The 27th new Tamar class lifeboat was handed over to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) by Babcock , marking the last lifeboat to be built for the charity by Babcock under the existing contract.
The 16-meter Tamar class slipway-launched lifeboat, originally developed by RNLI designers with Babcock, represented a major step forward in lifeboat design, being one of the most technically advanced lifeboats in the world. The first prototype was built at Babcock’s Devonport Royal Dockyard facility. The contract for build and fit-out of the first batch of four Tamar class lifeboats was awarded to Babcock in 2003, and was followed by subsequent contracts won in stiff competition. The latest batch of nine was awarded in 2009 and concludes this month with this latest delivery.
The lifeboats have been built by Babcock at Devonport on a pulse production line, with each boat taking 11 months to build, from initial hull delivery to completion of sea trials, with a new boat starting every 12 weeks and up to four in progress at different fit-out stages at any one time. Significant improvements were also made during the course of the contract by Babcock introducing new methods to meet the challenging financial targets set by the RNLI with each contract awarded.
This last Tamar class lifeboat will be stationed at The Mumbles in South Wales