The Tamar Class –
Spirit Of Padstow

About Padstow Lifeboat

Our new Tamar Class Lifeboat Spirit of Padstow arrived on station in 2006 to replace our Tyne Class Lifeboat James Burrough which had served the station since 1984. The Tamar Class Lifeboat was first designated as FSB2 (Fast Slipway Boat2) and was to be the next generation of slipway boat. Spirit was generously donated to the RNLI by Miss H B Allen who had also funded our previous Tyne Class lifeboat and another Tyne Class for the Relief Fleet. Of composite construction the Tamar class has a top speed of 25 knots and a range of over 250 miles. The twin Caterpillar C-18 engines provide 2.000 hp.

The Tamar Class

The Tamar class can either be launched down a slipway or moored afloat. The Tamar class has seating for a crew of 7 including the Coxswain and Mechanic. There is also seating for 10 survivors, but a total of 118 rescued people can be carried if necessary. As with all the Tamar Class Lifeboats she is fitted with an integrated electronic systems and information management system (SIMS) so that the crew can monitor, operate and control many of the boat’s systems directly from the shock mitigating seating in the wheelhouse. The Tamar Class also houses a Daughter Craft in a compartment in the stern below that Aft deck. The Y Boat is launched from the stern and is operated by two of the crew and is powered by an outboard motor.

Technical Information

  • Lifeboat category

    All Weather

  • Year introduced to the RNLI fleet


  • Last built


  • Launch type

    Slipway or afloat

  • Crew


  • Survivor Capacity

    Self-righting – 44
    Non self-righting – 118

  • Maximum speed

    25 knots

  • Range / Endurance

    250 nautical miles

  • Length


  • Beam / Width


  • Draught / Depth


  • Fuel capacity

    4,600 litres

  • Engines

    2 x caterpillar C18 marine diesel engines. 1,001hp each at 2,300rpm

  • Steering positions

    4-2 elevated upper steering positions for 360º views and 2 inside the wheelhouse

  • Construction

    Hull – fibre-reinforced composite (FRC) with single-skin section below the chine and 100mm thick foam-cored FRC sandwich above.
    Deck and superstructure – 25mm foam-cored FRC sandwich.

  • Number in fleet

    23 at stations and 4 in the relief fleet

  • Identification

    All lifeboats have a unique identification number. The first part indicates the class. Tamar class lifeboats start with 16 because they are just over 16m in length. The numbers after the dash refer to the build number. So, the first Tamar built was given the number 16-01. A build number with two digits indicates a hull constructed of fibre-reinforced composite (FRC). Three digits indicate a hull constructed of aluminium.

  • SIMS

    The integrated electronic Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) allows crew to monitor, operate and control many of the lifeboat’s systems directly from the safety of their seats. It means they spend less time standing up and moving around the lifeboat and so are less prone to injury in rough weather.

    SIMS provides access to:

    • Communications – including VHF (very high frequency) and MF (medium frequency) radio, direction finder (DF) and intercom
    • Navigation – including radar, chart, differential global positioning system (DGPS), depth and speed
    • Machinery Monitoring – including engines, transmission, fuel and bilge.

Boat Tracker

Using the Marine Traffic AIS tracker, you can see all of the boat activity around Padstow Lifeboat Station & the Camel Estuary. See if you can spot The Spirit of Padstow!

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