THE idea of a new Royal yacht, mooted by Boris Johnson, is absolutely brilliant.

The last Royal yacht, Britannia, would by now have long gone to a scrap yard or be preserved as she is.

Being built in 1953, she would have been so old that Lloyds wouldn’t have underwritten her.

A modern Britannia would be a far more cost-effective vessel too.

The old Britannia was steam-powered and, as such, would have a voracious appetite for oil as, once under commission, her boilers would never be shut down, whereas a modern Britannia would be diesel-powered with all the benefits that brings.

The main benefit being that, once the vessel was at its destination, the main power-plant can be shut down and only auxiliary diesels being used to provide domestic power.

The fuel saved would be considerable which would mean the running costs of the vessel a fraction of old Britannia.

In all probability, too, a new vessel wouldn’t have conventional propellers but azipods (self-contained propulsion units with the capability of turning 360 degrees).

This would mean hugely expensive propeller-shafts and massive bronze propellers wouldn’t be needed nor would she need expensive tugs for docking/undocking.

The only fly-in-the-ointment is that the Government wouldn’t (at the moment) finance the building of the vessel.

Philip Roe, Roman Avenue South, Stamford Bridge