Monday, 12 March 2007

Versatility

People often ask why the RNLI continues to use the 'D' class boat and indeed why it has replaced it with a boat which is, in many respects, virtually identical. I suspect that the standard RNLI answer to the question would be very simple. It does what it does very well. Sure it is not as fast as a rigid hulled boat, but it is plenty fast enough. It can be driven onto sand at speed. It tends to survive encounters with rocks by being flexible and bouncy. It can cope with loosing buoyancy chambers. Add to this the fact that it is very manoeuvrable, great for rescuing people out of the water, is in many situations far less intimidating to be rescued by than a bigger boat and if it gets trashed it is basically a very cheap boat to replace and it starts to make lots of sense.

The shouts this weekend were classic ILB stuff really. The climbers, had they not been rescued by the Coastguard would have been relatively easy to extract by ILB (they would of got wet but lived to tell the tale). And the dinghy rescue would have been much harder had we had to rely solely on the ALB.

It all goes to show that sometimes less really is more.

2 comments:

Daniel said...

So true.

A classic design that has worked well for years.

How much does it weigh on comparison with the Arancia's that the RNLI Lifeguards use?

Cheers.

lifeboatjohn said...

You're right Daniel, a great boat. Much heavier than an arancia (not sure by how much) but carries a lot more kit (oxygen, chart plotter, battery and of course much more fuel).