It’s Friday afternoon, lets dream awhile…
“This is an opportunity to acquire a fully operational all weather Lifeboat – the Arun class being one of the finest and most seaworthy boats ever produced by the RNLI. Vessel is in good condition both mechanically and electronically” says the sales patter.
Not only that but she served the Isles of Scilly – you may recognise her as the Robert Edgar that served the islands for 16 years in the 80s and 90s.
“It only requires minor cosmetic work and new batteries to place the boat back to fully operational condition”.
One snag if you are reading this in Cornwall though – she’s laid up ashore in Whangarei, New Zealand.
However if you have the spare NZ$150,00 (£85,000) to go around buying lifeboats for fun, that shouldn’t be a problem.
This vessel served St. Mary’s Lifeboat Station from 1981 until 1997 when it was withdrawn from service and underwent the full and very extensive ‘3 year’ refit by the RNLI which effectively renewed the boat. At that time, both engines and gearboxes were removed and reconditioned along with all mechanical componentry and operating systems.
Named Robert Edgar when on duty on Scilly she still bears her original RNLI Op.No 52 -18 and is now being sold by New Zealand Marine Brokers Ltd – a leading commercial vessel brokerage and valuation company in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific since 1991. (If you love to look at pics and specs of boats, their site will be heaven for you).
After serving the islands, the vessel then went to serve Weymouth on the south coast of England until 2003.
The present owner purchased direct from the RNLI in 2003 when it had completed only 230 hours at sea since the above mentioned 1999 refit. The boat was delivered to NZ as deck cargo on P & O Nedlloyd in 2003.
The owner has fitted sea toilet, sink unit with hot and cold water, an engine heated colorifier, fresh water tanks, a Simrad autopilot and interconnected Simrad chart plotter fitted with bridge repeaters and the Icom single sideband radio. (Hope you know what that means!)
Engines: 2x Caterpillar 3408TA Turbocharged intercooled V8 Diesel – 18 litres – 485hp each @ 2100 rpm. Gough Gough & Hammer, NZ’s CAT dealers in Whangarei have thoroughly checked the main engines including carrying out an extensive ‘on-board’ dyno type test. Propulsion through 4 bladed counter rotating propellers. Vessel has substantial towing capabilities.
Fuel: Capacity 2800 litres. Speed 18 knots. Range at full speed 250nm.
Electronics: Icom SSB radio and 2 – Sailor VHF radios, Decca Radar, ADDF, Simrad Auto Pilot, GPS, Simrad Chart Plotter and Depth Sounders plus all other navigational equipment standard for Arun Class lifeboats when in service with the RNLI.
The hull is based on a design by A McLachlan of Watsons of Glasgow. Constructed by Hamatic in England to Lloyds 100 A1 specification. Vessel fit out by William Osbourne. Aruns have massively constructed glass fibre hulls with aluminium structures. There are two survivor’s cabins below deck containing rescue equipment including first aid gear, stretchers…. and blankets.
St Mary’s Lifeboat has received fifty-six awards for gallantry.
The most recent was in 2004 when Bronze Medals were awarded to Coxswain Andrew Howells and Crew Members Mark Bromham and Philip Roberts for the rescue of an injured man from a yacht on 29 October 2003.