Over the last year the RNLI has been focusing on requirement for the deck layout and upper steering position design. Wheelhouse interior design considerations have included seat positions, engine controls, SIMS screen, air conditioning casualty handling and more.
The prototype hull was completed at SAR Composites boatbuilding facility in Lymington, Hampshire, in May 2010. It was then transferred to Berthon where fit out of all items and systems is taking place including:
engines, waterjets, electrical looms and SIMS
the wheelhouse is being painted after which the internal fit out will take place
the hull and wheelhouse will be joined
13-litre engines and waterjets will be used to propel FCB2.
Supacat Ltd has designed the new launch and recovery vehicle in conjunction with the RNLI. This vehicle can cope with many different beach and sea conditions found around our coasts.
The Supacat system chosen for launch and recovery of FCB2 has been completely refitted since trials with the experimental boat, including a redesign of the cab. The cab is now made of composite material with larger windows to improve the driver’s visibility.
Trials took place in June and July and a new cradle will be built to accommodate the hull shape of the prototype FCB2.
The prototype is planned to be launched in November 2011 with sea trials before the end of the year. It is hoped that operational acceptance will take place by March 2012 with the first operational Shannon class on station in 2013.
The integrated electronic Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) offers the crew the ability to monitor, operate and control many of the boat’s systems directly from the safety of their seats.
SIMS provides access to all communications (VHF, MF, DF, intercom), navigation (radar, chart, DGPS, depth and speed) and machinery monitoring including engines, transmission, fuel and bilge.
The Shannon will be the first modern generation all-weather lifeboat to run on waterjets rather than propellers. This will allow the vessel to operate in shallow waters and to be intentionally beached.
Waterjets will give the coxswain greater control when alongside other craft, in confined waters and in all sea conditions. Flat out, this revolutionary craft pumps 1.5 tonnes of water per second from its waterjets.