Tamar-class lifeboat

The Padstow lifeboat Spirit of Padstow
Class overview
Name: Tamar class
Operators: Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Kent Police
Preceded by: Tyne
Cost: £2.6m
Built: 2000–2013[2]
In service: 2006–
Building: 0
Planned: 27
Completed: 27
Active: 27
Retired: 1 (Prototype)
General characteristics
Displacement: 31.5 t (31 long tons)
Length: 16 m (52 ft)
Beam: 5 m (16 ft)
Draught: 1.35 m (4.4 ft)
  • 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)
Complement: 7

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.

The class name comes from the River Tamar in south west England which flows into the English Channel where they were manufactured by Babcock International Group.[3]


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.[4] 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). The remaining Tynes will be replaced by 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.[5] The first production boat, Haydn Miller entered service at Tenby in March 2006.[6] 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.[7][8] 10 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.


A Y Class inflatable boat on the transom ready to be deployed.

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.[9] 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.[10] 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[lower-alpha 1] Op. No.[lower-alpha 2] Name In service Station Launching method 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
1281 16-02 Haydn Miller 2006– Tenby Slipway
1282 16-03 The Misses Robertson of Kintail 2006– Peterhead Afloat
1283 16-04 Spirit of Padstow 2006– Padstow Slipway
1284 16-05 Helen Comrie 2006– Longhope Afloat
1286 16-06 Frank and Anne Wilkinson 2007– Relief fleet
1287 16-07 Lester 2008– Cromer Slipway
1288 16-08 Grace Dixon 2008– Barrow Slipway
1289 16-09 Baltic Exchange III 2008– Salcombe Afloat
1290 16-10 Edward and Barbara Prigmore 2008– Relief fleet
1291 16-11 Mark Mason 2009– Angle[11] (Slipway)
1292 16-12 George Sullivan 2009– St Helier Afloat
1293 16-13 Victor Freeman 2010– Relief fleet
1294 16-14 City of London III 2010– Sennen Cove[12] Slipway
1295 16-15 Enid Collett 2010– Shoreham Harbour[13] Slipway
1296 16-16 Molly Hunt 2010– Appledore[14] Afloat
1297 16-17 Alfred Albert Williams 2010– Bembridge[15] Slipway
1298 16-18 Killarney 2010– Kilmore Quay[16] Afloat
1299 16-19 Irene Muriel Rees 2011– Walton and Frinton Afloat
1300 16-20 Rose[17] 2011– The Lizard[18] Slipway
1301 16-21 John Buchanan Barr[19] 2011– Portpatrick[19] Afloat
1302 16-22 Alan Massey 2012– Baltimore[20] Afloat
1303 16-23 Diamond Jubilee 2012– Eastbourne[21] Afloat
1304 16-24 John D Spicer 2012– Porthdinllaen[21][22] Slipway
1305 16-25 Kiwi 2013– Moelfre[23] Slipway
1306 16-26 Norah Wortley 2013– St Davids[23][24] Slipway
1307 16-27 Roy Barker IV 2013– The Mumbles[23][24] Slipway
  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.


  1. "RNLI takes over lifeboat hull construction". Maritime Journal. 1 February 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  2. "Praise for Babcock as final RNLI Tamar class lifeboat is completed". RNLI. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  3. "Tamar Class built by Babcock International, Devonport Dockyard".
  4. Wake-Walker, Edward (2008). The Lifeboats Story. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. pp. 67–74. ISBN 978-0-7509-4858-6.
  5. "Kent police launch new boat". BBC News. 14 May 2008.
  6. Denton, Tony (2009). Handbook 2009. Shrewsbury: Lifeboat Enthusiasts Society. p. 35.
  7. http://www.babcockinternational.com/media-centre/last-of-27-tamar-class-lifeboats-delivered-by-babcock-on-time/
  8. http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/Praise-for-Babcock-as-final-RNLI-Tamar-class-lifeboat-is-completed.aspx
  9. Meeke, Keiran (16 October 2007). "A cause that's seaworthy". Metro: 17.
  10. Wake-Walker, Edward (2008). The Lifeboats Story. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-7509-4858-6.
  11. "Angle, Pembrokeshire Fleet". RNLI. Retrieved 7 October 2010.
  12. "City of London III christened at special RNLI naming ceremony in Sennen Cove". RNLI. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  13. "Runners and paddlers boost Shoreham RNLI Lifeboat Station Appeal by thousands of pounds". RNLI. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  14. "Appledore Lifeboat Station". RNLI. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  15. "Operations". Station news. Bembridge Lifeboat Station. 22 October 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  16. and shouts.html "News and Shouts" Check |url= value (help). Kilmore Quay Lifeboat. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2010.
  17. "Things are coming on at The Lizard RNLI Lifeboat Station". The Lizard Lifeboat Station. Retrieved 6 May 2011.
  18. "The Lizard RNLI build and boat bulletin – number 13 – Monday 7 February 2011". RNLI. 7 February 2011. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  19. 1 2 "Portpatrick lifeboat funded by widow's £2.6m legacy". BBC News. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  20. "Baltimore Lifeboat Station". RNLI. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  21. 1 2 "Tamar - Erdington RNLI". Erdington RNLI. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  22. "New £2.7m lifeboat for Porthdinllaen on Llyn peninsula". BBC Wales. 20 August 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  23. 1 2 3 "RNLI plans to invest £42.5M in Wales are a step closer to reality". RNLI. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  24. 1 2 "RNLI Tamar-class". Liveboatsonline.com. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tamar class lifeboats.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/10/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.