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Key facts

  • AST Marine Sciences Ltd supports Goodchild Marine Ltd during a sea trial.
  • AST's iRAMS Telematics solution monitors vessel performance remotely, like a virtual engineer.
  • Pilot Vessels will be operated by Briggs Marine from ports of Liverpool and Heysham, Lancashire.


The AST Group (AST) and partner Goodchild Marine Services Ltd have successfully installed engine-monitoring and telemetry software solution iRAMs aboard the fifth pilot vessel for customer Briggs Group. AST has supported sea trials in Lowestoft putting the solution to the test before the vessel was delivered to the Briggs Group in Liverpool.

About the customer

Goodchild Marine Services Ltd designs and manufactures marine vessels for commercial and leisure use. They've built a reputation in the UK for quality vessels which, are reliable and easy to maintain. Their range includes patrol craft, pilot vessels, crew-transfer, and passenger craft.

Goodchild has delivered a series of ORC fast pilot vessels to Briggs that all feature the latest electronics, safety features, and engineering. The vessels, all named after sea birds have been manufactured from an original design by French architects, Pantocarene.

The challenge

Pilot vessel Fulmar is the fifth vessel manufactured by Goodchild Marine Service for their long-standing customer Briggs Marine, this vessel is destined for use as a pilot launch vessel in the port of Liverpool. Briggs Marine manage and operate the pilot launch vessels from the ports of Liverpool and Heysham, Lancashire. The launch service vessel's role is to ensure the safe transportation, on-boarding, and disembarking of maritime pilots from larger vessels. 

Briggs Marine must ensure their vessels are not only safe and seaworthy but operate efficiently. Meaning that vessel maintenance and engine checks are a daily occurrence.


Photo credit: Colin Turner from Colin Turner Photography.

The solution

iRAMs is AST's vessel engine, telematics, and asset management solution. iRAMs harnesses the power of satellite communication to monitor maritime vessel performance around-the-clock. Vessel diagnostics can be viewed via an easy-to-use dashboard from anywhere in the world in near real-time.

Goodchild Marine tested Fulmar during a sea trial process in which the craft was put through its paces on the East Coast of England. AST’s Technical Sales Engineer, Steve Mitchell was in attendance to support the vessel's manufacturer and operator whilst installing and configuring AST's iRAMs telemetry solution.

With iRAMs, vessel operators and engineers have key data points at their fingertips including boost and pressure, engine hours, engine load, exhaust temperature, fuel consumption, and more. Think of iRAMs as a virtual chief engineer.


ASTs iRAMs software solution enables customers to track vessel performance, remotely. This means that the team at Briggs Marine is empowered to keep an eye on engine performance from their shoreside HQ in the Port of Liverpool.

iRAMs records engine performance data 24 hours a day, meaning Briggs Marine can set tolerances and thresholds from an easy-to-use online portal. Email alerts can be created to trigger if engine performance is outside the desired parameters. This immediate visibility positively impacts the vessel's operational and engineering team by highlighting fluctuations in performance before they cause real problems.

Access to up-to-date vessel data enables and encourages fleet managers to be pro-active in monitoring vessel performance. This improves maintenance scheduling and best practices which ultimately increases efficiency and positively impacts on costs due to maintenance and downtime.

Managing Director, Alan Goodchild relishes the opportunity to build vessels that incorporate state-of-the-art technology:

“Our enthusiasm to incorporate advanced technology such as iRAMs into our designs keeps us ahead of the competition and encourages customers to keep coming back to our yard. We strive to make the best boats possible, and that means improving and evolving our vessels with craftsmanship and technology at the forefront.”

Wherever you are, whatever your remote connectivity requirements, AST has a solution. To discuss how we can take you further with one of the friendly team call +44 (0)1493 440 011 or email


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