Torbay Lifeboat at Noss on Dart

Bay lifeboat gets planned makeover at new boatyard

Nikki Belso

Torbay RNLI’s Severn class was lifted out of the water last week for her biannual ‘planned maintenance’ at Premier Marina’s new boatyard at Noss on Dart.

The opening of the 75-ton capacity hoist-dock at the boatyard saves having to take our 40-ton all-weather lifeboat (ALB) to busier and more distant boatyards at Falmouth or Poole. This is not only easier, but also means less time away from duties for both the lifeboat and crew.

Every six months, we undertake ‘underwater planned maintenance’ to ensure our Severn Class lifeboat is kept in optimum condition. This involves, amongst other things: a full hull scrub to remove marine growth; inspections of all skin fittings and of our vinyl wrap hull for wear, tear, damage or abrasion; inspection and cleaning of props, prop shafts, rudders and rope-cutters; cleaning of the sea inlet grill, all transducers and hull earthing plate; and replacement of all relevant anodes.

We use a vinyl wrap over our hull because this is more sustainable, faster and environmentally friendlier than antifouling each time, but we need to take care that the wrap remains smooth and undamaged as well as clear of barnacles or any other growth that can impair performance.

The six-monthly planned maintenance is also used as an opportunity to gather any specialist RNLI engineers we need for detailed inspection of our Severn Class lifeboat’s two MTU 10V2000 M94, 1,600 hp engines. This is the powerhouse we rely on for a 25-knot maximum speed that can be kept up for 10.4 hours and can cover a 250 nautical mile range – so it is critical she is kept in perfect running order.

Ashley McInally said: “This is the first time we’ve used the new hoist-dock at Noss. It’s an intricate operation lifting a 40-ton Severn Class lifeboat out the water and Premier Marine have been both professional and helpful. It’s handy for us to be able to carry out this maintenance more locally.”

Also, handy to carry out the works in such a stunning location!