Irish Lifeboats

The definitive guide to the Irish lifeboat service

B Class (Atlantic) Lifeboats

The B Class is one of the two classes of inshore lifeboats currently serving at Irish lifeboat stations. There are two types of B class currently in service-the Atlantic 75 and the Atlantic 85. The earlier Atlantic 21 type has now retired from active service with the RNLI.


The Atlantic 75 was introduced in 1993 and the Atlantic 85 was introduced in 2005. 75 and 85 are derived from a length of nearly 7.5m and 8.5m. 


The name Atlantic is derived from Atlantic College in Wales where the rigid inflatable B class was first developed.


There are currently 7 Atlantic 75 type and 14 Atlantic 85 type lifeboats based at RNLI stations in Ireland.

Atlantic 75 

The Atlantic 75 is the second generation Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) in the B-Class series, developed from the Atlantic 21. These boats gradually replaced the Atlantic 21 fleet, but have now been superseded by the new Atlantic 85 lifeboat. 


One of the main improvements made to the Atlantic 75 is the addition of a ballast tank at the front of the boat which enables the boat to launch into larger surf than the Atlantic 21. The ballast when full, either of sea water or water from a hose, weighs the same as three fully-grown men. 


In the event of a capsize, a crew member activates a gas bottle to inflate the self-righting bag and the lifeboat turns upright in a few seconds.

Atlantic 75 Facts 

Introduced: 1993

Length: 7.383m

Width: 2.65m

Load: 1.6 tonnes

Launch Type: Carriage, davit or floating boathouse

Fuel Capacity: 182 litres

Crew: 3

Range: 2.5 hours at maxium speed

Engines: 2 x Yamaha at 75hp each

Number
 Name
 Year       Built
 Station
B-751
Benjamin Dowing Fairbridge
  1999
Enniskillen (Upper) 13 to date
B-760
Alice and Charles
  1999
Baltimore 15/09/13 to date
B-772
The Eric Rowse
  2001
Lough Ree 31/07/14 to date
B-781
Elsinore
  2002
Lough Derg 23/08/15 to date
B-790
Margaret Bench of  Solihull
 2002
Union Hall 27/04/17 to date
B-792
Joseph and Mary Hiley
  2002
Enniskillen (Lower) 09/03/12 to date
B-796
Miss Sally Anne (Baggy)
  2003
Kinsale 03 to date

Atlantic 85  

The Atlantic 85 is one of the new generation of RNLI B-class Atlantic inshore lifeboats.  


The hull is made from a carbon fibre and foam core laminate that minimises the internal structure whilst maintaining overall stiffness. The foam is a very tough material that has the ability to absorb and recover from high impact loads such as pounding through waves at speed. 


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 inversion proofed engines, allows the boat to remain operational even after capsize.

Atlantic 85 Facts 

Introduced: 2005

Length: 8.44m

Width: 2.85m

Load: 1.8 tonnes

Launch Type: Carriage, davit or floating baothouse

Fuel Capacity: 210 litres

Crew: 4

Range: 2.5 hours at maxium speed

Engines: 2 x Yamaha 4-stroke at 115hp each

Number
 Name
 Year Built
 Station
B-805
Jessie Hillyard
2006
Bangor 06 to date
B-812
Frank William Walton
2006
Kilkeel 29/11/06 to date
B-819
Minnie and Ernest George Barry
2007
Lough Swilly 25/07/07 to date
B-833
Blue Peter V
2009
Portaferry 07/09/09 to date
B-834
William Henry Liddington
2009
Bundoran 29/07/09 to date
B-843
Geofrey Charles
2010
Red Bay 29/07/10 to date
B-844
Edith Louise Eastwick
2010
Kilrush 19/08/10 to date
B-853
Binny
2011
Galway 05/10/11 to date
B-866
Louis Simson
2013
Skerries 28/02/13 to date
B-869
Joyce King
2013
Clifden 26/06/13 to date
B-874
Robert Armstrong
2014
Helvick Head 26/08/14 to date
B-888
Sheila & Dennis Tongue
2015 
Sligo Bay 19/11/15 to date
B-890
Gordon and Phil 
2016
Youghal 11/04/16 to date
B-892
John and Janet
2016
Crosshaven 23/06/16 to date
B-904
Douglas Euen and Kay Ritchards
2017
Enniskillen (Upper) due Summer 17
B-909
 
2017
Kinsale due Winter 17 

Lifeboats listed in YELLOW are under construction. Lifeboats listed in WHITE are in service.