A new Launch and Recovery System (L&RS) developed by Supacat for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) new class of all-weather lifeboat (ALB) has undergone a two year trials program. These trials tested the system in demanding conditions and were held at Hayle, . The new L&RS design met all the requirements of the prototype specification and exceeded expectations during the trials; lifeboat crew feedback is now being used by the RNLI and Supacat to refine the pre-production design.
The new prototype all-weather lifeboat, designated FCB2 (Fast Carriage Boat 2), is being developed by the RNLI to replace its Mersey class lifeboats, currently serving at some 28 stations around the and . Supacat’s L&RS is one of two prototypes under development to launch and recover the FCB2, which has to be transported between the boathouse and the water, safer and simpler. As the FCB2 is launched and recovered bow first, Supacat’s L&RS has a unique feature in that a turntable is built into the boat carriage to rotate the boat once recovered, reducing the time and space needed to prepare for re-launch.