In 2011 the Irish Coastguard placed a contract with Delta Power Group (builder of Delta RIBs) to supply 12 highly specified RIBs as part of a five year programme of replacements and updates in its extensive fleet of search and rescue craft.
Three 9.00m Delta RIBs fitted with shockwave seating and Yamaha F225 Outboard motors have already been delivered in 2011. As a follow-up to this delivery, the next instalment in the contract is for seven slightly smaller RIBs; namely one x DELTA 7.00m X, two x DELTA 7.50m Xs and four x DELTA 8.00m Super Xs. The demanding delivery schedule requested was just three months, with tests and trials throughout January 2012.
This exciting contract forms part of the Irish Coast Guard’s new programme that will see the replacement of older Delta RIBs first delivered in the early 1990s as well as of more recently delivered boats supplied by competitors. The Irish Coast Guard comprises 54 Coast Guard units covering the whole coast (encompassing the Irish Sea and Atlantic seaboard) - so it needs a lot of rugged and reliable RIBs that can fulfil search and rescue operations in the most demanding of conditions. And Deltas fit the bill.
The new 7.00m and 7.50m craft are fitted with Yamaha F115 outboard motors; while the 8.00m craft come with Yamaha F150 outboards. All of the craft will exceed the client’s minimum top speed requirement of 36knots. Seating in the 7.00m and 7.50m craft comprises four Shockwave Shock Mitigating seat units and the 8.00m craft are fitted with six Shockwave Shock Mitigating Seat units including two foldaway seat units. The 7.00m and 7.50m craft are certified for four persons and the 8.00m craft for 6 persons. Safety gear is in accordance with the MSO P6 passenger boat licensing and the MCA Small Commercial Vessel Code.
In common with other RIBs in the Delta range, the hull, sponsons and GRP deck fittings are all constructed ‘in house’ thereby ensuring maximum quality control. Major fabrications (such as metalwork) are undertaken by specialist sub contractors while the full fit out (including electronics and wiring) is carried out by Delta.
The Irish Coastguard decided to return to Delta for more new RIBs because it has a long-standing and successful relationship with the company. The performance, sea keeping abilities and reliability of Delta RIBs are well known to the helmsmen and crew who operate these craft. This latest order forms the second batch of boats to be delivered, following the tendering process that lead to Delta winning this important contract in early 2011.
As further proof of the success of Delta RIBs, the craft delivered in the early 90s will remain in operation until the point of the delivery of the new craft. Both the operating crews and those in managerial roles have commented on the longevity of service of the Delta RIBs, as well as on their ability to handle the roughest of conditions.
This latest order from the Irish Coastguard adds to Delta’s reputation as a top designer, manufacturer and supplier of craft ideally suited to Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue and Customs Operators who operate in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere in the world.
Contributors: Mr Richard Rushton, Naval Architect