VESSEL REVIEW | Ryde Inshore Rescue – Compact, all-weather SAR boat to serve Isle of Wight

VESSEL REVIEW | Ryde Inshore Rescue – Compact, all-weather SAR boat to serve Isle of Wight


Ryde Inshore Rescue, an independent marine search and rescue (SAR) service based at Appley on the Isle of Wight in the UK, recently added a new rigid inflatable boat (RIB) to its fleet.

Named after the same organisation that operates it, the custom-built Ryde Inshore Rescue was designed and constructed by local builder Ribcraft. Besides the deep-V hull, the multi-chambered heavy duty hypalon tube, and the complete capsize and rescue system that are standard features on Ribcraft newbuildings, the boat also possesses custom features that enhance its ability to perform its intended role, particularly in environments where the use of the operator’s other SAR vessels would not be practical.

Further, unlike some of the other lifeboats in the Ryde Inshore Rescue fleet, the newer RIB boasts a length of only 4.8 metres.

“The brief was to design and create a RIB that will aid the operator’s larger vessels to allow them to access hard-to-reach areas while providing ample open deck space for crew and safety equipment,” Ribcraft told Baird Maritime. “A vital part of the brief was to be able to have enough deck space to accommodate a casualty on a stretcher fully within the boat along with a single crewmember and a helmsman tillering.”

The builder added that, despite the boat’s comparatively small size, it was still necessary to carefully consider how to best utilise the available space on the vessel whilst still providing the crew with the space and the environment that they need to carry out their tasks efficiently and safely.

“The biggest challenges we faced were making sure we created a vessel that was completely suited to the environment within which it will operate while fitting the necessary capabilities within the limited size of a 4.8-metre hull. We worked closely with the crew from Ryde Inshore Rescue to make sure the vessel was built completely to their specification. This also required designing a unique low A-frame so that the boat can go everywhere their eight-metre boat – which we had also built – couldn’t reach due to its size.”

The newer RIB’s small size therefore makes it more ideal than the eight-metre boat for certain types of SAR missions such as those that take place closer to the shore, in shallow waters, near cliffs, and even in caves.

Ribcraft added that the design work that went into the 4.8-metre RIB also resulted in the development of innovations around the latest available technologies. The company has also begun deliberating how these innovations can be incorporated into the other boat models in its product portfolio.

The RIB is powered by a Mariner 2 two-stroke outboard engine with an output of 44 kW. The engine features post immersion restartable (PIRS) ability as well as a waterproofed starter motor, tiller control, and modified transom mounted keyless start assembly. These enable the engine to safely restart even after a capsizing.

The boat has also been upgraded to feature a light hull with an FRP composite honeycomb deck and stringers to provide a wood-free construction along with an HD foam core transom to ensure a long service life. It also has an open deck with shock mitigation padding, making it more comfortable for crew on missions. The deck is also able to accommodate one stretcher-bound casualty aside from the crew as stipulated within the brief.

The bow features a custom-built pod assembly to house batteries, storage, and navigation gear. The top of the pod has anti-slip patches and has an incorporated anchor locker with a built-in self draining system and quick release alloy bow fairlead with backing plate.

“Within the bow pod,” Ribcraft told Baird Maritime, “we have designed and created a custom-made console for easy access for the crew. Having all of the switches as well as communication and navigation equipment in one place on a reachable level means they can react more quickly during missions.”

Another part of the brief was to have safe storage for the crew’s safety equipment. To achieve this part of the brief, Ribcraft added a hatch to ensure all of the bow’s contents, such as the first aid kit, etc, will stay dry and secure.

Tube-mounted removable storage bags have also been installed around the RIB to provide additional space for storing equipment.

The craft’s electronics suite includes Raymarine displays, ICOM VHF radios with AIS, and a Plastimo compass. For onboard lighting, the operators rely on an all-LED suite of navigation lights, flashing strobes, and a handheld waterproof spotlight.

See all the other content for Emergency Services Week here.

Ryde Inshore Rescue
Type of vessel:RIB – Search and rescue
Owner:Ryde Inshore Rescue, UK
Operator:Ryde Inshore Rescue, UK
Designer:Ribcraft RIBs, UK; George Marvin, UK
CAD software:SolidWorks
Builder:Ribcraft RIBs, UK
Hull construction material:FRP
Superstructure construction material:Composite; hypalon
Deck construction material:Composite
Length overall:4.8 metres
Beam:2.1 metres
Draught:0.5 metres
Main engine:Mariner 2 outboard, 44 kW
Gearbox:Dog Clutch
Steering system:Tiller steering
Depth sounder:Raymarine
Sonar:Raymarine A80464 RV-100
AIS:Class B
Other electronics:Raymarine Axiom 9 multi-function display
Other deck equipment:4-point lift
Fendering:D section
Paints/coatings:Gel coat
Interior lighting:LED
External lighting/searchlight:LED; Hella marine handheld waterproof spotlight
Floor/deck surface finishes:Anti-slip decking finish with deck-covered shock mitigation padded matting
Safety equipment:Full MCA-compliant equipment
Type of fuel:Petrol
Fuel capacity:57 litres

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