D Class – D714 ‘Jean Ryall’

The D Class (IB1) Lifeboat has been the workhorse of the RNLI fleet for over 50 years. Able to operate closer to shore than our Atlantic 85 the IB1 is ideal for rescues close to shore in fair to moderate conditions. The IB1 can be manually righted by the crew after a capsize. Fitted with the RNLI’s SIMS system which was developed in-house she is equipped with chart plotter, VHF and AIS which allows her location to be tracked in real time. Launched at Porthcawl using a Tooltrak tractor and trailer unit.

Launch TypeTrolley or davit
Length Overall5m
Beam Overall2m
Displacement Load463kg
Top Speed25 knots/ 28mph
Engines1x Mariner 50hp
Range/ Endurance3 hours at maximum
Survivor Capacity5


Atlantic 85 – B832 ‘Rose Of The Shires’


Rose Of The Shires is one of the new generation of RNLI B-class Atlantic inshore lifeboats, first developed from a design originated at Atlantic College, near Porthcawl, in South Wales. The ’85’ refers to the boat being almost 8.5m in length.

With a crew of four, and two inversion-proof 115hp petrol engines, the lifeboat is capable of speeds in excess of 35 knots, and is fitted with a manually operated righting system which, combined with her inversion proofed engines, allows her to remain operational even after capsize.

At Porthcawl the boat is launched using a specially designed Tractor unit with carriage. Equipped with the RNLI’s SIMS system which was developed in-house she is fitted with radar, chart plotter, VHF radio direction finding equipment and AIS which allows her location to be tracked in real time. She has an endurance of 2.5 hours at maximum speed.

To see the Atlantic 85 in action, Click Here

Launch TypeCarriages, davit or floating boathouse (Carriage at Porthcawl)
Length Overall8.44m
Beam Overall2.85m
Displacement Load1.8 tonnes
Top Speed35 knots/ 40mph
Engines2 x 115hp Yamaha (4 stroke)
Range/ Endurance2.5 hours
Survivor Capacity20

Talus Tractor

Developed jointly with the RNLI, the Talus MB-4H is the first tractor to be specifically designed for the task of launching inflatable lifeboats. Previous lifeboat tractors had been converted from commercial designs.

It was necessary to design a special tractor because commercial designs were becoming more difficult and costly to adapt and could not meet the RNLI requirements, such as ground clearance, steering ability and full waterproofing.

Development took place at Knighton, at the Company Test facility. The prototype was then tested at lifeboat stations with the most arduous launching conditions. Trials were completed and the first tractor went on station at New Brighton in November 1990.

Weight9.38 tonnes
Max. Speed22mph
Power105bhp – Diesel Turbo
Drawbar Pull5-6 tonnes
Height2.75m (hatch down)
Winch Wire Pull5 tonnes



The RNLI Tooltrak is a compact rubber tracked crawler based tool carrier for use in marine environments for the launch and recovery of lifeboats and other craft. It is designed for operating on extremely soft ground conditions such as estuary mud or sand, or on shingle beaches.

The machine is capable of wading to a depth of 0.65m and is able to withstand momentary swamping by wave action (0.65m) from the front or rear without the engine stalling or the windscreens being damaged.

In the event of water ingress the Tooltrak is fitted with an automatic bilge pump mounted within the vehicle sump.

Max. Speed10kph
Power65.3bhp – Diesel Turbo
Maximum Pressure (Auxiliary hydraulic system)150bar
Track Width350/400/600mm
Max tractive effort2400kgs