Stormforce 5.1 Rescue RIB ‘ Martin Kidd’

Stormforce 5.1 Rescue RIB ‘ Martin Kidd’

Building boats has always given the team at Redbay Boats the opportunity to meet some wonderful people. One particular individual was Martin Kidd, Martin was a loyal customer, a great friend and a keen supporter of Redbay Boats. Back in 2008 he bought his first brand new boat, a Stormforce 6.1 which he had coded to MCA-MGN 280 category 4 standard to allow him to run it as a training asset in his Powerboat School.

Martin got such a thrill from introducing new people to the pleasures of boating and was never happier than when he was afloat. He was a professional in every sense of the word and promoting safety afloat was always key in any teaching that he delivered. He also had a vision which was the formation of a lifeboat service in Antrim Bay where he lived. 

Martin was a member of the Lough Neagh Rescue team who already operated 3 life boats from 2 sites on Lough Neagh, the largest lake in the British Isles, and as part of a motivated team he set about lobbying for a life boat in Antrim. Unfortunately however he never saw his dream become a reality, after passing away from a short illness in 2012.

It is however heart warming to see  that now 3 years on his dream has become a reality and the Lough Neagh rescue team have decided that it would be a fitting tribute to name the new boat after him.

The Martin Kidd is a Redbay Stormforce 5.1 based on the RNLI D class with a number of key enhancements. It is a full RIB (rigid hull) with  under deck fuel tanks and an inflatable air deck to offer shock mittigation to the crew who  kneel on the deck and hold on to the sponson whilst underway. It has self righting capabilities and the engine is the same as the D class, a Mainer 50 Hp two stroke with PIRS ( Post Immersion Restart System), basically if the boat capsizes it can be righted and the flooded engine can be restarted to get the crew home safely.

The boat has been built with a custom console similar to the D-class but bespoke moulded to carry the safety kit that is key to the Lough Neagh Rescue and compliant with its  standard operating procedures. Navigation is delivered via a Raymarine C90W chartplotter which has the latest Navionics cartography,  the only system that works on the Lough.

The boat achieved 25 knots with full tanks and 4 crew board during sea-trails which is very impressive as it also runs with a propeller guard to offer protection to  any persons in the water. With a 100 litre tank the boat has 3 hours endurance and will prove to be a vital recue asset on the Lough Neagh for many years to come.

It was with particular pride that Tom and his team built this vessel, Tom started his RNLI career in a D class and he fully understands the importance of building safe and capable life boats which carry their volunteer crews in challenging conditions to save the lives of others. In this instance to have the boat adorned with the name of a dear friend makes it all the more satisfying.

Team Redbay would like to wish the team at LNR safe passge day or night when they battle the elements in pursuit of others aboard their latest  life boat  the ‘Martin Kidd’.


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