In the early 1960's, the RNLI became concerned about a change in the type of work our lifeboats were getting involved with. More people were using the sea for leisure activities and as a result more people were getting into trouble on the coast in shallow coastal waters and surf zones where the traditional heavy displacement lifeboat was not particularly suited.
This led to the introduction of the D class lifeboat in June 1963. The first stand alone inflatable lifeboat,16 foot long, powered by an outboard engine and with a crew of two or three, she was ideally suited for fast response rescues in shallow water and surf. Easily launched from beaches or slipways the D class lifeboat fitted the role of Inshore Lifeboat very well. Over the years the design has changed very little but as more lifesaving equipment has been added a need to improve the lifeboats speed and capability has become apparent so a re-design was undertaken and the result is the IB1. Introduced in 2003, the new D class, (IB1) looks very similar to her predecessor, and is exactly the same size and shape externally but the construction and fit out is far superior.
The engine has also changed from 40hp. to 50hp, which will give her more speed and manoeuvrability in surf. The new engine also has an electric start with a manual start override - this facility was welcomed by the crews
The 'pod' in the bow allows for dedicated stowage of the boats equipment to keeps it secure and gives easier access at sea.
The IB1 as its predecessors is fitted with a VHF radio and navigation lights but a chart plotter has now been fitted which eases the job of the navigator in a small boat travelling at speed and it allows pinpoint navigation. The IB1 is therefore well suited to both day and night rescues.
The IB1 has proved herself to be an ideal replacement for her predescessor this class is the real workhorse of the RNLI.
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338kg (743 lbs)
2 or 3
3 hours @ 25 knots