Team Britannia

Team Britannia to use innovative fixings to hold its massive tubes in place on world record attempt

Team Britannia will use an innovative fixing and insert to secure its massive inflatable tubes to the outside of its boat on its round the world record attempt.

The fixings and inserts from industry leaders Technifast have been specifically developed to allow the fitting of the two white tubes, which each weigh around 250kg, to the side of boat, without large numbers of people working on either side of the hull.

This is important as should either tube be damaged during the 23,000 nautical mile record attempt, the crew need to be able to replace the tubes without putting the vessel into a dry-dock.

The announcement will be made at the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company on Hayling Island, where the 80ft RIB is being built, by ocean racing legend and Team Britannia’s skipper Alan Priddy and Technifast’s Senior Engineer, John Garner. 

Alan explained: “We encountered an issue attaching our two huge inflatable tubes to the port and starboard sides of the boat. The hull of the boat is constructed from 6mm aluminium plate, and the fixing plates for the tubes required M10 bolts to be used.

“Tapping directly into the aluminium hull with M10 bolts would not be strong enough, as the softness of the aluminium material coupled with the constant slamming of the boat would pose a risk of the bolts stripping the threaded aluminium and pulling out.

“If that was not enough, we needed a fitting that would allow the crew to remove and replace the tubes without having to take the boat out of the water.”

After conversations between Alan and Technifast’s Senior Engineer, John Garner, a design was finalised for an insert which would increase the holding strength in the aluminium, but still allow the M10 fixings to be used to hold the two tubes in place. Crucially, it will give the option to release the tubes quickly in an emergency and for easy replacement.

John Garner explained: “As soon as it became clear what Team Britannia were attempting to do we were delighted to offer our services and support as a partner to this record attempt.

“The new design uses a larger metric external thread to give more surface area and better grip. We also removed all undercuts and extended the exterior thread length to ensure that every available millimetre of the insert will provide hold to the relatively thin and light hull of the boat.

“The increased strength also means that the inserts only need to be installed at 750mm intervals over the length of the boat, along the top of the hull with the holding plate bolted on. The tubes can then be attached and removed with relative ease.”

Work to complete the fitting out of the boat is well under way, with a revised completion date in late spring. It means that the record attempt could be launched as early as the winter, following lengthy sea trials and testing.

This latest announcement follows the news that global logistics and shipping firm GAC had “significantly” stepped up their support of the project and the Team had negotiated a deal with popular peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Secure, worth over £1 million, which ensures the completion of 80ft boat in late spring.

Team Britannia are using a boat designed by Hampshire based Professor Bob Cripps, former Technical Director of VT Halmatic. It will slice the waves, rather than surfing them, with its super-efficient design, a variant of the “fast displacement hull.” This reduces fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent, and should make the 23,000 nautical mile trip smoother.

In addition to the fuel-efficient design, the vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion developed by Portsmouth-based Clean Fuel Ltd - a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifier that when burnt reduces harmful emissions such as particulate matter and NOx.

Construction of the 80ft RIB started in 2015 on Hayling Island, near Portsmouth, at the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company. The hull was completed and turned in December 2016 allowing the completion of over 2,000 closing brackets. The installation of the final bulkhead and six massive fuel tanks is under way. Once fitted, the next job will be to install the engines and jets, before the wheelhouse is craned into place.

Then the fixings and inserts from Technifast will be installed at 750mm intervals over the length of the boat, along the top of the hull with the holding plate bolted on. The tubes can then be attached to complete the distinctive look.

In total there are more than 2,300 pieces of metal welded together by master boatbuilder Paul Johnson and his team, before seven miles of wiring are installed by Alan and his chief engineer Steve Mason.

Alan continued: “The bespoke solution developed by Technifast is beautifully simple, practical and most importantly effective. Yet again we are pushing the boundaries to ensure we have a boat that is both light and incredibly tough. I am delighted to be working with another Great British company.”

John Garner concluded: “We look forward to following their progress and wish them every success in breaking the World Record.”

The boat will be launched in 2018, and will then commence sea trials, which will include sailing round Britain, and London to Monaco.

After Monaco, the boat will travel to Gibraltar, for a final programme of sea trials. At this point the boat will be “stripped” of all luxury items.

Finally after a nautically themed festival in Gibraltar, Team Britannia will set off on their ambitious world record attempt from the famous racing mark at Europa Point.

To complete the record attempt the boat must pass through the Suez and Panama Canals and start and finish in the same place. The world record authorities, UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) have approved Team Britannia’s proposed route, which will start in Gibraltar and call at Puerto Rico, Manzanillo, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel.


Notes to editors:
Team Britannia is a multi-million pound British bid to design and build the fastest and most fuel-efficient semi-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, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator and must start and finish the journey 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 is being 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 the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company based in Hampshire, out of marine-grade aluminium. The metal was produced by Blackburns Metals and laser-cut by specialist firm Aalco in Southampton.

The boat will also showcase nearly two dozen leading marine companies, which are supporting the project with their expertise and equipment.

Team Britannia will launch their record from Europa Point in Gibraltar.

Boat specifications:

Length – 80 feet

Internal beam – 13 feet

External beam – 19 feet

Draft – 30 inches

Material – Marine grade aluminium, including nearly 12km of framing

Hull thickness – 8-10 mm

Build weight – 20 tonnes

Range 4,000 nautical miles

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

Power – Each engine is capable of generating 800HP at 2,000 RPM

Water jets – Two Castoldi turbo drive 490 HC

Fuel – Emulsified diesel (diesel, water and a unique emulsion developed by Clean Fuel and its partners)

Navigation station – Raymarine

Communications equipment - Standard Horizon & Iridium Everywhere

Batteries – Mastervolt

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

Crew clothing – Sebago

Logistical support by GAC

For more information and regular updates visit: or @team_britannia

For media inquiries, please contact:

Alistair Thompson| 07970 162 225