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Case Study

Building new boat lifting systems for the RNLI

RNLI asked Armada Engineering to create a new bespoke design for a lifting mechanism for their inshore lifeboats at three stations – Brighton, Burnham on Crouch and Fenit in Ireland. The project was so successful that Armada were subsequently invited to design a lifting mechanism for their prestigious HQ lifeboat station in Poole.

The inshore lifeboats are Atlantic 85 and D Class lifeboats, which are high speed RIBs. When they are not being used, they are stored out of the water to protect against marine growth and allow for maintenance.

The lifeboat’s cradle system is incorporated into a floating boathouse. The lifeboat is moored in the boathouse and a cradle lifts it from underneath.

Armada Engineering designed the lifting system, which comprises a cradle and four hydraulic cylinders, together with the wire mechanism and associated components.

Murray Walker, Project Engineer, says “This was an exciting project as it presented us with a completely new design challenge. We came up with a bespoke solution which took into account all the factors related to the lifeboat specification and the floating pontoon, as well as all the specific client considerations.”

Once designed, the lifting system was fabricated at Armada Engineering in Falmouth, then installed on the various sites across England and Ireland by the Armada engineering team.

Armada Engineering continues to provide maintenance services to the RNLI and has recently provided consultancy and ongoing maintenance services to their existing floating boatlifts used at their lifeboat stations on the Thames.