Solent-class lifeboat

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Class overview
Builders:
Operators: Flag of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.svg RNLI
Preceded by: Watson
Succeeded by: Tyne
Built: 1969–1973[1]
In service: 1969–1993
Completed: 11
Retired: 11
General characteristics
Type: motor lifeboat
Displacement: 27 tons
Length: 48 ft 6 in (14.78 m)
Beam: 14 ft (4.3 m)
Draught: 4 ft 8 in (1.42 m)
Propulsion: 2 x 110 bhp Gardner 6LX diesel engines
Speed: 9.5 knots (10.9 mph)
Range: 150 nautical miles (280 km)
Crew: 7

The Solent-class lifeboat is a steel-hulled version of the 48ft 6in Oakley-class self-righting lifeboat and is sometimes referred to as the 48’6”Oakley Mark III.[2] Solent Operational Numbers followed on from the first three 48ft 6in 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, Tyne classes, one Arun class and the first eleven Merseys). Two digits indicates a wooden, GRP or FRC hull.

Description[edit]

Apart from the steel hull the principal difference to the wooden hulled Oakley was the elimination of the complicated water ballast self-righting system; the Solent derived its self-righting capability from its watertight superstructure. The class was the last design of the traditional displacement-type lifeboat to come from the drawing boards of the RNLI.[2] There were (unofficial) Mark I and Mark II versions of the class, the first eight boats having a vertical steering wheel with wheelhouse access via sliding doors at the forward end of the wheelhouse on each side, while the last three has a seated steering position with hinged wheelhouse doors at the after end of the wheelhouse. The Mark II entered service in 1972.[2] The first four 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.

Propulsion[edit]

The Solent was powered by twin 110 bhp Gardner 6LX diesel engines which gave the boat a top speed of 9.5 knots (10.9 mph). There were twin spade rudders installed which were coupled to Mathway manual steering gear which gave this class a much better manoeuvrability than earlier classes of lifeboats.

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. ^ Lifeboat – In Danger’s Hour. Author: Howarth, Patrick. Publisher:Hamlyn Publishing Group Ltd, Third Impression 1982. Work= The RNLI, Facts and Figures, page 140. ISBN 0 600 34959 4
  2. ^ a b c Rescue at Sea – An International History of Lifesaving, Coastal Rescue Craft and Organisations. Author: Evans, Clayton. Publisher: Conway Maritime Press – Chrysalis Books Plc. 2003. Work= Part II, Chapter 19 – To Right or Not to Right? Page 161. ISBN 0 85177 934 4