Boaty McBoatface: Timaru's port to put controls on $2.4m pilot boat naming
The public will have a say in the naming of PrimePort Timaru's new $2.4 million pilot boat, but we are not allowed to call it Boaty McBoatface.
Chief executive Phil Melhopt said they had not sorted out the finer details for naming the 15.6m self-righting vessel which has just been ordered from Australia's Hart Marine and is due to arrive in Timaru in July, 2017.
But they wanted to encourage community involvement in a similar way to the Aoraki tug boat in 2007 when 400 ideas were received, Melhopt said.
Ship naming has been brought back into the spotlight recently after the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) put the name of their new $414m (£200) polar research vessel to a public vote.
The public responded by overwhelmingly voting to call it Boaty McBoatface, though the British Government is now looking at over-riding that poll.
Melhopt said it was unlikely the pilot boat's name would be put to a public vote.
"Whatever we decide to do, we're going to be putting some reasonable parameters on it," Melhopt said.
"We don't want to end up with a name like Boaty McBoatface."
Melhopt said the boat had been commissioned because the 36-year-old Ohau pilot boat was reaching the end of its working life and was next due for survey in 2018.
"It's served the company well but the staff I think are looking forward to having something a bit newer to work with."
The new pilot boat, made of a low-maintenance fibreglass-like material rather than aluminium, would hold two crew and a maximum of four passengers.
It had a two Yanmar engines and a French designed Pantocaren hull and top speed of 51kmh (28 knots) and a cruising speed of 40kmh (21 knots).
It would have modern safety features and was importantly self-righting as Timaru's swells could be large at times, Melhopt said.
Lyttelton had purchased one of a similar design recently, he said.
"It's a good positive sign of PrimePort investing for the future."