Solent-class lifeboat

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Class overview
Builders
OperatorsFlag of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.svg RNLI
Preceded byWatson
Succeeded byTyne
Built1969–1973[1]
In service1969–1993
Completed11
Retired11
General characteristics
Typemotor lifeboat
Displacement27 tons
Length48 ft 6 in (14.78 m)
Beam14 ft (4.3 m)
Draught4 ft 8 in (1.42 m)
Propulsion2 x 110 bhp Gardner 6LX diesel engines
Speed9.5 knots (10.9 mph)
Range150 nautical miles (280 km)
Crew7

The Solent-class lifeboat is a steel-hulled version of the 48-foot-6-inch (14.78 m) Oakley-class self-righting lifeboat and is sometimes referred to as the 48-foot, 6-inch Oakley-class Mark III.[2] Solent Operational Numbers followed on from the first three 48-foot, 6-inch Oakleys and were interrupted by the last two Oakleys (48-12 and 48-13). The operational numbers of the Solent-class had three digits in the suffix to indicate a metal hull (as with Clyde, Waveney, Thames and Tyne classes, one Arun class and the first eleven Merseys). Two digits indicates a wooden, glass-reinforced plastic or fiber-reinforced composite hull.

Description[edit]

The Solent was powered by twin 110 bhp Gardner 6LX diesel engines which gave the boat a top speed of 9.5 knots (17.6 km/h; 10.9 mph). There were twin spade rudders installed which were coupled to Mathway manual steering gear.

Apart from the steel hull, the Solent-class differed from the Oakley-class in its self-righting mechanism. The Oakley used a water ballast system, while the Solent class was self-righting as a result of its watertight superstructure. The Solent was the last class of traditional displacement-type lifeboats designed by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.[2]

There were two versions of the Solent, unofficially known as "Mark I" and "Mark II". The "Mark I" boats have a vertical steering wheel. Sliding doors provide access to the forward end of the wheelhouse on each side. The "Mark II" boats have a seated steering position with hinged wheelhouse doors at the after end of the wheelhouse. These boats entered service in 1972.[2]

The first four Solent-class boats (ON 1007-1010) and the last three (ON 1019-1021) were built at Cowes by Groves & Guttridge. The second four (ON 1011-1014) were built at Gosport by Camper & Nicholson.

Fleet[edit]

ON[a] Op. No.[b] Name Built In service Principal Station Disposal
1007 48-004 George Urie Scott 1969 1969–1978
1979–1984
1985–1989
Lochinver
Rosslare Harbour
Lochinver
Sold in 1990, currently in Holland
1008 48-005 James and Mariska Joicey 1969 1969–1986
1987–1988
1988–1989
Peterhead
The Lizard
Relief fleet
Sold in 1990, currently in Northern Ireland
1009 48-006 Jack Shayler and the Lees 1970 1970–1987
1988–1993
Bembridge
Relief fleet
Sold June 1994, currently at Tallinn, Estonia
1010 48-007 David and Elizabeth King and E.B. 1970 1970–1988
1988–1989
Longhope
Invergordon
Sold in 1990, currently in Scotland
1011 48-008 R. Hope Roberts 1969 1969–1979
1979–1985
1985–1987
1987–1993
Rosslare Harbour
Fraserburgh
Galway Bay
Coutmacsherry Harbour
Sold in 1993, currently in Australia
1012 48-009 City of Birmingham 1970 1970–1983
1984–1993
Exmouth
Walton and Frinton
Sold to Uruguay July 1995
1013 48-010 The Royal British Legion Jubilee 1970 1970–1979
1979
1979–1986
1986–1988
1988–1989
Relief Fleet
Fraserburgh
Relief fleet
Peterhead
Relief fleet
Sold April 1990, currently in England
1014 48-011 The Three Sisters 1970 1970–1988
1988–1989
Thurso
Wicklow
Sold April 1990, currently in England
1019 48-014 Lady MacRobert 1972 1972–1989
1989–1993
Montrose
Relief fleet
Sold to Uruguay March 1994
1020 48-015 Hugh William Viscount Gough 1973 1973–1984
1984–1988
1988–1993
Stornoway
Barra Island
Dunbar
Sold September 1993
1021 48-016 Douglas Currie 1973 1973–1974
1974–1975
1975–1984
1985
1986–1989
1990–1992
Relief fleet
Kirkwall
Macduff
Fraserburgh
Portpatrick
Workington
Sold in 1992, currently in Scotland
  1. ^ ON is the RNLI's Official Number of the boat.
  2. ^ Op. No. is the RNLI's Operational Number of the boat carried on the hull.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Howarth, Patrick (1981), Lifeboat – In Danger's Hour. (Third Impression 1982 ed.), Hamlyn, p. 140, ISBN 0-600-34959-4
  2. ^ a b c Evans, Clayton (2003), Rescue at Sea – An International History of Lifesaving, Coastal Rescue Craft and Organisations, Conway Maritime Press, p. 161, ISBN 0-85177-934-4