back to article Royal Yacht Britannia's successor to cost about 1 North of England NHS IT consultancy framework

Britain is to get a new ocean-going gin palace to schmooze VIPs, negotiate trade deals and fly the flag for UK Plc, the government confirmed at the weekend. The replacement for HMY Britannia – which was decommissioned in 1997 - is being hailed as a standard-bearer for British trade, able to host "high-level trade negotiations …

  1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

    Good news. 20 years overdue, but still.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Worth the price if it lasts as long as the last one and if schmoozing egos is what it takes to swing foreign orders our way then great.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Could be good PR

        Park it next to some Russian oligarchs MegaYacht in Monaco and they will get the message about the relative strength and importance of Britain and decide where they can safely hide their money without worrying about a strong government.

        1. Pen-y-gors

          I suspect it's more likely that it will be sold off cheap to some Russian billionaire oligarch after it's seized for non-payment of harbour fees in Monaco.

        2. John Jennings

          At only 200M - you are gonna need a bigger boat (budget)

          1. zuckzuckgo

            That's less than half the reported price for Jeff Bezos's new yacht. I guess trillion dollar corporations are the new empires. They're already working on their own space fleets.

      2. Stork Silver badge

        That is the price to get it approved, right? Nothing to do with the actual cost.

        As the permanence of Scotland (and NI) in the union is less the certain, how about naming it England, or Englandandwales? Little England?

        1. John Jennings

          Little Brittiania might be better

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Britannia was only retired when her pre and post nuclear strike role was deemed unnecessary and costs became very high. Cold war planners in the UK realised very important facts relatively early on. Namely that:

      One large bunker like the bunker under Box in Wiltshire was not H bomb proof,

      The missiles were getting more accurate,

      One strike could take out a lot of people in one go.

      And the Soviets almost certainly knew where the bunkers were.

      So a new Top Secret plan was hatched to send groups consisting of civil servants, senior trade reprentatives/negotiators (UK Supply Agency), ministers etc. to dispersed locations in the period of tension before a likely conflict. This was codenamed PYTHON and a very select few people knew of the existence of it. Officially the plan was still go underground in Wiltshire. Britannia was to host a Python group which wouldn't have included the royals.

      These groups would have met up after the bombing had stopped and tried to resupply the country from other nations. If you look up a bloke called Mike Kenner @wellbright on Twitter Gov document uncovered by Mike you can read more at https://www.subbrit.org.uk/features/where-did-the-government-go/ by Dr Steve Fox

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Thanks Jimbo, that's piqued my interest. Not sure why you got downvoted.

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          If you're interested in post nuclear planning then I would also recommend reading a book by Garret Graff called Raven Rock. Fascinating look at how they did things across the pond. They studied the dispersal concept the UK was using as opposed to hunkering and bunkering. The US military also had two floating bunkers the NECPA which stands for National Emergency Command Post Afloat. Well they did until the thought of it being torpedoed with the Commander in Chief on board became an overriding concern.

    3. MyffyW Silver badge

      HMS Hermes

      There's a fine example of British engineering currently in Alang, India. Could probably be procured for the cost of the metal and her renovation would be a showcase for our current talents as well as our constant fixation on the past.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "20 years overdue" is bit low for an overrun prediction on a UK project.

  2. Alistair Wall

    The construction costs won't be confirmed until after delivery. We may never know the operating costs.

  3. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Great British Engineering

    So they can’t say for certain that it will actually be built here?

    Embarrassing doesn’t come close!

    1. Flywheel
      Facepalm

      Re: Great British Engineering

      which is hoped will be built in the UK

      Lemme see now..

      * Imagined in Britain

      * Designed in Cupertino, California

      * Financed in The Emirates

      * Built in China

      Fixed it for you

      1. WolfFan

        Re: Great British Engineering

        Built in India, thank you. Probably designed there, too. Remember, India ‘s is now the #3 English-speaking navy in the world, and will catch up with and pass Britain for #2 shortly if HM Gov doesn’t get their fingers out.

    2. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Great British Engineering

      precisely

      Given they are pretending its for promoting UK trade (& not just another toy for the Royals as I'm sure randy Andy would like a floating shag palace) then if its not UK built then it will make the UK even more of an international laughing stock as its not promoting the UK if the boat is built in Japan, S. Korea or wherever (assuming that is even possible for UK reputation to drop further with its current poor image due to self inflicted damage of poor brexit & trade deal negotiations, pitiful COVID handling and a PM that is perceived rather less favourably in most other countries than by many UK voters). I thoroughly recommend reading "Foreign press" (albeit online easier than dead tree) to get a perspective on how the UK is viewed by others.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great British Engineering

        "I'm sure randy Andy would like a floating shag palace"

        That's just nonce-sense.

        1. Tim Worstal

          Re: Great British Engineering

          Quite, isn't rather the argument that he prefers doing it on islands anyway?

          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Great British Engineering

            South of Tit Hill in the lee of Bum Island

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Great British Engineering

          It's a made up drug.

          1. Korev Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Great British Engineering

            You're trying to have your Cake and eat it...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Great British Engineering

        Odd that you mention our glorious PM and "floating shag palace" in the same post, but don't connect the two. It was Boris who took his "Technology Tutor" on trade missions at Government expense wasn't it?

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Great British Engineering

          Trade MissionMissionary Position

      3. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Great British Engineering

        Most of the big ocean liners seem to be built up the road from me in Emsland, Germany.

        But, still the UK has a rich history of building ships. Just look at the Swan Hunter, Lythgow, Thornycroft, Vospers... Oh, wait... History... :-S

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Great British Engineering

          Then there are the yards in Finland, France and Italy, and the PRC of course.

          1. big_D Silver badge

            Re: Great British Engineering

            Of course. I get the information about each launch here, in Lower Saxony, because it is a big event, getting those huge liners up the river to the sea, they have to remove power lines and swing bridges open all the way up the river, so it is always big news, when one of those monsters is launched.

      4. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Great British Engineering

        First suspects would be the Netherlands and Germany really. Both have several well known builders of luxury yachts

      5. John Jennings

        Re: Great British Engineering

        The UK CAN build this class of yacht. However, I recall that the last UK Sea Cadet tall ship was built in Spain- rigged in the UK though. It was delayed a year because the spars were not ready....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Great British Engineering

          Well, at least this time round they won't be constrained by EU procurement rules which block 'national preference' unless you can show a national security justification (which the French are very good at doing).

          1. Tom 7

            Re: Great British Engineering

            You mean the security justification - like top secret comms on a barge which other countries used to build their fleets at home?

    3. Annihilator
      Meh

      Re: Great British Engineering

      To be fair, the original Britannia was built in Clydebank. If it was to be built near there again in the next decade, then I wouldn't bet with certainty that it was still being built in the "UK"...

      1. adam 40 Silver badge

        Indyvote 2

        ... that is if wee McKranky doesn't have her way....

        Does England still have any shipbuilding dockyards?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Indyvote 2

          No but it has few places that can put down some civil service carpet and paint an existing ship red white and blue. Now all we need is to buy a used trawler cheap.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Indyvote 2

            Civil-service carpet?! You might as well go full pleb and buy it from John Lewis! The Prime-Ministerial, sorry, Royal Yacht needs to be furnished to a higher standard than the common muck.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Indyvote 2

              Judging from the annual office/apartment refurbishment cost scandal I assumed civil service decor was made from crushed Faberge eggs

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Indyvote 2

              I'm sure the Aldi decor would settle well with their fanbase.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Indyvote 2

            paint an existing ship red white and blue.

            Isn't that what they did in 1952 for the previous Britannia? IIRC it's based on an existing Clyde ferry design.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Indyvote 2

            There'll be plenty of those for sale soon. Ask Nigel, he's an expert on the British fishing industry.

          4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Alert

            Re: Indyvote 2

            Now all we need is to buy a used trawler cheap.

            Plenty of those about after the brexit fishing deal

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Indyvote 2

          >... that is if wee McKranky doesn't have her way....

          She will be allowed to be towed behind in the; wee bonnie boat, like a bird on the wing,

        3. John Jennings

          Re: Indyvote 2

          Of course it does! Where do you think Toppers come from?

          Seriously, there are several luxury brands still down the south coast - Princess/Davenport. These sorts of ships might be actually built in a real shipyard though - like Harland or Vosper (yes, they do still exist)

          The real question is will be allowed to propose a name?

          BoatyMcBoatface II

          AndysExtension?

          Boris

          The list would be endless.....

          1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

            Re: Indyvote 2

            Boaty McBorisface

            Boris Boat One

            Carrie

            Dylan

          2. Warm Braw

            Re: Indyvote 2

            Ark B?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Indyvote 2

            If Andrew has use of it, maybe Lady Ghislaine would be a more apt name? Oh what a tangled web ...

        4. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Indyvote 2

          Does England still have any shipbuilding dockyards?

          But that's the point of national projects like this. It provides stimulus, and jobs, and helps save the shipyards. Plus has the potential for upsetting McKranky, unless the plan is to donate a partially completed yacht to the SNP as part of a future divorce settlement.

          Otherwise, in the interests of the environment, reducing commuting times and building a new centre of excellence for English ship building, senior civil servants have proposed a new shipyard in Fenny Drayton.

          (Also in the interests of the environment, it should obviously be a sailing ship. Best start replanting trees now so they'll be ready to use. Be like back in the good'ol days when forests were a strategic reserve to keep the Royal Navy afloat.)

        5. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Indyvote 2

          Ever heard of Cammell Laird? (RRS Sir David) Appledore ? Portsmouth? Pendennis?

          Also, I wouldn't be too ready to praise Scottish yards at present given their recent track record.

        6. Intractable Potsherd

          Re: Indyvote 2

          "... that is if wee McKranky doesn't have her way..."

          Sturgeon *is* getting her way - Scotland is still in the Union with perfidious Albion. If she actually wanted Scotland out, it would already have happened. As it is, she knows that the SNP and her personality cult are dead the minute independence is gained.

        7. rg287 Silver badge

          Re: Indyvote 2

          Does England still have any shipbuilding dockyards?

          Yes. Despite the disastrous closures under British Shipbuilding, there are a few surviving.

          Appledore in Devon (now owned by Harland & Wolff) did the hull for the 97metre MY Vava II - the largest superyacht built in the UK. The accommodation/superstructure was then fitted in Devonport.

          Appledore also did a number of military contracts including 130m patrol vessels for the Republic of Ireland (which are about the same size as HMY Britannia if we were looking for a similar sized replacement).

          Pendennis Shipyard in Falmouth only really goes up to 100m but could do the fitout for such a ship if someone like Appledore did the hull. Pendennis built the stonkingly pretty MY Steel - an ice-rated expedition cruiser with lovely classic lines. I desperately hope any new Royal Yacht has an elegant bearing and doesn't look like a scaled up Sunseeker or oligarch's plaything.

          Although UK shipbuilding is small, we do have the capability to turn out this class of vessel.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Indyvote 2

            rg287>Appledore in Devon (now owned by Harland & Wolff) did the hull for the 97metre MY Vava II - the largest superyacht built in the UK.

            That was 15 years ago, wasn't it ?!

            rg287>Pendennis built the stonkingly pretty MY Steel

            And that was 12 years ago.

      2. katrinab Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Great British Engineering

        Nowadays, they have the capability to build a boat that could take you from the Scottish mainland to a nearby island, but do they have anything big enough to build something like that? I don't think so.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Great British Engineering

      Britain hasn't built a yacht of any appreciable standard in decades.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Great British Engineering

        I think Sunseeker in Poole still build yachts. But I don't think that they are in the same league as the type of ship that I expect the Government want.

        You ought to bear in mind that HMY Britannia was built with dual purposes in mind. She was technically a ship of the navy, and was equipped to allow it to be converted to a hospital ship, although that never happened during her operational life.

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: Great British Engineering

          Actually, at that budget, they could probably take the Type 31 frigate design, remove the weapon systems and the more military of the radar fit, and reduce the installed power, and end up with something interesting.

          Might have some problems re-fitting the interior to make is more yacht-like, but the budgets are not that dissimilar.

          1. Tom 7

            Re: Great British Engineering

            The wallpaper definitely wont stay up in the damp marine environment.

        2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: Great British Engineering

          that never happened during her operational life.

          The problem was that being a 1950's design, Britannia's engines burned heavy bunker oil. Since recent Navy ships all burn light diesel they couldn't send Britannia anywhere (to the Falklands, for example) because they would have had to send a special fuel tanker to accompany her. Not only uneconomic, but impractical since it just created a two-birds-with-one-torpedo target.

          1. Korev Silver badge
            Pirate

            Re: Great British Engineering

            Also, apparently the lifts weren't big enough for stretchers either...

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Great British Engineering

          According to a quick interwebs search, a 2018 article reports the UK as #3 at building superyachts after Italy and the Netherlands. I think that was based on total keel length in construction and on order though, so not sure if any of them are capable of building something of this size.

          Despite the decimation of the British shipbuilding industry, there seems to be a surprising number of yards still operating capable of laying down a keel of this size.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Great British Engineering

            there seems to be a surprising number of yards

            Only surprising to those brits who take every opportunity to talk down their own country. The facts don't support their inferiority complexes.

            1. ICL1900-G3

              Re: Great British Engineering

              In which case, as you wish to be an ambassador for the UK, why so coy in your anonymous post?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Great British Engineering

                Anonymity doesn't change facts.

                Anyway, are we supposed to assume your real name is George III ?

            2. EnviableOne

              Re: Great British Engineering

              both Tyne and Clyde used to be lined with shipyards, I think they only have one operational yard each now, and I believe the only way they are kept afloat is with government contracts for parts of navy ships and state-funded ferries.

              Ferguson Marine, BAe Systems, and A&P are the only big guys left in UK hands, making larger vessels, and Fergusons are nigh on nationalised, and A&P most do refits and repairs.

              1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: Great British Engineering

                The last big ship built on the Tyne was the Largs Bay for Royal Fleet Auxiliary and she only managed about 5 years service before being "scrapped" as surplus to requirements and sold to the Australian Navy. It's all repair and maintenance these days in the surviving yards. The rest have been cleared for riverside housing around the old docks.

          2. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Great British Engineering

            Go to consider how they managed to knock out those two Elizabeth class aircraft carriers then.

            Using Hebburn, Portsmouth, Birkenhead and Rosyth.

            1. Intractable Potsherd

              Re: Great British Engineering

              Hardly glowing endorsements of ship-building...

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Re: Great British Engineering

                Not being in the ship acquisition business, I'm not aware of the merits of these shipyards.

                How about you?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Great British Engineering

            > so not sure if any of them are capable of building something of this size.

            They are not. Sunseeker will in theory knock up anything up to 160ft, but they are very much Yachts-for-sex-pests (all fiberglass and tinted windows) rather than what the government is seeking which is a Yacht-for-the-Royals. While this is despite the fact the Royals don't want a yacht, it does mean that we are firmly into hyperyacht or indeed moderate size ferry or cruise liner territory.

            Which Britain simply does not build. We build - badly - a modest number of warships. The government will claim this is the first step in reinvigorating a shipping industry. I doubt a single bespoke, 200ft vanity project is going to achieve that. Frankly I suspect they'd rather we buy literally anything else.

            Given this will likely really end up costing £4-500M, we could certainly buy quite a lot of literally anything else. We could even buy a big batch of new patrol boats to sit around near Guernsey scaring the French. That'd keep the target audience of Kippers and Mail readers happy and likely do more for both the Navy and our Naval industry!

        4. rg287 Silver badge

          Re: Great British Engineering

          Sunseeker and Princess (Plymouth) do indeed both build yachts still, but both top out at ~130-160ft.

          The old Britannia was 410ft, so a similar-ish replacement is well beyond the capacity of their yards.

          There are plenty of British (and indeed English) shipyards around who could handle the job though - Appledore being the first to spring to mind. May go to BAE Surface Systems though if she's to have a naval role (though plenty of naval ships are not built to warship standards - see HMS Ocean. I don't expect to see a new yacht built to any more than commercial spec).

          1. EnviableOne

            Re: Great British Engineering

            Ocean was a one-off, it was a stop-gap measure between the Invincible class retiring(late) and the QE Class coming into service (severely delayed, due in the late 00s)

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              Re: Great British Engineering

              Ocean was also built to civil shipbuilding rules (with some military uplift), so was always going to be a stop-gap measure with limited life.

              I hope that Brazil are able to keep the ship in good repair, because my feeling is that it's going to require a lot of TLC to keep it in service. But then I guess they have a history of keeping old warships running.

          2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            Re: Great British Engineering

            Appledore announced that they were ceasing shipbuilding after the current order book is complete about six months ago.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Great British Engineering

          "I think Sunseeker in Poole still build yachts."

          The largest boat they've build is < 50m.

  4. Dr Scrum Master

    HMY Conference Centre

    When mostly peaceful riots around international summits (G7, etc) were all the rage, along with the associated cordoning off of city centres, I proposed that all future summits or conferences should be hosted at sea.

    The result being that delegates can travel around to find the nicest weather and views, residents of cities would not be disrupted, protestors would cause less damage in major cities, policing costs could be reduced.

    A single vessel could probably be used by most if not all of the world's leaders as summits tend to happen at different times - except for the counter summits that take place when some group want to highlight that their problems are not being addressed by the main summit.

    Naval security can be handled by, err, navies as regular training exercises, thus keeping those costs down too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: HMY Conference Centre

      I think I might prefer the name "Vasa" ...

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: HMY Conference Centre

        I think I might prefer the name "Vasa" ...

        Wrong country, otherwise I might agree.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: HMY Conference Centre

          Mary Rose 2? If we are going with top-heavy, liable to capsize and built to fight the French.....

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: HMY Conference Centre

      It would pay for itself (if the £200m is to be believed) in no time. just on the UK Policing costs alone..,

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/05/cost-of-policing-g7-summit-estimated-at-70m

      Overtime forms at the ready!

  5. Aladdin Sane

    It is slated to cost about £200m

    So £400m then.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: It is slated to cost about £200m

      And it will be years before we find out who made a 10% commission from the design and implementation.

      They are saying "green technology" but the last boat I ever saw built with green technology was HMS Victory - that was a carbon-neutral boat unless the admiral pissed out of the back windows.

    2. Chris G

      Re: It is slated to cost about £200m

      "So £400m then?"

      I think you are leaning on the conservative side.

      Though at £200m it is cheaper than three F35s, probably cheaper to maintain and shouldn't become obsolete as quickly.

      1. rg287 Silver badge

        Re: It is slated to cost about £200m

        Though at £200m it is cheaper than three F35s, probably cheaper to maintain and shouldn't become obsolete as quickly.

        As another point of comparison, the RAF's Vespina Voyager aircraft cost £750m. £200m or even £400m is a bargain, and would be one the cheapest ships on the Navy's Register.

        I've no particular objection to us having a flagship - we're an island nation after all. The timing does strike me as Boris vanity project though and it would need to be used for more diplomatic missions/less Royal holidays than Britannia. It also needs to look a bit dignified, not a smoked glass/white carbon fibre oversized Sunseeker. There are yachts and there are yachts.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: It is slated to cost about £200m

      So £400m then

      I doubt that figure accounts for interior design by Lulu Lytle/Soane Britain. Better double it and add plenty of contingency

      1. EnviableOne

        Re: It is slated to cost about £200m

        All picked out by the new 1st (7th?) Lady

        I'd be surprised if that 200m doesn't get to at least a billion before it gets cancelled by the next government

    4. Grinning Bandicoot

      Re: It is slated to cost about £200m

      The original figure of 200 M was correct but not quite complete. Missing was the phrase "per each design and progress review committee.As for being green I believe the Cutty Sark was solar powered and Brit built

  6. FuzzyTheBear
    Mushroom

    Outrageous.

    There's people , kids , going hungry in the UK and you spend 200 mils on a yatch for people who truly don't need it ?

    Shame .. this whole thing is shamefull beyond belief. This is beyond acceptable. Shame on the whole bloody lot for even thinking they need this. They don't.. it's just another luxury for the 1% at your expense. What amazes me is " oooo it's a good idea .. " a good idea for the rich beyond belief that try to make you believe it's needed. Needed my a&& .. you're being taken for yet more of money that comes off your hard labor.

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Outrageous.

      To be fair, there are a lot of us who think the same as you. If there was the remotest chance that this vanity project would fulfil any of the stated aims, I'd be a bit less critical (but only a bit), however, I'll be surprised if a single one is achieved. If the current set of morons-in-charge* wanted to spend money to kick-start the economy, there are better things - like building enough housing.

      *Other sets are available - in fact, we seem to have the full collection.

      1. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

        Re: Outrageous.

        " like building enough housing."

        Another argument that annoys the crap out of me. I am not up on the housing situation in the UK but here in the US there are some enlightening statistics when it comes to housing.

        The highest housing prices are all in Democrat (Leftist) run cities and states. Why? Because they impose so many regulations on the industry that building new homes costs 3 times what it would in Republican run states. Therefore fewer houses are built and the supply is limited and prices go up. Which also pushes up rent prices.

    2. Cliffwilliams44 Silver badge

      Re: Outrageous.

      "There's people , kids , going hungry in the UK and you spend 200 mils on a yatch for people who truly don't need it ?"

      Every time I hear these arguments I always have to ask "Why?". As I recently read, the 2nd largest item in the UK budget after the NHS is welfare! So why are "children" gong hungry!? Is it the governments fault? is it the taxpayers fault? The real answer is NO it is not! It is the damn parents fault!

      Just like here in the US you can be in line with a welfare recipient in front of you and watch them buy food you can't afford with their food stamp allocation! Or stand behind them at a convenience store and watch them spend $250 on beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets.

      But no, you won't do anything about these parents who won't buy food for their kids! MP, that would not advance the agenda!

      The real problem with the poor is that in the western countries it is far to damned easy to be poor! Poverty should SUCK! Big time!

      I am so damn tired of this "save the poor, give me more money" argument from the left when the only results they every achieve is more poor people and more misery for the rest of us while their elites get richer!

      (i.e. Bernie Sanders, BLM activists, etc!)

      1. Shades

        Re: Outrageous.

        Isn't there a gun store you should be in, circle-jerking about one of the 239 mass shootings so far this year??

      2. Mooseman Silver badge

        Re: Outrageous.

        heir elites get richer!

        (i.e. Bernie Sanders, BLM activists, etc!)

        Have you considered that you may just be very very stupid?

  7. Rich 2 Silver badge

    Global warming

    So, what do you reckon the Sasquatch-sized carbon footprint of the new (diesel powered, unless someone can confirm otherwise) tub will be then?

    Large boats drink diesel like it’s going out of fashion. Oh hang on….

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Global warming

      They'll probably change the design to electric at the last moment. Watch out for a CFT for 5,000 miles of power cable.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Global warming

        Or nuclear powered. Repurpose a Vanguard powerplant and Robert's your Dad's brother!

      2. Dr. G. Freeman

        Re: Global warming

        Finally a use for all the MPs, political advisors, researchers etc.

        Give them an oar each.

        There's your green technology.

    2. Chris G

      Re: Global warming

      They want green technology, so unlikely to be a gas guzzler.

      I would suggest using pedalo technology, they could use MPs to power it and give them something useful to do while they are off on a foreign trip.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Global warming

        It will be powered by new magic Sovereignty (tm)

      2. adam 40 Silver badge

        Re: Global warming

        If it's "randy Andy's floating shag palace" then you could drop the 'l' and use Peado (sp??) technology....

      3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Global warming

        I would suggest using pedalo technology, they could use MPs to power it and give them something useful to do while they are off on a foreign trip.

        Not pedalo technology but hot air, something those MPs are very good at.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Global warming

          hot air

          Ah, so you are suggesting a flying gin palace instead?

    3. John Jennings

      Re: Global warming

      Not necessarily super yachts.

      They are often be powered off mixed fuels - basically any oil that can be on boarded and filtered... Diesel, yes, but also heavy oils or rape seed. The generators are a different matter - they might be diesel (or battery storage, possibly)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Global warming

        It's "light fuel oil" for super yachts. Exactly the same as what you'd use in a oil-fired boiler, or car. Apart from the appropriate tax-regime colourant.

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Global warming

        New large vessels are being built with diesels using on board closed loop scrubbers for emissions control.

        They are also LNG ready for when that fuel is available.

  8. Mr F&*king Grumpy

    Yachty

    I imagine the Great British Public will not be asked to come up with name this time....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aircraft

    It will be spec'd with the wrong type of landing pad/equipment and will then have to be equipped with US Marine crewed aircraft for its maiden voyage.

    At least it will keep the flag-shaggers happy/quiet for a little while.

    1. Rich 2 Silver badge

      Re: Aircraft

      As long as they don’t repeat the mistake of forgetting to put the prop shaft in and then have to (literally) cut the thing in half to fit it.

      Hopefully that particular balls-up is limited to our new aircraft carriers.

      1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Aircraft

        This time they will wait for the "green" engine technology to become available before adding the propulsion group...

    2. EnviableOne

      Re: Aircraft

      MoD Procurement has form for this:

      The type 26 has been designed with an American missile system for which the navy has no ammo

      The Merlin helicopter needed to take the air out of its tyres before it could fit in the hangar on the type 23 for the Sea King it was replacing until they added a foot to the height at refit

      The QE class have a less advanced power system than the type 23 built 40 years earlier

      The first type 82 was built before the carriers it was supposed to escort, and they were never completed.

      the RN was set to retire the Fearless and Intrepid (landing ships) in 1979, luckily it didn't and they were invaluable for the Falklands.

      and that's just a sample of the ones in my lifetime

  10. confused and dazed

    hard to support

    I just think that the days of us waltzing into a harbour and blowing peoples minds with a flash boat are in the past.

    Would this really generate a pay-back ? Hard to believe.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: hard to support

      Would this really generate a pay-back ? Hard to believe.

      I think it'll be kick-backs, not pay-back.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: hard to support

        That's the problem.

        We are hosting a trade delegation in your fair city, we have spurned the hotel chain with the name of your glorious leader in big gold letters and have brought our own sandwiches.

        1. Aladdin Sane

          Re: hard to support

          Trump isn't in charge in the US anymore.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: hard to support

            Trump never was "in charge" in the US.

    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: hard to support

      It does appear unlikely, doesn't it? That said, if it led to a single advantageous trade deal then it probably would be considered profitable. The question is whom is it likely to impress? I think we've moved beyond impressing the locals with our superior technology since most of them are building it for us.

      Of more practical use would be building the thing with a duel role as a hospital ship. Global Mercy is a 35k ton hospital ship with 6 operating theatres and 200 beds operated by a charity; a ship built between the size of our new carriers (65k tonnes) to the size of a cruise ship (200k tonnes) could easily support dozens of times that capacity while also acting as a floating gin palace for boozing local politicians at parties on occasion. It would probably also receive considerably more appreciation and long term use from everybody involved in the former role than the latter.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: hard to support

        Of more practical use would be building the thing with a duel role as a hospital ship.

        Britannia was, but had such a long service life that it eventually became obsolete in that role before it was needed.

  11. anothercynic Silver badge

    Utterly ridiculous waste...

    We don't need a flagship! Like I said to someone else online, Princess and Sunseeker are the pinnacle of flagship building. They put the best of the best into their yachts time and again, and every boat out there is a testament to their craft. £200 million for a pleasure cruiser for the government to prance about with... REALLY? Spend the money on a pay increase for the lowest paid in the NHS instead.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Utterly ridiculous waste...

      Sunseeker is, in fact, Dalian Wanda Group of China.

      Princess is, in fact, L Capital 2 FCPR of France.

    2. EnviableOne

      Re: Utterly ridiculous waste...

      Technically the RN flagship is still Victory

      It sits in drydock in Plymouth flying the flag of the Commander of the Home Fleet.

  12. xyz Silver badge

    When 2 planes just aren't enough..

    ... Gimme a boat. I name it Boris McBoatface

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is just such bullshit, the average 100 mtr superyacht costs over $275 million, alongside them and costing only £200 million this thing is going to be a pedalo that impresses nobody capable of offering up trade deals.

    The only people who will think this is a good idea when footballers are having to shame the government into feeding hungry children are the hard of thinking Daily Mail and Express flag shaggers

    1. Rich 2 Silver badge

      While I don’t necessarily disagree with your sentiment, I don’t think your numbers back up your argument. The Sterling:Dollar rate is about 1:1.4 and Britannia was only 126m long. So £200m seems to fit nicely into your super yacht baseline - ie, it has the potential to be a super yacht, and not a pedalo.

      The gov will still fuck up the procurement and its cost will be closer to a billion of course, and it won’t set sail until 2086, but that’s a different issue

      1. EnviableOne

        Less Super, more Yacht, with the Sir Humphry brigade involved ...

        MIght still need to be human-powered though

  14. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Look Squirrel !

    This is a Boris distraction announcement - if this is the best they can do, then either Cummings revelations aren't really that devastating, or they left the work placement kid in charge on friday afternoon.

    The original royal yacht probably made sense. In 1952 it wasn't easy to get a Queen, a few 100 VIPs and their security to some small British Caribbean island and if you did the costs of hosting them would have been a huge drain on the local resources. Turning up with your own stage set and roadies made a lot of sense.

    The idea that showing up in China with a yacht smaller than Bezos's backup boat is going to awe them into a trade deal isn't even Farage level idiocy.

  15. chivo243 Silver badge
    Happy

    And another El Red official Unit!

    about 1 North of England NHS IT consultancy framework... Is there a list of these informational nuggets somewhere?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: And another El Red official Unit!

      "Is there a list of these informational nuggets somewhere?"

      https://www.theregister.com/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html

  16. WhereAmI?

    IIRC the previous Britannia was also on standby as a wartime hospital ship. Possibly the same will be applied here too.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Not sure the NHS has the budget for a war anymore.

      If you want a war you probably have to go private

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If you want a war you probably have to go private

        Or outsource it, like Bliar did.

        1. Dave 15

          Blair didnt

          He sent our troops out with inadequate equipment, you don't pay dead soldiers redundancy or pensions. Much the same as why Thatcher allowed the foreign office to start the Falklands war

          1. Mooseman Silver badge

            Re: Blair didnt

            "you don't pay dead soldiers redundancy or pensions. Much the same as why Thatcher allowed the foreign office to start the Falklands war"

            Er, no. The families of soldiers killed in service retain their pensions even if they later remarry (post 2015 - previously if you remarried you risked losing the pension of your deceased spouse).

            Thatcher allowed the Falklands to escalate because she was the least popular PM in about 50 years at the time, distracting the public with a bit of muscle flexing and killing foreigners allowed her to get away with murder.

            If you really imagine that the tiny amount of money the UK spends on military pensions was the real reason behind both the Falklands and Gulf 1 and 2 then you are delusional.

    2. Korev Silver badge

      Apart from the lifts being too small for stretchers and the fact it was never used as such (eg Falklands, Gulf Wars etc)

  17. Pen-y-gors

    Usage?

    Britain is to get a new ocean-going gin palace to schmooze VIPs, negotiate trade deals and fly the flag for UK Plc

    Nah. It'll be for Boris to swan around on with his latest mistress, leaving La Cicciolina Symonds to have a week on the beach in Essex with poor Wilf.

  18. Borg.King
    Pint

    Name game

    Shaggy McShagPalace

    (Beer icon for all the German lager and French wine that'll be consumed on the tub.)

  19. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    ...might include docking at a port in a country where a British Prime Ministerial visit is taking place to accommodate parallel discussions between British and local businesses

    That would be 2 or 3 weeks in the Caribbean every winter

  20. Muppet Boss
    Pint

    Could they pitch this brilliant idea to Dragon's Den or something first?

    'This ship will promote British business and trade to emerging markets.'

    'Will she make money?'

    'No.'

  21. Chairman of the Bored

    Will it be used for...

    Navel exploration and offshore drilling?

    Looking for clams?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ooohh! another naming contest ???

    Boozy McBoozeFace ?

    Britty Mc BritFace ?

    Briby Mc BribeFace ?

    Looking forward !

  23. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    The Brexit Voyages of the Vital Spark

    Para Handy - Boris Johnson

    Dougie - Nigel Farage

    Dan Macphail - Michael Gove

    The Tar - TBC

    Sunny Jim - TBC

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The Brexit Voyages of the Vital Spark

      Not forgetting the insufferably intelligent cabin boy, Roger, who repeatedly saves the ship from disaster.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: The Brexit Voyages of the Vital Spark

        We badly need one like him in the government

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: The Brexit Voyages of the Vital Spark

        Is he related to Bates the ship's Master.?

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: The Brexit Voyages of the Vital Spark

          No, not related per se. But the latest information I saw was "Currently in a relationship".

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: The Brexit Voyages of the Vital Spark

            And the lower ranked Staines, still an ordinary Seaman ?

        2. Dave 15

          Re: The Brexit Voyages of the Vital Spark

          Not sure about relations but if I remember the song right he used glass in quite an imaginative way for circumsition

  24. Russell Chapman Esq.

    Cost per metre.

    On average, luxury motor yachts cost approximately 1 million British Pounds per metre, to build.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Cost per metre.

      Metres? This is a British ship and will be built in Guineas per quarter furlong!

    2. Korev Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Cost per metre.

      But who will foot the bill?

  25. gandalfcn Silver badge

    The Boris Bonk Boat

    Another of Boris' daft ideas, but his adoring, gullible, public will gladly pay for it

  26. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Swiss Cheese

    The Swiss will be mightily impressed when Boris sails in with a trade delegation on board into Lake Geneva

    1. Dave 15

      Re: Swiss Cheese

      Strangely he could the proposed ship is smaller than the rhein barges that traverse the rhein all the way to the lake and across

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Swiss Cheese

        I hadn't considered that/presumed this would be a big affair in order to impress the locals. But I guess not too big lest it upsets the oligarchs and the like who have their own yachts and who may be now and then pickup tabs for the odd meal and sundry items

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Swiss Cheese

          Just look at the yachts of the British manufacturer Sunseeker ( https://www.yachtsroyal.com/sunseeker/ ) and imagine how much money flows through their shipyard. In any case, these are modern works of art and a large number of jobs.

      2. Korev Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Swiss Cheese

        The Rhine isn't navigable much further than Basel. Do you mean the Rhône?

      3. Mooseman Silver badge

        Re: Swiss Cheese

        How do they get up the falls at Schaffhausen?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Swiss Cheese

          Portage. The Vikings and/or Varangians managed it.

          1. Mooseman Silver badge

            Re: Swiss Cheese

            "Portage"

            Well that could solve the local unemployment issues :)

  27. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    Boriscarraldo

    The epic story of British PM Boris Johnson taking trade delegations to land-locked countries in the government flagship yacht.

    Unlike the problems endured by Carlos Fitzcarrald, the British ship of trade delegations will be designed by DARPAARIA and will feature an integral ship-lift and wheels to haul itself up from the water and traverse land, thus demonstrating the best of British Ingenuity.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitzcarraldo

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Boriscarraldo

      I managed to get "Fizcarraldo" as an internal project codename - I always felt it was the perfect movie representation of software development.

  28. hammarbtyp

    Its amazing how Germany, Netherlands etc have managed to export more without a their own yacht.

    However I am sure they will regret their oversight when our yacht sails serenely into Seoul, Beijing, New Delhi, and the natives will be so blown away by this magnificent technology that they will instantly put in orders for Piccalilly, Potato crisps or whatever else the UK still makes

    (or alternatively, the money could be just spent reinforcing the trade missions in the targeted countries, funding R&D at home, improving UK infrastructure, etc )

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Alert

      Pork Markets!

      The government's finest...

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRhlRM6rYck

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "or alternatively, the money could be just spent reinforcing the trade missions in the targeted countries, funding R&D at home, improving UK infrastructure, etc"

      Others have also mentioned funding for the homeless, the poor, the NHS, schools and education etc. But £200m is a drop in the ocean (pun intended) in terms of the UK budget and the recent year or twos worth of borrowing. If this bath toy can be directly attributed to even one decent sized trade deal, then it will easily pay for itself. Yes, it looks like a poor vanity project, yes, it's cheaper and smaller than Bezos private yacht (and many others out there), but sometimes, when striking trade deals, sometimes the stupidest and smallest of details can make all the difference. If that means wining and dining CEOs and Government leaders on a new "Royal Yacht", possibly in the presence of actual British Royalty, then so be it. Some people and countries are still impressed by this sort of thing.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        > Some people and countries are still impressed by this sort of thing.

        Yes and all we need to do is find some 3rd world country are in the market for whatever Britain still exports (high-tech pharmaceuticals, complex financial instruments, royal wedding tea-towels), has a coastline, and would prefer a visit from white-mans-giant-canoe than a straight forward bribe.

      2. hammarbtyp

        £200m is a drop in the ocean (pun intended) in terms of the UK budget and the recent year or twos worth of borrowing

        In terms of government expenditure it does not sound a lot, but considering the total budget for export trade mission is about £438 million, it is a lot in this context

        But of course we know it will not cost £200m. Firstly this will be a government contract, so there will be lots of oversight, departmental in-fighting so £50 mill will be spent just on standard government bureaucracy. Then there will be the feature creep. It will need a bigger helipad, ocean refueling, encrypted comms, protection measures, rtc. To be honest 200m will be just the design phase, triple that to get the boat built and off the ramp if you are lucky

        Then will be the long term cost of running, manning it and maintaining it. We have the cost of moving this floating gin palace around the world, and hope it it is not needed in Mexico 2 weeks after docking in Chennai.

        Also there is the issues of security. Embassies etc are relatively easy to protect, but a moving, floating representation of the UK government heading just outside Iranian territorial waters? It may need its own frigate escort just to get to some places

        But as you say it would be worth it if it gets us a better trade deal. But how do you prove that? Our major export competitors seem to manage without Boris' knob extension, so maybe it would be better looking at how our competitors succeed rather than harking back to some imperialistic past which no longer exists.

    3. Dave 15

      Strangely

      Oddly the Germans export despite paying their engineers and workers far better than our brainless tight wad bosses pay us. This leads the way for the workers having pride in what they produce and buying German themselves. Their government is also supportive buying exclusively German with German tax payers money. This all leads to German companies having a sales base to say for development and marketing. Frankly it's not difficult to see or understand, and once upon a time the British had pride in themselves and their work and developed, expanded and invested. Now the bosses outsource to China despite its horrendous use of slave labour and threats to neighbours, they invest more in their arises and bonuses than they do their products and pay as little as they can get away with then wonder why the workers left here don't give a damn anymore than the Chinese do

  29. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    The Great Britannia?

    Sounds very much like somebody in government needs somewhere offshore for secret shenanigans. Isn't that what all banana republic dictators have?

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: The Great Britannia?

      I believe the term is "Ugandan discussions" or a variation thereof

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recurring_jokes_in_Private_Eye#Euphemisms

  30. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Pirate

    With any luck, it can sink with a whole government aboard, whatever its pretending side.

  31. Dave 15

    If it's not deigned and built in the UK from UK sourced materials

    If not designed and built here from UK sourced materials it will be a British tax payer funded advert for another country and a further. Blow to UK manufacturing. How can we sell jags when Blair was buying BMWs for prime ministerial cars or sell ships when all the Royal navies supply ships were built in Korea. It beggars belief that the civil service don't understand the damage done by these decisions, in fact as most are still educated by the universities that produced Blunt and his chums I can only believe civil servants are working (probably for free) for the KGB. They certainly wreck UK industry. When was the last time your police or council bought British instead of German, French or even Italian? Decades, what does this free advertising do.... Screws the tax payers who fund it!

    1. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: If it's not deigned and built in the UK from UK sourced materials

      The police buy vehicles that perform best for the money they have available. The days of plod tootling around in an Austin Allegro are long gone - what "British" cars should they be using, in your universe? Morgans? Ford is US owned, Vauxhall is US owned, JLR is owned by Tata (Indian), we don't have a British owned car they could use other than a few specialist companies, so I really don't see the point of your comment.

      You honestly believe that the general public base their car buying decisions on what they see the police driving, or the little vans the council provide?

      Why were the navy's supply ships built in South Korea, do you think? Was it a fiendish plot to undermine Britain or was it simply a matter of economics and the ability to build the things to a budget and spec without the usual vast overspend and delay we are familiar with from UK sourced vessels?

      You seem obsessed with Blair and Cambridge university in the 1950s, no idea what the relevance is to 2021.

  32. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Entertainment

    The visiting foreign dignitaries can be entertained in the Ball Room of the yacht by Boris with his skill in Pole Dancing he picked up when he was preparing for earlier trade missions when he way Mayor of London

  33. meadowlark
    Stop

    BOATY MACBOAT

    Why do we want a bloody ship when a trade delegation or Bojo turns up in another country ? No one else does this. You just hire a big posh venue in the host country, and then wine and dine your potential clients there. Unless of course it's secretly just for the Queen and the rest of the royal mob.

  34. RavenBlue

    Plenty of retired Type 22 frigates out there. Retain the turrets, and adopt some gunboat trade tactics

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