Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Please mind the gap...

Mart asked:

I'd never noticed before, but do you have 2 removable rails to allow you to close the doors? I'd never really paid attention to it before now, but I can see now that your slipway leaves above floor height so to speak. I think all the others I have seen the slipway is level with the floor.

Well spotted Mart, we do indeed. A long time ago the old pulling lifeboats were launched on a cobbled slipway at ground level. With the arrival of motor lifeboats the slip was raised but a gap had to be left for people to pass along the path in front of the Boathouse. Hence the orange timbers.

I tried hard to find some reasonable photos showing this and failed. Anyway, here are a couple which sort of show what you are talking about.

Here the boat is being re-housed in the dark. You can just make out the timbers bridging the gap.

This too shows the timber in place and crossing the gap.

This shot gives a rough idea of how high and wide the gap is.

Incidentally, it wouldn't matter much if the timbers weren't there. The gap is only 5 or 6 feet wide and the boat is 38ft long and reasonably light at each end so unlikely to tumble into the gap!

Anyway, thanks for the question Mart, any others?


Anonymous said...

Hi John
I was just wondering if all Lifeboat Coxwains can drive all classes of Boat or whether they are only allowed to drive there own class. You somtimes say that one of the crew brought a different class from Poole for exercise are all crews able to do this is they are based near a Lifeboat 'Depot'?

Mart said...

Thanks for the answer John.