up too much free space and allowed too much sea water spray into the machinery space with the associated salt contamination, corrosion and electrical problems.

Berthon have overcome this with clever use of Premaberg mist eliminator filters and re-sizing and re-directing the vent trunking. Also more powerful fans have been introduced which will lower operating temperatures inside the machinery space allowing the engines to run more efficiently.

The Wheelhouse:


  • Wheelhouse glazing (19 windows) were all removed, replaced or re-conditioned as required.
  • The old Cab Seating (8) were removed  and replaced as required.
  • All of the deckhead panels have been removed and re-insulated and carpeted.
  • Trim panels were repaired/replaced as required.
  • Flooring replaced.
  • Any exposed woodwork removed and varnished.
  • Foot locker (seat bases) cleaned and polished.
  • Fire control panel re-worked and labeled.

The Helm and crew consoles have been re-modelled to include the brand new Raymarine electronics along with new Scania engine displays; with this came an extensive re-wire of the boat.

Wheel House in Refit of ABP PROVIDENCE
Kobelt electronic engine controls have been fitted to control the new Scania engines in the existing morse lever control area which affords more precise throttle control over traditional cable systems whilst maintaining the coxswains favoured ergonomic layout of the helm console.

Wheelhouse External:External Wheel House changes

  • Mast removed, stripped and re-painted.
  • New Navigation and signal lights fitted.
  • New remote controlled search lights fitted.
  • Antenna and radar mounts re-furbished and re-fitted.
  • New GPS and radar antennas fitted.
  • Full polish of the superstructure and any damage repaired as required.

Part 2 – Providence Pilot boat refit


Berthon will be pleased to discuss your requirements refits and maintenance or general information on this case study.

Request Information