The Padstow lifeboat Spirit of Padstow
|Builders:||SAR Composites (Builders of hull and superstructure)
Babcock International, Marine Division (Fitting-out)
Piran Marine (Bond hull & deck together)
|Operators:||Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Kent Police|
|Displacement:||31.5 t (31 long tons)|
|Length:||16 m (52 ft)|
|Beam:||5 m (16 ft)|
|Draught:||1.35 m (4.4 ft)|
|Propulsion:||2 × Caterpillar C18 diesel engines 1,000 hp (746 kW)
2 × fixed pitch 5-blade propellers
4,600 litres fuel
|Speed:||25 knots (29 mph; 46 km/h)|
|Range:||250 nmi (460 km)|
|Capacity:||118 (self-righting up to 44)|
Tamar class lifeboats are all-weather lifeboats (ALBs) operated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) around the coasts of Great Britain and Ireland. They have replaced the majority of the older Tyne-class ALBs. The prototype was built in 2000 and 27 production boats were introduced between 2006 and 2013.
Since 1982 the RNLI had deployed Tyne-class lifeboats at stations which launched their boats down slipways or needed to operate in shallow waters. The organisation desired to increase the speed and range of their operations so introduced faster Severn and Trent boats starting in 1994 at locations where they could be moored afloat. They then needed to produce a boat with similar capabilities but with protected propellers and other modifications that would allow it to be launched on a slipway.
Although nominally the replacement for the Tyne-class ALBs, only twenty seven Tamars have been built (compared to forty Tynes). In 2013 nine Tyne-class boats are still in service; further replacements will be with Shannon-class boats.
The prototype Tamar was built in 2000 and was used for trials until 2006. It was sold in December 2008 to Kent Police, becoming Princess Alexandra III, the force's permanent maritime vessel operating out of Sheerness. The first production boat, Haydn Miller entered service at Tenby in March 2006. A few of the early boats suffered problems such as fuel leaking under the floor of the engine room around hydraulic lines. These boats were recalled and the problems rectified.
The 27th and last Tamar Class lifeboat, allocated to The Mumbles, was launched 12 March 2013 in Devonport Dockyard and after sea trials was handed over to the RNLI on 21 May 2013. 14 lifeboat stations keep Tamars moored afloat, 13 launch them down slipways, and the remaining 4 form a Relief Fleet to cover when boats are unavailable for service.
The Tamar has a new design of crew workstation with seats that can move up and down 20 centimetres (7.9 in) as the boat passes through rough seas at high speed, and a networked computerised Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) which allows the crew to monitor and control the boat entirely from within the wheelhouse. The coxswain and helmsman have seat-mounted throttles, trackerball and joystick controls of the rudder. Alternatively the boat may be monitored and controlled by two controls on the bridge: Dual throttle controls and joystick on the left; dual throttle, wheel and control-screen on the right. All aspects of the vessel may also be controlled from this position.
The lifeboat is completely water-tight allowing it to self-right with up to 60 people on board. The boat has the potential to carry a maximum of 120 passengers on board, but without self-righting capability. The Survivors Space has room for 10 sitting and 8 standing. The Survivors Space is accessed either through the Wheelhouse or the fore deck Emergency Escape Hatch.
Each Tamar carries a Y Class inflatable boat which can be deployed and recovered while at sea. There is a provision for a PWC (Personal Water Craft, more commonly known as a jetski) to be specified instead, should it prove more suitable.
|ON||Op. No.||Name||In service||Station||Comments|
|1251||FS002||Princess Alexandra III||2000–2006||Prototype||Sold to the Kent Police in 2006.|
|1280||16-01||Peter and Lesley-Jane Nicholson||2005–||Relief fleet|
|1282||16-03||The Misses Robertson of Kintail||2006–||Peterhead|
|1283||16-04||Spirit of Padstow||2006–||Padstow|
|1284||16-05||Helen Comrie||2006–||Longhope, Orkney|
|1286||16-06||Frank and Anne Wilkinson||2007–||Relief fleet|
|1289||16-09||Baltic Exchange III||2008–||Salcombe|
|1290||16-10||Edward and Barbara Prigmore||2008–||Relief fleet|
|1292||16-12||George Sullivan||2009–||St Helier|
|1293||16-13||Victor Freeman||2010–||Relief fleet|
|1294||16-14||City of London III||2010–||Sennen Cove|
|1295||16-15||Enid Collett||2010–||Shoreham Harbour|
|1297||16-17||Alfred Albert Williams||2010–||Bembridge|
|1299||16-19||Irene Muriel Rees||2011–||Walton and Frinton|
|1301||16-21||John Buchanan Barr||2011–||Portpatrick|
|1304||16-24||John D Spicer||2012–||Porthdinllaen|
|1306||16-26||Norah Wortley||2013–||St Davids|
|1307||16-27||Roy Barker IV||2013–||The Mumbles|
'ON' is the RNLI's Official Number; 'Op. No.' is the operational number carried on the hull.
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- Wake-Walker, Edward (2008). The Lifeboats Story. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. pp. 67–74. ISBN 978-0-7509-4858-6.
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- Wake-Walker, Edward (2008). The Lifeboats Story. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-7509-4858-6.
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- and shouts.html "News and Shouts". Kilmore Quay Lifeboat. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
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- "Portpatrick lifeboat funded by widow's £2.6m legacy". BBC News. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- "Baltimore Lifeboat Station". RNLI. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
- "Tamar - Erdington RNLI". Erdington RNLI. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "New £2.7m lifeboat for Porthdinllaen on Llyn peninsula". BBC Wales. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "RNLI plans to invest £42.5M in Wales are a step closer to reality". RNLI. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
- "RNLI Tamar-class". Liveboatsonline.com. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tamar class lifeboats.|
- RNLI Fleet:Tamar Class
- Ingenia Magazine: launching the Tamar, December 2007
- Tenby Lifeboat Station's Tamar (includes slipway launch video)