23rd October 2015, 12:22
Docking RIBs for Land Rover BAR
Land Rover BAR have officially taken delivery of two Yamaha-powered Docking RIBs used in the manoeuvring and berthing of America’s Cup class boats at the Team’s Portsmouth base.
The deep V 6.1m RIBs were built as part of a project involving around 60 apprentices from Southampton’s Maritime Skills Centre. The RIBs were designed by Land Rover BAR to be able to move through 360° while holding a position and operate safely in congested and confined waters. They also have to contend with constant commercial and leisure traffic while positioning the America's Cup boats into their berths.
Each RIB is powered by a Yamaha F60, controlled by tiller in a centrally positioned rotating engine housing, inboard of the transom. This can be walked around so ensuring accurate positioning of the RIB with the America’s Cup boat secured alongside by up to eleven tie-down points. A towing bollard is also fitted. The 2.3m overall beam results in a clear working deck-space as the fuel tank and battery are within the rotating system.
The materials chosen for the RIBs’ hulls created a 20% saving in carbon across the two boats, and included flax (a plant material that has been used in marine applications for thousands of years); epoxy bonding resins with high biomass content (50+%); and a recyclable PET core material that comes from plastic bottles. The equivalent of more than 700 recycled water bottles went into the manufacture of the G-PET core used in the construction of the two RIBs.
Land Rover BAR have used the construction as a case study to test its newly developed analysis of the carbon footprint of marine manufacture. The aim is to better understand material selection and its environmental impact in boat production, a first step to producing a model that will better inform the marine industry about the sustainability of the choices that it makes. The project also gave the apprentices the opportunity to work with the new materials. They are mostly Level 2 and Level 3 apprentice boat builders and engineers, studying for City and Guilds qualifications.
The college's marine lecturer Darren Patten rotated the young people working on the RIBs so the highest possible number of students had the opportunity to work on the project, practising the different speciality skills involved in building the mould, composite construction, fairing, painting, and fitting the boats out with tubes, electronics and Yamaha outboard.