Thursday 11 October
The new RIB took to the water this morning to start the run in of the new engine as it had only been used to idle due to the boat covering the Olympic rowing events and not the sailing. This was also the start of the familiarisation process.
Three of our experienced RIB drivers, including Ken Dougall, took her out to take her through her paces. She (as yet without a name) proved to be very responsive and powerful and yet was very quiet. See Ken’s full report below.
Adrian Shield was on hand to take some photos: (Click on any photo to open the gallery and click on the photo to enlarge)
Ken Dougall Reports (Thursday 11 October):
“The clubs Olympic rib was put through her paces today and was launched at 09.20hrs. She is so quiet it is hard to know the engine is running but when the throttle is pushed she smoothly gathers speed up to 32knots. Her long hull makes her ideal to cut through the chop that is frequently seen in the Forth. This will make moving around on the course a more efficient , safer and drier process. Smaller ribs have to slow down to a crawl in a hard chop thereby increasing their times to the casualty with possible dire consequences.
With the Olympic rib we have a rescue craft that the club can be proud of. As the saying goes when the going gets tough the rescue craft get going and this is one craft that will certainly do that. She has enough space between the console and the sponsons to have a casualty laid flat whilst doing CPR on the move, something the other ribs cannot do. Her gleaming towpost will be ideal for towing big yellow racing marks at events. She has a built in VHF which is something that is so important for communications in a high wind and sea. Handheld radios are not that readable when the conditions get bad and that of course is exactly when the radios may well be needed. She handles in a different fashion to a 5 metre rib, her turning circle is larger. This means that she has to be driven with more forethought to position the boat alongside a casualty. She can hold a geostationary position in a fast tide with ease and can ferry glide and track with little effort.
However, she does throw off a larger wake than previous ribs and her idle speed is faster. This combination means that the driver must be much more aware when passing moored craft or approaching a pontoon. Her 90hp Suzuki engine has built in flush points and the engine does not even have to be running to carry out this important task. The engine is remarkably fuel efficient and looked to be slightly better than the 40 or 60 hp that we are used to. The steering is hydraulic and smooth as you would expect though she takes quite a few turns to point her long nose in the direction you wish to go in. It IS possible to turn between the crane and the pontoon in one sweep but only if it is timed to perfection. But due to her length it is more likely that she will require a three point turn to do it comfortably, whereas the 5 metre ribs can turn in a continuous movement.
To sum up, the membership have bought the right craft for the club’s needs. The Olympic Rib is an ideal safety boat and a huge asset to the Royal Forth Yacht Club’s fleet. She has proudly flown the flag at the Olympics and she will do us proud for many years to come.”