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Bristol Harbour Trash Collection Boat

Bristol Harbour Authority, responsible for Brunel's famous Floating Harbour which extends right into the city centre, chose the Water Witch Buddy Boat to support a local initiative to improve the environment and rid the water space of unsightly floating litter (plastic bottles, Styrofoam cups, food packing) and other flotsam and jetsam.

Over the past 20 years, Bristol's vast Floating Harbour dockland area has been redeveloped into one of the UK's most exciting leisure, arts, water sports and entertainment centres.


  • Operating within 31 hectares of impounded water, the vessel was needed to provide a daily litter retrieval service
  • The Harbour Authority required an easy to operate utility boat with low operating costs capable of working in confined spaces
  • A one man crew would be working 8 hour shifts, 5 days a week and operator comfort was a priority. The Buddy was designed with a fully enclosed aluminium wheelhouse to accommodate 3 persons with provision for heating.

Litter collection boat


The lightweight Buddy with a removable collection basket for efficient retrieval of marine debris. The Buddy is designed to get into those difficult to reach places where lots of floating trash ends up, and wheel fenders allow her to be driven along quay walls and pontoons.

In addition to small floatables, the Buddy also removes more serious navigational hazards such as logs, shopping trolley and gas bottles.

A feature of the craft is a low profile wheelhouse, allowing her to get under a number of swing bridges along the navigation.

Other options include removable safety handrails and deck plates that provide up to 14m2 of usable space for cargo and passenger transport.

A range of drop in pods are available to support many roles and the Buddy is relatively lightweight (due to her aluminium construction), requiring only a 25hp outboard engine. The latest four stroke petrol engines are environmentally friendly, quiet, and economical to run.

The Buddy was built to meet the relevant standards of the Inland Waterway Code of Practice, and as such comes with a full compliment of on-board navigation and safety equipment.



The 7m craft is routinely collecting a skip load (6m3) of trash and debris from the floating harbour on a weekly basis and an estimated 200 tonnes of plastic a year . In addition to keeping the prestigious waterspace in a clean and safe condition, the multi-purpose vessel also provides a safe platform for a variety of maintenance, inspection and safety support roles.