Wednesday, May 13, 2009

D class lifeboat

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Class overview


Avon Inflatables


Royal National Lifeboat Institution

In service:


General characteristics


4.9m (16ft)


1 [Mercury Marine


20knots (23mph; 37km/h)


3 hours at full speed


3 or 4

The D class lifeboat is a class of inflatable boat operated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution of the United Kingdom and Ireland.


For more than 40 years the D-class has served as the workhorse of the RNLI Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) fleet. Significantly smaller in comparison to the rest of the inshore fleet, the D-class is also the only vessel not to feature a rigid hull. The main aspect of the boat would be both its size and weight - only 436kg (960lb). The D-class has been specifically designed as a light and highly manoeuvrable rapid response craft.

Design and Construction

The D-class lifeboat is comprised of two sponsons, together housing seven inflatable segments intersected by baffles. The main construction fabric is Hypalon-coated Nylon which provides a durable, non-tear surface.

This is one of the smaller classes of lifeboat operated by the RNLI, and they are a common sight at lifeboat stations around the coast. Unlike other members of the ILB fleet, the D-class does not have a rigid hull; all others, with the exception of the Arancia, hovercraft and ALB Tenders, are Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs}.

The D-class normally has a crew of three or four and is primarily used for surfer/swimmer incidents as well as assisting in cliff incidents where the casualty is near the water. The very nature of its work requires a swift response, and the D-class can normally be afloat within five minutes of the pagers going off.

External links

D-112 Blue Peter III part of the Royal National Lifeboat Collection on display at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham.

RNLI Fleet Pages

RNLI Rapid Response Page

v?d?eClasses of RNLI lifeboat

All-Weather Fleet

Moored afloat

Arun ? Trent ? Severn

Slipway launched

Tyne ? Tamar

Carriage launched

Mersey ? FCB2

Inshore Fleet

Rigid inflatable

Atlantic 21 ? Atlantic 75 ? Atlantic 85 ? E-Class


D-class ? IB1 ? Y-class ? Arancia ? XP-class ? X-class



Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Categories: Classes of RNLI lifeboat | United Kingdom organisation stubs | Water transport stubs(and so on)
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