Alicat Workboats was established in May 2009 in response to demand for suitable vessels to provide access for operation and maintenance support for the rapidly growing offshore wind sector. Scroby Sands offshore wind farm, located just off the Great Yarmouth coast, was one of the first UK offshore wind farm sites to be developed and started operating in 2004. Since then the region has seen the development of more projects including Lynn and Inner Dowsing, Greater Gabbard, Gunfleet Sands, Sheringham Shoal, Thanet and the London Array.
The first Alicat was launched at the Seawork International event in Southampton in June 2010 and have to date built a total of 14 vessels. Alicat Workboats owns and operates the well established dry dock, ship construction and repair yard in Great Yarmouth. The seven acre yard has 184m of river frontage with direct access to the North Sea. It has two building berths, an undercover dry dock with a total length of 35m (25m undercover), 9m width and a draft of up to 2m and recently the facility underwent a £1.6m facelift.
2013 saw the addition of independant specialist divisions that include Alicat Marine Electrical, Alicat Fabrication, Alicat Precision Engineering and Alicat Marine Design. The site also boasts onsite diesel engineering and testing, and hydraulics specialists. In April 2013 the site added a WISE 200T vessel lift to further support the growing number of vessels in the vicinity. This hoist is operational 24 hours a day and is designed for the fast lift out and turnaround of repairs, paint touch ups and defouling.
A range of other facilities are available on-site including joinery, shipwrights, engineering, machine, and electrical workshops, as well as stores, messing, and lay down areas of 6,500m2.
Alicat Workboats Ltd is part of the Gardline Group, which was established by George Darling in 1969 and is still owned by the Darling family.
The 'Alicat Workboat' is built by locally employed skilled craftsmen and the facility itself has been involved in ship building and repair work for over thirty years and employs teams of carpenters, painters and electricians as well as teams of aluminium and steel fabricators and welders.