27 Apr Port of London Authority
In late July 2011 Redbay Boats were visited by three representatives from the Port of London Authority . The visit came about after an initial contact had been made in June at the Seawork International boat show in Southampton. It was at that show that it was agreed that some of the ports engineering team should fly across to Belfast in July to discuss a new RIB design based on a very specific PLA design.
The team visited for 2 days and after trialling several boats a very specific design specification was drawn up, with the main specifics being:
– The requirement for a waterjet RIB based on loosely on the Halmatic Pacific 24 design
– The requirement for a RIB that had to be 8.50 metres long with a self draining and scuppered weather deck so that it could sit unaided on a swinging mooring
– The requirement for a RIB which had to have mechanically affixed sponsons
– The requirement to utilise the latest in Centa carbon drive shaft technology to reduce on shaft servicing and to enhance vessel performance
– The requirement for a RIB to have both 12 and 24 volt power systems to align with the rest of the PLA’s commercial craft
– The requirement for a RIB to carry four personnel on shock mitigating seating to comply with the latest Marine Guidance Notice on Whole Body Vibration
– The requirement for a RIB to be built to the now synominous Redbay tough commercial standard
It was a very exciting project and the Redbay design team very quickly started to draft up a Project brief and some concepts which were passed to the Port Authority for consideration. After a couple of on-line meetings and an iterative design spiralling process a finished design finally made it to the table. It covered all the bases on the Port Authorities initial wish list with a few very clever additions incorporated into the design by the Redbay Team.
Some of the design highlights of the new vessel included a centrally mounted console incorporating an exceptionally easily serviced engine, a 2 metre centa carbon drive shaft again with a very serviceable access hatch and four Scot KPM suspension bases aft mounted. In addition the original wish list had been fully accommodated with the inclusion of the mechanically fixed collar, a first for Redbay.
The power was delivered by a Yanmar 6LP-315 driving through a ZF35A reverse gear box via the carbon drive shaft to a Hamilton HJ241 waterjet. The whole powertrain integrated and worked seamlessly in part helped by the compensators attached by centa to the carbon shaft which gave the smoothest in and out of gear imaginable and pushed the vessel to a very respectable 35 knots.
The commercial finish was very apparent throughout the craft and this is a design that would certainly fit with a number of workboat applications.
The new 850 hull platform was chosen and build started in late September with a proposed delivery date of December. All in all the build ran very smoothly with the consoles and deck components all coming together quickly even though they had to be moulded from scratch for this brand new design. The only slippage experienced and completely beyond the Redbay teams control was a delay from the German factory producing the carbon shaft which in the end stalled delivery/ commissioning by four weeks. .
However acceptance trails were completed in Januray 2012 and the vessel was delivered thereafter. It made its television debut at the Oxford Cambridge boat race but I suspect that this will not be its final television appearance for this latest Redbay star with all the excitement that is planned on the Thames throughout 2012.
Redbay Boats would like to wish the Port of London Authority every success with their new vessel.
Bolow is a testimonial from the Port of London,
The Stormforce 850 inboard jet rib “GUNFLEET” that you built for the PLA is superb and manoeuvres and drives extremely well. Your ability to listen to our needs in the design & build and then execute them produced a quality product and ultimately a very competitive price. Your delivery time was exceptional.
The operational and technical departments of the Port of London Authority consider that we have a fine, high quality craft that will give us good service, long life and durability.
Marine Engineering Superintendent,
Port of London Authority.