Business Growth Tool for Marine Sector

Solent based company Launch International is seeking participants in a trial for a business growth tool designed for the maritime sector.

Free opportunity for MSE companies to trial business growth tool website


Launch International LogoAre you looking to grow your company and improve your bottom line performance? Is your company seeking funding, expertise, equipment, new connections, or opportunities?

If so, you are invited to become part of a unique, free pilot to trial the ‘Launch Find Engine’ for the Marine Sector!

At Launch, we know the challenges that business face on the path to growth. This is why we have created a unique set of business tools that can revolutionise the way businesses grow!

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SuperCarriers Video: Preparing Portsmouth harbour

SuperCarriers Video about preparing Portsmouth Harbour

The MOD’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation have released a new SuperCarriers video. Take a look at the preparation work and dredging that took place in Portsmouth Harbour.

The Carriers arrival

The arrival date is still not confirmed. There were plans for the public to welcome the SuperCarriers – it was going to be during the school year. Local schools will give the opportunity to pupils to attend. There is though a chance that it might now take place over the summer months.

Always great to see a new SuperCarriers Video though!

The Queen Elizabeth from the SuperCarriers Video, shown against the Portsmouth Harbour skyline
An artist impression of one of the super carriers in Portsmouth Harbour

You can read more about Portsmouth preparing for the new SuperCarriers at

You can also read more about the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth flagship at


How to prepare for the amazing new supercarriers!

May 2017 sees the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth, at her home base, HMNB Portsmouth. It is one of two supercarriers currently under construction, along with the HMS Prince of Wales. With a length of 280 metres, a width of 70 metres and a height above the waterline of around 62 metres, significant planning has taken place to enable it to enter Portsmouth Harbour.

Supercarriers infographic
Supercarriers infographic from the defence infrastructure Organisation.


The Queen Elizabeth class supercarriers will be the largest ships to ever enter Portsmouth Harbour. Surveys took place five years ago to ascertain where works would be needed to enable these leviathans to make their way through the narrow harbour entrance into Her Majesty’s Naval Base.

The channel previously had a maintained depth of 9.5m but the draught of the Queen Elizabeth class is 11m. Dredging an additional metre would need to take place, displacing over 3 million cubic metres of clay, sand and stone.

Boskalis Westminster, a local company base in Fareham won the contract for the dredging. It is a good example of how local supply chains have benefitted from the construction of the two supercarriers. There were a number of unexploded bombs from the second world war found during the dredging which were towed out to sea and detonated in a controlled explosion.

The primary channel is now complete and the surrounding area is being cleared. Further surveys will take place before the supercarriers arrive to ensure nothing has changed in the meantime.


Picture of the Solent with navigation aids both near and far.
Navigation aids both near and far from Southsea seafront. The Isle of Wight is in the background

Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent approach is one of the world’s busiest waterways. Leisure craft, naval vessels, cruise ships, ferries and even hovercraft ply the waters which means it can be quite the task to keep everything safe and minimise disruption.

Like any busy harbour, there are strict controls over which lanes various vessels may use. The problem with the supercarriers, however, is scale as the existing infrastructure was just too small to be seen from such a height!

The approach to Portsmouth Harbour saw 14 new navigation aids installed. Each rises from the seabed 30 metres tall to be closer to the eye line of the crew. They use solar power and will only display their lights when one of the supercarriers is approaching or leaving the harbour.


The National Grid will supply power to the supercarriers while docked at HMNB Portsmouth. Worldwide shipping uses a standard 60Hz and the national grid supplies 50Hz power which means the power requires converting.

The jetty for the Queen Elizabeth Class supercarriers
The jetty for the Queen Elizabeth Class supercarriers

The dockyard, therefore has a new substation, right next to where the supercarriers will berth. A boom arrives from Italy in early 2017 that will connect the ships. The substation connects to another substation in nearby Southsea that required the digging up of over 2 miles of road.

The new substation could provide enough power for half of Portsmouth, a city of over 200,000 people!

Supercarriers arrive!

Mock up of one of the super carriers in Portsmouth Harbour
An artist impression of one of the supercarriers in Portsmouth Harbour

HMS Queen Elizabeth’s arrival in Portsmouth is scheduled for May 2017. The city hopes to provide an opportunity to watch for schoolchildren from the surrounding area.

The ships are due to have a minimum of a 50-year lifespan and whilst not the largest class of supercarrier on the planet, will allow the UK to project their defence capability around the planet at relatively short notice. They look certain to be a feature of Portsmouth and the south coast seascape for some time.


Read more

100 facts about the Queen Elizabeth Class Supercarriers 

A world class UK MarineTech Cluster?

2016 Marine Tech News

2016 could be the year that technology such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data finally make an impact on the Marine industry. MarineTechBlog takes a look at some of the emerging trends and some new product launches.

Riding the Big Data wave

Waves on a beach - Riding the Wave 2016Last year saw a large number of ‘big data’ solutions finding their way into the Marine industry. It is likely that this will grow even further and we believe that this will be 2016’s top trend.

Industry has long benefitted from machine to machine (M2M) communications but the ease of creating systems has increased enormously over the last few years with the development of the internet and lightweight protocols that allow for succinct, targeted messages to be passed between equipment. The ability to connect these devices over the internet using lightweight messaging has given rise to the IoT, which has seen rapid growth throughout 2015. Key to this growth has been the development of Analytics software that enables improved decision making.

Continue reading 2016 Marine Tech News

Seawork 2015, a review.

Last week we attended Seawork 2015, held in the heart of the port of Southampton UK. There were more than 550 exhibitors present and thousands of customers attended across the three day. Attendees ranged from experienced skippers to new startup business owners.

Did Seawork feature Marine Technology?

The main reason that we attended was to see new Marine Technology. We were particularly keen to see any integration of Internet of Things type technologies, Sensors and all things digital. Whilst it is true that Seawork is primarily a ‘nuts and bolts’ kind of show, there were good examples of MarineTech on offer.

The most impressive technology that we saw was the beautifully designed and sensibly architected load analysis LW Sensor from Spinlock. Using Bluetooth LE to transmit loads to a remote tablet it is a sensible application of relevant technology that could have uses well beyond the maritime environment for which it was created.

Doug Vincett from Spinlock with the LW Sense load sensor and app running on tablet at Seawork
Doug Vincett from Spinlock with the LW Sense load sensor and app running on tablet.


The winner of the innovation prize at the show was Gobbler boats who showed off a new oil-spill response vessel. It can achieve 20 knots from a jet propelled Continue reading Seawork 2015, a review.

Real-Time content from MarineTraffic

Ship locations added to website in Real-Time

Today we have updated the MarineTechBlog website with real-time data on current ship locations from This allows us to show the current position of all vessels in real-time in a given area. At the moment we’ve enabled it for the solent region of the UK but we are working to enable it based on the users location.

Map with real-time position of vessels in the Solent from Marine Traffic dotcom
A sample of the Marine Traffic geographic visualisation


The site is really very well thought out. Different levels of zoom display different sizes of vessel. Clicking on any vessel shows the details as can be seen in the example above.

Continue reading Real-Time content from MarineTraffic

Twitter view of Marine Tech

A bubble diagram showing where 'marine tech' was mentioned on twitter globally
Global english language mentions on Twitter for ‘marine tech’

Twitter mentions of Marine Tech- measured and visualised

We thought that we would look to see where in the English speaking world, people are talking about Marine Tech already. We asked our friends at KnowNow Information to do some Twitter analysis for us.

Continue reading Twitter view of Marine Tech

A world class UK MarineTech cluster?

Can a heritage coast become a tech coast?

HMS Warrior within the South Coast Cluster
HMS Warrior in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard

The south coast of England has a rich heritage in Marine history. From the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth, site of the first drydock, to the fateful maiden journey departure site for the Titanic in Southampton, there is a swathe of Marine businesses that have long held world leading positions in the development of Marine Technology.

That position has recently been challenged globally however with the development of clusters based around the adoption of new technologies by existing marine businesses. Places like San Diego in the United States or Yokohama in Japan have steadily built a reputation built on the application of those new technologies in the marine industry.

Continue reading A world class UK MarineTech cluster?

Marine Tech Blog – Welcome

Marine Tech – What is it?

Marine Tech Venn Diagram
The intersection of the Maritime and Technology industries is where Marine Tech exists

Access to information is getting easier, primarily through the internet and increasing adoption of cloud services. The ability to create and consume information is becoming easier due to the rise in Big Data and the reduction in cost for sensors. A new industry is quickly developing, The Internet of Things (or IoT for short). How is this affecting the marine tech industry?

Connectivity on the waves

Firstly, getting connectivity whilst water-borne has never been easier. Services such as MailASail mean that you never need to feel stranded when away from landline communications. Secondly, the cost of deploying systems of sensors on-board has been falling rapidly year on year. This means that you can get information about and even automate some of the processes of running a vessel.

Continue reading Marine Tech Blog – Welcome