Waterproofed Engines On Self-Righting Lifeboat Restart Following Capsize
A British-made inshore search and rescue boat, used by the Royal National Life-Boat Institution and the Royal Navy for several years, is now available in the U.S. The Atlantic 21, a semirigid, selfrighting craft with waterproofed engines and instrumentation, immediately restarts after a capsize.
The vessel's fiberglass planing hull ensures high speed (30+ knots) ; the inflatable, rubber sponson is buoyant and light. The boat's rigid bottom is divided internally by longitudinal bulkheads into w a t e r t i g h t compartments. The "V" hull flattens out to a third of the craft's length for good planing under load, fast beaching (up to 20 knots) in an upright position, and easy trailer launch and recovery. Bailing is continuous through the open transom.
The easily removed neoprene sponson, comprised of two tubes, is attached to the hull by a sliding track system. The tubes, divided into seven buoyancy compartments, resist the effect of gasoline, oil and sunlight.
The craft's stability is increased when, with a maximum of 20 sur- vivors onboard, the beam expands almost 100 percent. If it capsizes, however, the craft can be selfrighted by one of the three crewmen.
When he pulls a remotely operated handle, a bag (housed in an aft roll bar) attached to an air bottle inflates and forces the craft back into floating position in about 15 seconds. While capsized, the boat is automatically anchored. Two launch and recovery systems can be used—either a tractor- propelled l a u n c h / r e c o v e ry trailer for beach or slipway conditions, or a crane (or davit) and lifting eyes for handling the craft from a jetty or moving vessel. The tractor-propelled trolley, which launches the boat in all conditions, is fitted with coolingtanks to which the engines can be attached with plastic pipes. Thus, the engines can be warmed up before the boat enters the water. Overall length is 22 feet 3 inches, usual beam is 7 feet 8 inches, and draft is 2 feet 6 inches with engines down.
For additional information, write to Charles Irwin, The Charles P. Irwin Yacht Brokerage Inc., P.O. Box 3044, Bahai Mar Yachting Center, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33316.