Sunday, May 22, 2016

Model Lifeboat Day 2016


No-one likes car parking duty much but as I own a hi-viz jacket and am quite happy to stand around being useful, I volunteered to do it for the KMBC lifeboat day this year. Apart from a tantrum from one of the members who wanted to park next to the water rather than 30 feet away so those with boats could have prime position, it went very well. A lovely morning in the countryside pointing vehicles at one of three areas in the sunshine.

Once we had filled the space enough that any latecomers would have to work it out themselves, I ditched the yellow coat and headed down to the lake to enjoy the orange boats. A rough count suggested that there were almost 40 of many different designs and sizes.

A highlight was an Aerokits Solent class.

Solent lifeboat

I've always though this to be a rather boxy and ugly boat, but once fully detailed, it comes alive. I suspect all the previous models I've seen have just used the supplied bits, whereas this builder (who is also a railway modeller) has gone to town making his own fittings. Now I want one.

In the afternoon, there were talks from RNLI people. The first involved owning a Rother lifeboat as a classic vessel. The group of friends who do this take it on fundraising trips to show an old RNLI craft. The highlight was the very wet Royal Flotilla a couple of years ago but there have been many enjoyable trips beside this. Owning a real lifeboat sounds fascinating, if a lot like owning a classic car with all the trials and tribulations but with an added restriction on where you can take it. No chance of doing that around here, you need more water than a canal!

The second talk was on the new Shannon lifeboat. Quite a detailed look around both the boat, tractor and trailer. All of these are really impressive bits of engineering.

The highlight of this talk was a final bit of video. The Shannon can be retrieved from a beach. Getting it there is very impressive.

Now THAT is how you park a boat. Something many of our members have demonstrated in the past when attention wavered!

An excellent day with fine cake thanks to both the boat and model railway club. You can see my photos on Flickr.

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