Anstruther Lifeboat Station
12m Mersey Class Boat Kingdom of Fife
Anstruther ILB D500
The Mersey Class Allweather &
D Class Inshore Lifeboat
The Mersey Class Lifeboat is designated as a Fast Carriage Lifeboat (FCB) Though it is also capable of being launched down a slipway. (Launch and recovery details at Anstruther are give in the Launch section)
The Mersey Class was primarily intended to replace the carriage launched 37ft Oakley and the 37ft 6ins. Rother Class lifeboats. The name was chosen in line with the RNLI policy of using the names of rivers for lifeboat classes. 'Mersey Class' because there are lifeboat stations on the approaches to the River Mersey that operate 'carriage launch' lifeboats and also because the Institute used to operate a 'Liverpool Class' Lifeboat and chose Mersey to reaffirm the links with the area and its great maritime traditions.
Construction of the first prototype started at the beginning of 1986 and it was launched in July 1987, serial numbers given to boats refer to the length in meters and the number within its class. Early boats were constructed of aluminium and the later boats including 'The Kingdom of Fife' 12 - 17 are of Fibre Reinforced Composite (FRC) she was launched in 1991.
Also referred to as the All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) because of their capability to operate in all weathers and survive a complete capsize with their self-righting capability.(See details below)
Brief Technical details of the Mersey Class Lifeboat
Length overall (LOA)
11.582 metres (12) Beam 3.810 metres Depth moulded 1.820 metres Typical Draught (no crew but fully loaded) Aft 0.910 metres Fwd 0.990 metres Displacement (Typical) 14.25 Tonnes Engines Twin Cat.3208T diesel Shaft horse power 210kW each Maximum speed (Typical) 16.5 knots Crusing speed 16 knots Range at crusing speed 162.5 nautical miles Duration at cruising speed 10.26 hours approx. Fuel capacity 1088 litres Number of crew 6
The Mersey Class FCB has a 10 metre waterline length hull, manufactured from FRC with inherent self-righting capability. All hull fittings, machinery and electrical fittings, appliances, tools etc., are well secured by a combination of nuts, bolts, drop-nose pins and shock cords to retain them in place should a knockdown or capsize occur.
The hull exterior has a soft nosed bow with reverse sheer. A spray rail protects the deck and wheelhouse from thrown spray when travelling at speed. A good working space is provided on the foredeck; the reverse sheer allows clear vision over the stern when the bow rises at speed.
A fairly low freeboard permits the recovery of survivors from the water while giving enough height in the bow for good seakeeping. The hull has a round bilge and a semi-displacement form, with a tunnel stern and radiused transom.
The keel has hauling shoes forward and aft which have ruffle holes to allow beach or slipway launch / recovery.
The FRC boats have closed-cell rigid polyurethane foam buoyancy under the anchor in the fore peak and in the fore cabin sole.
Adjustable trim tabs are fitted to either side of the centreline, under the stern and below the waterline in order to adjust the trim of the lifeboat to suit varying sea conditions, these are controlled independently from the wheelhouse helmsman's console and a parallel set of controls on the upper steering position instrument console.
The hull is subdivided by four watertight bulkheads in five compartments.
1) Fore Peak Cable Locker
2) Fore (Survivors) Cabin
3) Engine Room
4) Oil Fuel tank Space / wheelhouse
5) Aft Peak Steering Gear Compartment
The rudders are twin semi-balanced spade type and propellers are four-bladed cast Nickel, Aluminium,Brass (NAB) The propeller shafts are fitted with Spurs type rope cutters.
Mersey Class Lifeboat Cutaway diagram
The main propulsion engines are Caterpillar type 3208T diesel marine units.
They are eight cylinder 'V' configuration and each engine will produce a maximum of 280 shaft horse power at 2800 rpm.
Specification Type Four Stroke turbocharged No. of cylinders 8 Bore 114mm Stroke 127mm Displacement 10.4 litres
Self Righting Capabilities
The Mersey class boat has been designed as with the other Alb's such that it will return to the upright, no matter what heel is imposed forcibly, right up to complete capsize.
There are three main design principals as in the other new lifeboat classes to achieve this.
1) A large wheelhouse has been designed to keep the buoyancy high up.
2) Careful design of the main engines and fuel tanks keeps the centre of gravity as low as possible.
3) Water is prevented from entering the lifeboat by the use of watertight doors & hatches, gravity operated closure valves on air intake and exhaust. There is also a system to keep the engine running at idling speed to maintain an outward pressures on the exhaust pipes.
As a final check on the design, each new lifeboat, 10m and over is subjected to Righting Trials in the harbour as part of her boatbuilders trials. The lifeboat is hauled over by a crane which pulls upwards on strops wrapped round the hull - until the lifeboat is upside down - the strops are released and the lifeboat starts to return quickly to the upright and shakes of the water - within about 6 seconds.
The D Class Inshore Lifeboat
The D Class was the RNLI's first inflatable, introduced in 1963. It has a single outboard engine and is ideal for rescues close to the shore in fair to moderate conditions and can be self righted manually by the crew after capsize. The crew all wear dry suits.
Specification Length 4.9 m (16') Crew 2/3 Speed 20 knots Displacement 338kg (745lb) Endurance 3hrs at max speed Launched Trolley & tractor Construction Nylon coated with hypalon
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Follow links for drawings of the Mersey Class Lifeboat and detail photographs (to follow) in Photo Gallery.
Starboard side elevation.
Elevation section on centre line looking to port.
Elevation section on centre line looking to starboard
Plan view of deck and wheelhouse arrangements.
Transom & Bow Elevations