Atlantic 75 - B758 'Sandwell Lifeline'
The Atlantic 75 is a B class lifeboat. Constructed of a GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) rigid hull with inflatable sponsons. The sponsons are extremely durable and made of Hypalon coated Nylon material. The twin Evinrude outboards each producing 75 hp are modified at the RNLI's Inshore Lifeboat Centre at Cowes to prevent water entering in the event of a capsize. This allows them to be restarted when the vessel is righted.
The tubular aluminium roll bar at the rear supports the righting equipment, aerials and navigation lights. The inflatable righting bag is activated by the crew in the event of capsize. The bag is powered by two compressed air cylinders on the deck below.
|Range||3 hours at full speed||Length||7.5 metres|
|Top speed||34 knots|
B758 'Sandwell Lifeline' Entered service in 1999, funded entirely by voluntary contributions form the people of the Borough of Sandwell, West Midlands. It replaced Atlantic 21 B559 'Long Life 3' Which was on station from until 1999. B559 is now serving in The British Virgin Islands. The major differences between the Atlantic 75 and the Atlantic 21 are that the rigid length has been increased by 0.305 meters (12 ins) and the beam by 1.85 cm (1/2 ins). The flat has been reduced and the bow section re-designed to give a finer entry at the strike area and extending further aft than the Atlantic 21. The dead rise remains at 27 degrees. The prime objective of the modified design was to provide a softer and easier ride whilst still preventing the boat`s transom and engines from being submerged on landing in heavy weather conditions and thus tending to swamp the boat via the exhaust. The sponson diameter has been increased by 5.1 cm (2 ins) thus increasing the lifeboat`s overall beam by 15 cm (6 ins), compared with the Atlantic 21 and a towing post has been fitted directly behind the console, improving towing action.
The console is fitted in the centre of the boat and provides the helsman's controls and seating for the crew, with the helmsman at the front, and the radio operator behind him to the port side and other crew man (navigator) to starboard. All crew positions have foot straps fitted to the deck to allow the crew to 'ride the bumps'. Although there are only three crew seats the boat is capable of carrying twenty two people if necessary.
At the very front of the console is the anchor, warp and chain, when deployed the anchor warp is passed through the fairlead at the very front of the boat which will ensure that the boat is always held head on, it also prevents wear on the sponson and will prevent the possibility of capsize caused by an anchor rope going over the side of a sponson.
The helmsman has control of the steering wheel and single hand operation of the engine controls (throttles, gears and engine tilt/trim). Also on the helmsmans console are the illuminated compass, depth sounder, various switches for controlling navigation lights, engine start/stop, individual tachometers and motor thigh temperature warning lights.
Behind the helmsman on the port side is the water-tight VHF radio, hand microphone and loud speaker, (the helmsman also has a radio speaker and mike in his helmet which is controlled by a switch on the throttle handle). Directly behind the helmsman is the Global Positioning System (G.P.S.) which provides co-ordinates, estimated speed, and guidance to programmable waypoints (although waterproof charts of the local area are stored in pockets in the console in case necessary). The crew seat on the console can be lifted to gain access to the petrol tank filler caps and a locker for gear such as a foot pump for topping up the sponson and an aerosol operated fog horn. In another locker on the console a number of flares are stored, 2 x red for distress and 6 x white parachute flares. The parachute flares are used when trying to locate a casualty at night. The parachute flares are fired into the air to produce a very bright light which slowly descends on a parachute illuminating a large area.
To the rear of the console is the 35m towing rope on a reel which is used in conjunction with the tow bar (stored along side the sponson) to tow stricken vessels to safety. The tow bar can be fitted to the a-frame at the stern of the boat and the tow rope then passed over it to provide a safe method of towing vessels while keeping the rope out of the lifeboat's propellors.
The roll-bar, also known as the A-Frame or Gantry, is located at the very stern of the boat and supports the self righting bag, navigation lights and aerials. In the event of a capsize in very shallow water the roll-bar will give some protection to the crew, motors and console. The self righting airbag is stored on top of the a-frame and may be inflated using CO2 cylinders located at the base of the rollbar. If the boat should capsize a handle at either side of the boat outside of the stern (ie, accessible from the water when the lifeboat is inverted) will empty the contents of one of the gas bottles into the airbag which will then cause the boat to roll the right way up. Also mounted on the a-frame is the oxygen bottle and equipment for administering oxygen to casualties.
The twin 75hp Yamaha four-stroke engines are capable of taking the boat to a speed of 34 knots, they are water cooled and each power a propellor by a vertical drive shaft through a remotely controlled gearbox. Each gear box offers one forward, one reverse gear and a neutral position. The engines may be operated completely independently of each other if required. The RNLI has made some specific modifications to the engines to allow them to be immersion proof -
- a mercury switch operated solenoid valve will shut off the air inlet and cut off ignition if the boat reaches an angle of heel of 90 degrees
- the exhaust system has a u-tube assembly and one way exhaust valves to prevent water entering when the engine is inverted.
First aid kit
Portable VHF radio
3 x Paddles (one separates for use in emergency steering)
4 x knives
2 x Spare propellors
Sea Anchor / Drogue (stored at bow of boat used for holding the head of the boat into the sea in case of capsize or when normal anchor would not be applicable)
Throwing lines fitted to quoits at either side of the sponson
2 x 20m mooring ropes
Small hand held torch
Halogen spotlight torch
|Aberdovey Lifeboat Tractor|
Built - 1977
Engine size - 6 cylinder 7391cc
Power - 120 hp
weight - 14 tons