Whanganui boat builder Q-West has scored another major contract, this time to build a pilot boat for Wellington's port company.

The new vessel is due to be in service from August next year. It's the second pilot boat the Whanganui company has built for CentrePort, along with the Wellington-based Maritime Police vessel Lady Elizabeth IV. And two years ago Q-West built another Camarc-designed pilot boat for Port Taranaki Ltd.

The port company would not say how much the new boat will cost but the all-aluminium vessel is 19.5m long and is powered by two Scania diesel engines which drive through a Hamilton jet unit. It has a top speed of 31 knots.

Derek Nind, CentrePort's chief executive, said his company selected Q-West because it was a well-respected company "with an excellent pedigree in boat building and a professional and highly motivated staff".


Mr Nind said last year CentrePort contributed $2.5 billion to NZ's GDP and this contribution was increasing each year.

He said the new pilot boat was part of an investment strategy designed to support and foster CentrePort's growth.
"With superior manoeuvrability in mind we decided the new vessel should be jet powered. Its increased size will enable pilots to embark and disembark ships further out in the Cook Strait," he said.

Colin Mitchell, Q-West's general manager, said the Castlecliff boat yard was "delighted" to win the contract.
"It will strengthen Q-West and CentrePort's successful, long-standing relationship and both companies' commitment to the Whanganui region," he said.