Breaking records with Team Britannia and CJR Fabrication

Team Britannia is a multi-million pound British bid to design and build the world’s fastest and most fuel-efficient wave-slicing powerboat, in order to compete for the much-coveted UIM around-the-globe record.

To complete the journey in the shortest time possible, every element of the vessel had to be carefully considered by Team Britannia’s skipper, Alan Priddy, and all those involved with the vessel’s design and development. Ensuring the highest levels of efficiency, the lowest possible weight and the ability to withstand the most hostile weather conditions nature can muster,
were all key considerations for the project. As part of that process, Team Britannia contacted CJR Fabrication to collaborate on the design and manufacture of the complex fuel tank system which will power the boat around the world.

CJR is the marine industry’s leading authority on fuel tank production, offering 20 years and 40,000 tanks worth of experience and the ability to CE mark tanks for additional peace of mind.

Michelle Davies, General Manager for CJR, picks up the story: “For this type of endeavour, the fuel tanks are one of the most critical elements, consuming the majority of space below deck and adding the largest proportion of the weight. For CJR, our biggest challenge was to design the required tanks around Team Britannia’s other on-board equipment and the structure of the vessel itself. In total, there are six CJR engineered tanks on board, some of which are almost four metres in length, and collectively they hold 35,000–40,000 litres of fuel so the boat can travel 3,600–4,000 nautical miles on a single fill up.

“The structural integrity of the tanks was an obviously important consideration due to the extreme forces the vessel will be under during the most challenging sections of the journey. To deliver this increased level of safety and security, we had to understand how to ‘ flatten’ the totally bespoke tanks with the smallest number of welds, whilst also thinking about maximising material utilisation to maintain a tight control of the budget.

Our ability to manage every stage of the process, from CAD design through precision 5-axis waterjet cutting to coded welders and CE mark approval, means we can relieve the client’s stress by taking ownership and retaining control over every step of the whole process, end-to-end. As a result, we are able to offer important assurances related to material traceability and quality control, and that is a big part of why we are so trusted in this marketplace.”

The UIM world record requires participants follow a recognised circumnavigation route, with the craft passing through a number of defined locations. The journey must also start and finish in the same place, although that can be anywhere in the world.

Team Britannia’s route will start in Gibraltar, travel to Puerto Rico, then through the Panama Canal to Mexico and on to Hawaii, Guam, Singapore and Oman, before crossing the Suez Canal to reach Malta and then finishing the journey back in Gibraltar.