Delta RIB Rescue Trailer
R M Trailers were approached by Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) – a privately funded organisation – regarding the supply of a lifeboat launch cradle for their new Delta RIB based craft. This follows on from a previously supplied unit back in 2007 for a slightly smaller craft.
After several site visits and joint discussions between GAFIRS, RM Trailers and Vectis Marine (Vectis Marine supplied the rescue craft), a new concept was agreed upon. The original design for the launching cradle only allowed the craft to be recovered bow-first, so every time the craft was deployed it had to be turned around with the tractor, and the craft had to be launched stern-first. Together we created the “float-through” design, with side frames and recovery rollers.
The previous system involved the use of a very cumbersome A-frame drawbar that had to be removed each time the cradle was turned around, to allow the tractor to push or pull as required. This was all very time consuming as well as hard work!
The new unit has been designed around the idea of a drawbar system that splits after use and folds around the sides of the cradle, allowing the vessel clear passage to deploy. These units are fixed permanently to the cradle and swing from the main chassis and form the drawbar by means of two heavy duty rose joints and a single pin. This allows the tractor driver and a single banksman to deploy the craft in one, or possibly two simple manoeuvers depending on tidal conditions while the rest of the crew are on board preparing to get underway.
The craft now sits on two sections of heavy duty rubber fendering sourced from Holland. This is again an improvement of the original design which supported the craft on hardwood rails.
The craft can in effect float right through the cradle meaning much quicker recovery and turnaround time, even though privately funded GAFIRS are call upon by the MCA on average 100 times a year. The side support panels have vertically fitted entry rollers on each corner allowing the bow of the craft bump its way in while working against any tidal flows, again minimalizing damage to the vessel.
The unit also features oversized floatation running gear to cope with running over the shingle beach and the proven design of the RM Trailers waterproof hub system that has served them well in the past.
All the steel work has been shot blasted and hot zinc sprayed and then paint finished in a high quality 2-pack system. This was all done by Hi-Tech Surface Treatments. They very kindly allowed us to fit the unit up at their premises. This saved additional transport movements and its associated costs.