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Old 02 February 2015, 13:34   #1
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Event: The Story of A Little Boat @ Chelsea College of Arts

The Story of A Little Boat

A Lecture about the history of the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat and its future on the Northern Coast of Japan

Hosted by Robin Jenkins.

Friday, February 27at 6:30pm GMT

Chelsea College of Arts, London, United Kingdom
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Old 02 February 2015, 13:39   #2
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Robin was my classmate at Atlantic College in the early 1990's. Our school was where the first RIB was invented!

According to wikipedia

Origins in Britain
The combination of rigid hull and large inflatable buoyancy tubes seems to have been first introduced in 1967 by Tony and Edward Lee-Elliott of Flatacraft,[1][2] and patented by Admiral Desmond Hoare in 1969 after research and development at Atlantic College in South Wales.

In 1964, Rear-Admiral Hoare and his students at Atlantic College replaced the torn bottom of their 12-foot-long (3.7 m) sailing club rescue inflatable boat with a plywood sheet glued to the inflatable tubes. This proved a successful modification but was rather uncomfortable at speed offshore, and so the floor was rebuilt with a deep-vee bow blending to a nearly flat section stern. This boat was named Atlanta and later that year an Atlantic College RIB was displayed at the London Boat Show.[3]

By 1966 the students had built a further five rigid inflatable boats – Aphrodite (15 ft), Triton (16 ft) and X1–X3. Aphrodite and Triton were for the College’s own use. X1 (16 ft) and X2 (22 ft) were launched in 1965 by Queen Elizabeth II and made under a development agreement with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). They were taken by the RNLI for trials at Gorleston (X1) and Great Yarmouth (X2) from which they returned to Atlantic College in spring 1967. X3 was an experimental vortex-lift hull funded by a private developer and was not greatly successful.

By that time Hoare had concluded that for the conditions under which they operated a boat of around 18 feet long was optimum which led to X4 (launched 1966), X5 and X6 (launched 1967), and X7 to X8 (launched 1968). These boats were used to support the college's sailing activities and also to fulfil the college's responsibility as an inshore lifeboat station for the RNLI – a responsibility it still discharges to this day. At the same time, work started on a smaller series of beach-launchable boats (10 – 12 ft long, designated MX1 – MX6) to support lifeguards on local beaches.

All the above boats’ hulls were built from plywood. In summer 1968, student Paul Jefferies designed and constructed a hull (X10) from fiberglass, which was not a success due to lack of strength. However that development led to the building of Psychedelic Surfer,[4] a twin-engined 21 ft RIB, for John Caulcott, Graeme Dillon and Simon de’Ath to race in the 1969 Round Britain Powerboat Race, in which it was one of the few boats to finish.

From that time, the RNLI transferred development to its research centre in Cowes, who took the Atlantic College designs and developed from them the 21 ft Atlantic 21 class of inshore lifeboats which entered service in 1972 and continued for the next 30 years or so.[5]
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