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Shannon Class Testing

Model testing of the new RNLI Shannon Class all-weather lifeboats.

Seaspeed Marine Consulting were recently commissioned by the RNLI to select a new Shannon class hull form with significantly improved up-sea capabilities. Initial open water model testing of an existing RNLI craft design provided stunningly convincing evidence of the seakeeping problems that had been encountered at full scale. Event analysis, similar to that used in automotive crash testing, applied to head sea slamming and stern sea broaching, provided a new insight into these phenomena. Side by side open water testing of free running self propelled models provided the visual, statistical and event data required for an in-depth technical assessment of the seakeeping performance of these high speed craft.

The final hull-form developed from these test results provided a quantifiably significant improvement over existing designs, particularly in relation to hull slamming in fast up-sea conditions. Subsequent full scale sea trials undertaken by the RNLI verified the power, speed, handling, manoeuvring and seakeeping predictions made from the model test programme.

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