Mersey marine welding and fabrication firm Wren Engineering has manufactured a series of specialist boat cradles to store and transport high-speed military workboats.

The firm secured the project with fellow Liverpool business Marine Specialised Technology. The cradles will be used to handle ribs and inflatables deployed by European armed forces.

Wren Engineering, founded in 1990, was recently bought by Merseyside entrepreneur and former Armed Forces member Jonathan Willoughby.

He said Wren had developed a long-standing relationship with MST - renowned as a world leading rigid Inflatable and workboat supplier for military and professional use.

“Our team of engineers designed and manufactured a series of boat carrying cradles and engine mounts to transport ribs used by armed forces across Europe,” said Mr. Willoughby. “They were constructed for easy loading, storage and manoeuvrability. While the ribs and inflatables are robust, durable and expertly made, our job was to ensure they could be safely protected while out of the water for stowage and transported between locations. The cradles and mounts have been designed using high grade aluminium steel providing strong reinforcement and an ideal protective skeleton for the workboats to lay in.

“Wren Engineering has worked alongside MST for many years while developing our reputation as a marine welding and fabrication ‘problem solver’. The depth of knowledge within our 20-strong engineering team has played a large role in the success of the business. We are keen for the market to understand Wren is confident about undertaking virtually any welding and fabrication job on any type of vessel.”

In 2014, MST secured a five-year contract to support a fleet of 1,450 boats used by the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and MoD Police, including offshore raiding craft, Pontoons up to 50-metres in length, police launches, ribs and inflatables.

Mr Willoughby said MST concentrates on the design, development and final assembly of craft with key components manufactured by specialists. This model of specialists working together, overseen by naval architects and marine engineers, ensures all components are manufactured to the highest level of quality.

Mr Willoughby said the scale of Wren’s operation with a 6000 sq ft workshop and wide range of plant equipment enables it to deliver a broad range of services to clients like MST.

“We are hugely appreciative of the close relationship we have developed in the local Merseyside maritime cluster with other world-leading firms such as MST,” he said. “This enables us to support each other for mutual benefit and work in collaboration on specialist projects.

“A key reason Wren has been successful working within these sort of partnerships is due to the quality and variety of services we offer. We can work with any material from carbon steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminium and plastics. Our solid track record, decades of experience and large manufacturing facility give our customers total confidence in our ability.”

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