New-hull-design-announced-for-latest-class-of-RNLI-lifeboat

Byline: New hull design announced for latest class of RNLI lifeboat
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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has selected the new hull design for its latest class of all-weather lifeboat, the Fast Carriage Boat 2 (FCB2). After thoroughly testing six hull models, a design by the charity’s own Naval Architects has been chosen.

In 2008, rough-weather trials proved that the performance of the experimental FCB2 boat’s original hull design in rough seas did not meet the operational requirements for an RNLI lifeboat, especially when travelling up-sea in steep waves. The decision was taken to redevelop the hull. RNLI’s FCB2 Project Manager, Chris Eves, comments:

‘The RNLI is committed to providing its volunteer crews with the very best equipment to carry out their lifesaving role. The introduction of FCB2, the Mersey class’s successor, will ultimately mean the whole fleet of all-weather lifeboats have a 25 knot capability, meaning casualties can be reached more quickly and efficiently. After initial trials found the original hull on the experimental boat was not performing as required, it became clear a hull redesign was needed – our volunteer crews and people in danger at sea rely on the quality, safety and efficiency of RNLI lifeboats.’

The hull design was opened to tender. Seven designs were submitted – six from external companies and one from the RNLI.

Six scale models were then built and tested by Seaspeed Marine Consulting Ltd. These models, driven by twin waterjets – as FCB2 will be – were self righting, radio controlled and fully instrumented for both acceleration and motion in all three planes (vertical, transverse and longitudinal) and incorporated a small video camera in the wheelhouse at the coxswain’s position. To recreate realistic conditions, most of the testing was completed in open water in The Solent and Chichester Harbour, with extreme weather surf-zone testing in Poole Bay. Additional testing to back up the open water data was also completed by Seaspeed at QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin and Ship Tank at Haslar, Gosport. Qinetiq donated three days’ use of the tank to the RNLI, as the Institution is one of QinetiQ’s five priority charities selected by its employees.

The key performance criteria for the new hull was to the reduce up-sea slamming without compromising down-sea performance. All models performed well in varying elements of the specification, but the RNLI’s in-house design provided the best overall performance.

Chris Eves continues: ‘Although we have in-house Naval Architects, we wanted to open the design process to external organisations, to ensure we were considering all possible solutions. The models all performed well in trials, but the RNLI’s in-house design has been chosen as it provided the best performance across a wide spectrum of requirements. The outcome is perhaps an indication of the understanding the RNLI’s own Naval Architects have of the requirements of the charity’s volunteer crews.’

Having chosen a hull, the next stage of the lifeboat’s development is to optimise the hull form to further improve performance with fuel economy being an important factor. The hull will then be moulded and fitted out before completing sea trials scheduled for mid 2011.

Notes to editors

· FCB2 is the replacement for the RNLI’s Mersey class lifeboat. Replacing the Mersey is the final step to enable the RNLI to fulfil its operation commitment to UK / RoI search and rescue for the 21st century, meaning all operational RNLI lifeboats have a top speed of 25 knots.

· Background information on FCB2 hull: Extensive trials of the FCB2 experimental lifeboat showed that waterjet propulsion was effective, giving advantages over traditional propellers, especially when manoeuvring in shallow water. However, the performance of the hull in rough conditions did not meet operational requirements. At speeds greater than 14 knots in a head sea, the slamming loads were significant and unacceptable if the boat came off a wave into a trough. It is for such reasons that thorough trials are essential; to identify and resolve issues before lifeboats are launched on active service. As always, the safety of the RNLI’s volunteer crews is paramount so it was been decided to develop a new hull that would satisfy all operational requirements.

· Images attached are: 1. The new hull model during open water trials; 2. A computer rendering of the new hull. Please credit RNLI FCB2 Project Team.

· A video of the hull model testing in open water is available at /who_we_are/press_centre/videos/video_detail?articleid=436672&category=321494®ion=&listing=Lifeboats. Video provided courtesy of Seaspeed.

· RNLI spokespeople are available for interview or comment. Please contact RNLI PR on the numbers below.

· Seaspeed Marine Consulting Ltd specialises in the design, construction and operational technologies of high speed marine craft. Much of their work is concerned with the prediction of seagoing performance and thus includes a range of simulation and testing techniques including open water testing. www.seaspeed.co.uk.

· QinetiQ (pronounced “kinetic”) is an international defence and security technology company employing over 14,000 people worldwide. QinetiQ’s hydrodynamic test facilities at Haslar are used to test physical ship and submarine models to predict their performance. The Ocean Basin (122m x 61m x 5.5m) and a Ship (Towing) Tank (270m x 12m x 5.5m) both have a wavemaking capability. Helping its clients save lives, time and money at sea is a core activity for QinetiQ’s maritime consultancy. www.qinetiq.com/hydrodynamics.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Laura Fennimore, RNLI Public Relations Officer on 01202 663181 or email lfennimore@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

Byline: New hull design announced for latest class of RNLI lifeboat
Page Content:

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has selected the new hull design for its latest class of all-weather lifeboat, the Fast Carriage Boat 2 (FCB2). After thoroughly testing six hull models, a design by the charity’s own Naval Architects has been chosen.

In 2008, rough-weather trials proved that the performance of the experimental FCB2 boat’s original hull design in rough seas did not meet the operational requirements for an RNLI lifeboat, especially when travelling up-sea in steep waves. The decision was taken to redevelop the hull. RNLI’s FCB2 Project Manager, Chris Eves, comments:

‘The RNLI is committed to providing its volunteer crews with the very best equipment to carry out their lifesaving role. The introduction of FCB2, the Mersey class’s successor, will ultimately mean the whole fleet of all-weather lifeboats have a 25 knot capability, meaning casualties can be reached more quickly and efficiently. After initial trials found the original hull on the experimental boat was not performing as required, it became clear a hull redesign was needed – our volunteer crews and people in danger at sea rely on the quality, safety and efficiency of RNLI lifeboats.’

The hull design was opened to tender. Seven designs were submitted – six from external companies and one from the RNLI.

Six scale models were then built and tested by Seaspeed Marine Consulting Ltd. These models, driven by twin waterjets – as FCB2 will be – were self righting, radio controlled and fully instrumented for both acceleration and motion in all three planes (vertical, transverse and longitudinal) and incorporated a small video camera in the wheelhouse at the coxswain’s position. To recreate realistic conditions, most of the testing was completed in open water in The Solent and Chichester Harbour, with extreme weather surf-zone testing in Poole Bay. Additional testing to back up the open water data was also completed by Seaspeed at QinetiQ’s Ocean Basin and Ship Tank at Haslar, Gosport. Qinetiq donated three days’ use of the tank to the RNLI, as the Institution is one of QinetiQ’s five priority charities selected by its employees.

The key performance criteria for the new hull was to the reduce up-sea slamming without compromising down-sea performance. All models performed well in varying elements of the specification, but the RNLI’s in-house design provided the best overall performance.

Chris Eves continues: ‘Although we have in-house Naval Architects, we wanted to open the design process to external organisations, to ensure we were considering all possible solutions. The models all performed well in trials, but the RNLI’s in-house design has been chosen as it provided the best performance across a wide spectrum of requirements. The outcome is perhaps an indication of the understanding the RNLI’s own Naval Architects have of the requirements of the charity’s volunteer crews.’

Having chosen a hull, the next stage of the lifeboat’s development is to optimise the hull form to further improve performance with fuel economy being an important factor. The hull will then be moulded and fitted out before completing sea trials scheduled for mid 2011.

Notes to editors

· FCB2 is the replacement for the RNLI’s Mersey class lifeboat. Replacing the Mersey is the final step to enable the RNLI to fulfil its operation commitment to UK / RoI search and rescue for the 21st century, meaning all operational RNLI lifeboats have a top speed of 25 knots.

· Background information on FCB2 hull: Extensive trials of the FCB2 experimental lifeboat showed that waterjet propulsion was effective, giving advantages over traditional propellers, especially when manoeuvring in shallow water. However, the performance of the hull in rough conditions did not meet operational requirements. At speeds greater than 14 knots in a head sea, the slamming loads were significant and unacceptable if the boat came off a wave into a trough. It is for such reasons that thorough trials are essential; to identify and resolve issues before lifeboats are launched on active service. As always, the safety of the RNLI’s volunteer crews is paramount so it was been decided to develop a new hull that would satisfy all operational requirements.

· Images attached are: 1. The new hull model during open water trials; 2. A computer rendering of the new hull. Please credit RNLI FCB2 Project Team.

· A video of the hull model testing in open water is available at /who_we_are/press_centre/videos/video_detail?articleid=436672&category=321494®ion=&listing=Lifeboats. Video provided courtesy of Seaspeed.

· RNLI spokespeople are available for interview or comment. Please contact RNLI PR on the numbers below.

· Seaspeed Marine Consulting Ltd specialises in the design, construction and operational technologies of high speed marine craft. Much of their work is concerned with the prediction of seagoing performance and thus includes a range of simulation and testing techniques including open water testing. www.seaspeed.co.uk.

· QinetiQ (pronounced "kinetic") is an international defence and security technology company employing over 14,000 people worldwide. QinetiQ’s hydrodynamic test facilities at Haslar are used to test physical ship and submarine models to predict their performance. The Ocean Basin (122m x 61m x 5.5m) and a Ship (Towing) Tank (270m x 12m x 5.5m) both have a wavemaking capability. Helping its clients save lives, time and money at sea is a core activity for QinetiQ’s maritime consultancy. www.qinetiq.com/hydrodynamics.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Laura Fennimore, RNLI Public Relations Officer on 01202 663181 or email lfennimore@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.