Nova Scotia-based Rosborough Boats wins $7.3M rescue boat contract

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Nova Scotia-based Rosborough Boats wins $7.3M rescue boat contract

A Halifax-area boat-building company has been awarded a $7.3-million contract to build rescue boats for Canada's new fleet of Arctic offshore patrol ships. 

Rosborough Boats in Beechville will build 12 multi-role, rigid-hull inflatable boats for the six patrol vessels being constructed at the Irving shipyard in Halifax for the Royal Canadian Navy.

Rosborough Boats was established in 1955 as a family business. The company builds a variety of vessels, from commercial fishing boats to cruising yachts.

The new contract with Irving Shipbuilding Inc., however, will be a first.

"These will be the first boats we'll be building for the navy," said Heaton Rosborough, company president. 

"We've gone through a rigorous testing process with both Irving and the navy and they are very impressed with our product."

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The contract is part of the $1.3 billion Irving is spending on more than 300 Canadian companies as part of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.

"We have contracts that go from hundreds of millions of dollars down to small numbers," said Kevin McCoy, president of Irving Shipbuilding. "This is a good-sized contract."

The fibreglass hulls of the rescue boats will be built at the A.F. Theriault and Son shipyard in Meteghan, N.S., employing 15 people. 

The rest of the work will be completed at Rosborough's facility on St. Margaret's Bay Road. A news release said the contract will allow Rosborough to keep 12 full-time employees and create two new positions.

Work on the 8.5-metre rescue boats will begin next month and could be completed as early as the middle of next year. The boats will be used for fast rescues, marshalling and towing lifeboats, as well as deploying naval boarding parties.

The first two patrol vessels, meanwhile, are expected to be delivered to the navy next year.