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Tamar Class Lifeboats  

The Tamar class is one of the most modern all-weather lifeboat classes currently in service with the RNLI. The Tamar 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 their shock-mitigating seats, improving their safety.  

The bespoke seats enhance crew comfort and safety. They also incorporate essential controls such as throttles and joystick with the trackball for the SIMS screen close to hand. The Tamar’s propellers and rudders lie in partial tunnels set into the hull that, along with steel-lined main and bilge keels, provide excellent protection from damage in shallow water or slipway operations.  

In addition to her twin engines, the lifeboat is fitted with a hydraulic-powered bow thruster for improved manoeuvrability. The Tamar carries a Y boat, an inflatable powered daughter boat housed under the aft deck, which can be deployed from a hinged door in the transom. The Y boat has a 15hp outboard engine and is used in moderate conditions to access areas the lifeboat cannot reach. 

The Tamar class has replaced most of the Tyne class lifeboats in service with the RNLI. The first Irish station to receive a Tamar class was Kilmore Quay in October 2010. Baltimore received a Tamar class lifeboat in March 2012.

Tamar Class Facts  

Introduced: 2005

Length: 16.3m

Width: 5.3m

Load: 32 tonnes

Launch Type: Slipway or afloat

Fuel Capacity: 4,600 litres

Crew: 7

Range: 250 nautical miles

Max Speed: 25 Knots

Engines: 2 x Caterpiller C18 marine diesel; 1,001hp each at 2,300rpm

Lifeboats highlighted in GREEN are/were based at Irish Lifeboat stations.


(1) Prototype Tamar class. Sold in 2006 to Kent Police as a patrol boat named Princess Alexandra III. Sold in 2014 for use as workboat based at Potton Creek, Essex. In 2017 sold for use as FPS boat named Lemerye1 in Mauritania 

O.N. is the RNLI's Official Number of the boat

Op.No. is the RNLI's Operational Number of the boat carried on the hull

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