The P4 is a truly amazing boat for a number of reasons. They are cheap to buy and cheap to run. The smallest P4 can be below 10m then you can have any length you want up to 40ft (12.2m) and all of a beam of 13ft (3.9m). They are almost the same beam from the helm position to the transom (see the specification page below). The deck space is enormous (see this in the layout drawing below). They are flat across bow keeping the boat as short as possible and have as much deck as possible. Why pay more for moorings or a fishing licence to have 5ft (1.5m) of point at the bow. Although I do admit the boats with a pointed bow do look sporty, but a boat having good looks doesn’t earn the skipper more money but more deck space and stability does. I have no opinion as to whether good looking skippers earn more money.
Of all the P4’s we have built, no 2 boats are the same. Each boat is built by hand and to the skipper’s individual requirements. We have built P4’s with glass in the bottom of the hull. We have built others for fishing, commercial and private use. Boats with the wheelhouse set to one side, boats for diving, creel pots, ferries for 50 passengers, cargo hauling, offshore tenders to cruise liners, service boats to the oil rigs and wind farms. Survey vessel with full office facilities. Guard boats, boats for watching whales and other wildlife.
Bow and hull design on a boat is as important as aerodynamics on a car. Years ago the only cars that were aerodynamic were racing cars, then performance cars. Now today good airflow on the family car is vital for economy. The same thing happened with trucks, years ago nobody cared, fuel was cheap but nowadays even those big juggernauts have aerodynamic cabs with roof spoilers to cut down on the wind drag and save fuel.
When we designed the P4 we were looking for a boat that would make the company the leading work boat manufacturer of the future. A work boat is a business and with this in mind we thought of the project beyond just designing a boat. We wanted a boat that would be cheap to buy and maintain. Cheap to run, not only fuel efficient but cost effective. A boat so stable and with the largest deck possible to attract customers and business for the skipper.
We needed a good hull with a self lifting bow and mid section to allow us to run a low shaft angle, use the cost of the diesel to push the boat forwards and use the hull to make it plane and a wide waterline beam at the helm for stability, see the drawing in specifications, you will notice how square the wet shape of the P4 compared to an average hull. I imagine a P4 to be like a 4 legged table and the average hull to be a 3 legged stool.
Looking at the P4 hull from the front you can see how the 2 outer keels channel the water along 2 tunnels under the boat and out the back. The boat rides on these 2 tunnels of water.
We have tested the ProCharter P4 with a 4 ton payload and this is no problem, even 2 tons to one side makes very little difference.
The P4 is so buoyant on one P4 we widened out the deck to 15ft (4.6m) and still the boat was amazing. The specification for that boat was very interesting and a great project for us. This P4 went up to the Orkney Islands north of Scotland, there’s some wild water up there. It is so far to the north that in mid summer it only gets dark for a couple of hours. The boat was to be used for sight seeing and whale watching in the summer. As an inter island ferry service for passengers and freight. Dive survey boat with full office facilities. The most interesting feature of this boat is it’s ability to get out to the offshore oil platforms in the north sea for crew changes and most importantly to collect injured personal in weather that prohibits the use of helicopters and sea’s that prohibit the use of larger vessels from attending the platforms and possibly damaging them, so we are talking big seas, fog, snow, sleet and generally abysmal conditions on standby 365 days a year. In the wheelhouse are forward facing seats for 15 plus disabled seating. The wheelhouse could convert into an office for 6 persons with an under deck area for computing equipment etc. We made the twin “V” berth in the front cabin into cot style beds. We also made 2 stretchers 2.5m long. Using these stretchers a patient could be brought off the rig with minimal discomfort. Special stainless locaters were made for the roof of the wheelhouse and the stretchers hang from these. You can see this boat at www.explorecharters.co.uk.
When building a ProCharter for a customer a 24 hour live stream web cam is put on the boat. The customer can not only watch the boat being built, he can record it to DVD. Just like the discovery channel but without sound. (we did consider sound cams but the vocabulary from a workman when sawing through a finger or trying to go home and realising they have bonded their foot to the inside of a fuel tank should only be heard after the children have gone to bed). He will see his boat being worked on. This gives him the comfort that his boat is being built and is not just getting promises over the phone.
Although we would like anyone visiting our web site to be able to watch any of our boats being built to help our sales, only the customer can watch his web cam because it is password protected. We do this because the more people watching at any one time the more live stream will slow down.
We build ProCharter work boats for all countries. We build the boat to the specific regulations of the country in which it will be used and under supervision of a qualified marine surveyor from that country to avoid any mistakes. We have built a number of boats for Ireland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain, Gibraltar, The channel islands, The Orkney Islands and Greece. We anticipate a third of our sales will go abroad this year.
Due to Greece being the other side of Europe to us and ideally positioned to supply Southern Europe and North Africa we now have agents in Athens www.procharter.gr and we expect to be building boats in Greece in 2009. www.procharter.nl will also be online this year.
I suggest you ask a man who has one to tell you about the stability and economy, or come and try our 40ft demonstrator. I have been told by a number of skippers they can work as much as 25% more with there P4, going out in seas that would have been unpleasant in their old boat. The P4 is very low; this keeps windage to a minimum and allows a nice drift with the tide.
Just by our home port of Padstow is Newquay, the surfing centre of Europe and we often have some very nasty seas at the mouth of the estuary here at Padstow. The dune bar has sunk many a boat over the years. When out on a demo in a heavy sea with rollers coming in one after another at 15ft (4.6m) and above, we turn a P4 beam on, the initial look on a customers face is a picture, I am not an experienced skipper so that adds to the moment as well. Looking out of the side window at the water looming over is daunting but it just feels like it has disappeared, looking out of the window on the other side and you can see the same roller running away from you and you realise the boat has floated up and over it barely rolling. That pretty much ensures a sale.
On the economy side, a P4 with just 370hp and propped for a payload in excess of 2 tons will run 23/25kts even with a dirty bum. That much performance from 370hp proves they need little diesel to get them up and running. Again I say ask a man, who has one, you will find them advertising for fishing charters in the back of most fishing magazines.
The reason for this economy is quite simple; a factory P4 weighs around 6 tons at launch. In a choppy sea the heavier boats do feel nicer but then on a calmish day or in a sea with heavy swells the ProCharter doesn’t rock and roll. If you prefer the feel of a heavy boat for those days when a heavy boat feels nicer have ballast tanks fitted to your P4 and weigh it down and in calmer weather still enjoy cheap fuel cost.
I would like to draw you attention to the speeds we quote, most builders quote their hull speeds as “ up to ???kts”, saying “up to” doesn’t mean it will go that fast, “up to” just means it wont go any faster. We quote actual speeds based on the boats we have built. These are boats that have not been propped up to show a good turn of speed, in fact, they have been propped down for work.
There is no compromise on strength to make the P4 light; in fact the lightweight composite sheets that the P4’s are constructed out of are stronger and more durable than plywood. The P4 hull and wheelhouse are hand made and comply to LLOYDS SPECIAL SERVICE CRAFT REGULATIONS, SEAFISH (European) REGULATIONS and MCA CLASS 6 (offshore ferry) REGULATIONS, and the new EUROPEAN REGULATIONS. The gel coat is brushed into a mould to ensure thick gel coat. We do NOT use rollers or spray equipment. We also use several layers of Rovimat which is a combination mat containing 800g/m2 of chopped strand mat to give maximum strength to weight ratios. We use isophthalic resin as an osmosis barrier. For those of you who don’t fully understand. This is the dog’s wotsits. All bulkheads are made from STRUCTURAL NIDAPLAS sheets that will not biodegrade like plywood, nor will they ingress water.
Most of our fittings such as doors, dashboard, locker boxes, engine boxes, seating are made in moulds and fully bonded or nut and bolted. There is no wood to look after and very little to maintain. See (3 above). You can even use your deck wash to clean out your wheelhouse and front cabin. Our stainless is marine grade 316 or above. There is no compromise in quality!
In the years you own you ProCharter the maintenance will be minimal, for example the door will not swell up and jam in the winter, nor will you spend your spare time rubbing oil into them or re-varnishing for the new season, they are made from fibreglass. Nor will the screws become loose because they are bolted on with stainless steel bolts. As I said earlier, its not possible to screw a nail to Nidaplas so we use bolts or bond with fibreglass. Please come have a look how we build them and see why we say, someday all boats will be built this way and not just ours.
It is common knowledge that a boat which is constructed from plywood will weigh as much as a ton more after just a couple of years due to water having soaked into the plywood decks and bulkheads. The only wood that is used in the construction of a ProCharter is in areas we need to use screws such as the sides of the engine bay. A draw back with Nidaplas is that you cannot screw it or nail to it.
Another problem with plywood is when fibre glassed to other parts of the boat, the fibreglass only adheres to the outer layer of the plywood, I am sure you have all seen boats with the plywood delaminating from the fibreglass. Like all boats this was often a problem after a while the boats we made when we used plywood in the construction of the Offshore range.
When we designed the ProCharter range in 2003 we wanted a boat that would last for many years. We were advertising a part exchange facility on our new boats. We wanted to be able to take our ProCharter’s back when they were warn out and strip them down. Repair any damage to the gel coat and rebuild them using all new wiring, bilge pumps, hydraulics and any other parts that can wear out. Recondition the engines and gearboxes and have for sale a boat that not only looks and performs like a new boat but one that can pass any survey. It would not be possible to do this had we continued to build out of plywood. Now a few years have passed and proof is there to see, compare a Nidaplas / factory built boat with any boat of a similar age already the ProCharter’s are showing their durability. In 10 or 20 years the best boats to buy will be the ProCharter’s so I guess that means they will hold there prices better. That’s economy in a different way.
|Length Overall||any length between 9.9m and 12.2m|
|Beam @ Transom||3890mm|
|Beam @ Wheelhouse Bulkhead||3890mm|
|Beam @ Helm||3495mm|
|Waterline Length||11m on 40ft boat|
|Waterline Beam @ Transom|
|Waterline Beam @ Rear Bulkhead|
|Waterline Beam @ Helm|
|Height Above Waterline Wheelhouse Roof||2.64m|
|Height Above Waterline Gunwale @ Rear of Deck||1.08m|
|Overall Height Shaftdrive||3.64m|
|Overall Height Sterndrive||2.95m|
|Displacement Ex Works Shaftdrive||5000 to 6000|
|Displacement Ex Works Sterndrive||5000 to 6000|
|Imperial Gallons per Tank||100 gallons|
|Number of Tanks|
|Total sq Area||26.15m2|
|Max Hull Speed|
The hull, wheelhouse and gunwale are laid up to comply with the requirements of The MCA CLASS 6 (offshore ferry) REGULATIONS, LLOYDS SPECIAL SERVICE CRAFT RULES (Lloyds SSC), SEAFISH REGULATIONS, RECREATIONAL CRAFT DIRECTIVE (RCD) and the new EUROPEAN DIRECTIVE or to the regulations of the country in which the boat will be operating.
The gel coat is brushed into the mould to ensure a thick even coating. We do NOT spray or use rollers to apply gel coat.
The hull lay-up consists of layers of Rovimat Combination Cloth all of which are applied by hand in a one piece mould with overlaps as per the requirements of the authorities in paragraph 1.
Whilst still in the mould, the hull is framed. Generally the frames are at 60cm intervals although this may vary due to the length of the craft. The size and spacing of frames will be to the regulations in paragraph 1.
The deck shell is laminated at the height required by the customer.
The wheelhouse and gunwale has strengthening pads bonded for seacock’s and the stainless steel rails and bow roller. The wheelhouse and gunwale is bonded to the hull.
This completes the mouldings stage.
The longitudinal and lateral bulkheads are fitted and fully bonded to the hull at 120cm intervals from the transom to the front crash bulkhead creating a series of separate compartments. Drain off taps are fitted to each compartment.
Trunking is fitted from the engine room to the wheelhouse and fully bonded in place.
All pads are now bonded to the hull where required for seacock’s and associated fittings.
The fuel tank(s) is/are now installed.
Composite deck panels are bonded and screwed down and then laminated over.
Engine box fitted and secured with hinges and over centre clips.
Ventilation to engine room formed to underside of gunwale.
Aft Wheelhouse bulkhead constructed.
Door and frame constructed in G.R.P. Door opens outwards and can be lifted off and then stowed on its hinges secured behind the anchor locker box.
Full width console in wheelhouse with door access to forward accommodation with full standing height.
GRP helm boxes fitted in the wheelhouse.
Interior layout to your choice with storage under all seats.
Twin anchor locker boxes behind wheelhouse bulkhead.
This completes stage 2.
Internal surface of cockpit gel coated and walking surfaces finished in non-slip. All in the colours of your choice.
Engine beds fitted.
Two Scuppers each cut to 250 sq. centimetre’s in transom. [125 by 200 mm]
Fuel system connected in fire resistant pipe work to the tank and filters.
Primary fuel filter / water separator fitted.
Wheel operated hydraulic or cable steering.
Engine controls for throttle and gear.
Engine of choice, mounted on flexible feet, bolted to steel encapsulated engine beds.
Seacock sighted in engine room with cut off valve and inspection access above water line.
Engine instrumentation as manufacturers standard but will include Rev counter, charging meter and light, Water temp gauge with alarm, Oil pressure gauge with light and alarm, ignition key start, and push button stop.
Wet exhaust system, straight through exhaust pipe with transom fitting and non-return flap. Or through leg on outdrive.
Auxiliary system battery isolator.
12 way distribution switch panel with circuit breakers.
Two 12-volt batteries of 128 amp hr each.
Isolator / changeover switch.
Split charging relay.
Cabin light and forward cabin light.
Pantograph screen wiper on helm window.
Full navigation lights fitted .
Viking 32 diaphragm electric bilge pump with manual override handle.
STAINLESS (all 316 or marine grade).
Pulpit extending back to start of wheelhouse windows.
Push pit in two sections with mid rail through.
Stainless grab rails on roof.
Stainless scupper flaps fitted to transom.
Stainless mooring bollards. [Three].
Fuel filler in deck or gunwale.
3 inch “D” Section rubber gunwale protection all in circles with aluminium end caps.
Sea toilet. with seacock’s, inlet and discharge.
Toughened glass anodised aluminium windows. Side windows half drop.
ABS hinged hatches fitted to moulding cut outs.