Model Boat Mayhem

Mess Deck: General Section => Full Scale Ships => Topic started by: Johnb on January 17, 2017, 12:23:44 pm

Title: RAF vessel ID
Post by: Johnb on January 17, 2017, 12:23:44 pm
Hi all, would be grateful for any info on this vessel. It's been on blocks (and beer barrels) since at least 2007. The remains of a roundel are visible on starboard bow. It's located in Newport, Co. Mayo, Ireland.
Title: Re: RAF vessel ID
Post by: gingyer on January 17, 2017, 12:46:23 pm
It's a ex Royal Air Force safety/rescue tender, used in the Air Sea Rescue role before helicopters.

Is it yours?
There is a few being renovated at present
Here is one [size=78%] ([/size]
Title: Re: RAF vessel ID
Post by: TailUK on January 17, 2017, 12:48:22 pm
It's an RAF Range Safety launch.
Title: Re: RAF vessel ID
Post by: Johnb on January 17, 2017, 02:42:58 pm
Thanks for the info and links. I don't own the vessel. It's a shame just to see it sitting there essentially abandoned.

Thanks again.
Title: Re: RAF vessel ID
Post by: gingyer on January 17, 2017, 03:27:40 pm
If you need more information a good source
Is either the RAF Museum at Hendon or
202(R) Sqn based at RAF Valley.. when there last it had a large
Selection of models of various RSLs, Tenders etc.

Hopefully it gets back in the water soon, if only I had a few
Pennies and I would buy it  :}
Title: Re: RAF vessel ID
Post by: John W E on January 17, 2017, 07:41:20 pm
hi there

I am virtually sure there is a topic on these launches somewhere on this forum - I have photographs which I downloaded from here of this launch for future reference a possible build for me.    I also believe it was raflaunches who put them on  :-))  but I cant seem to find the postings.   If you send raflaunches a message he may help you out.

Title: Re: RAF vessel ID
Post by: derekwarner on January 23, 2017, 08:25:24 pm
Have you changed your AVITAR?...... one of those mystical figures  {-) we saw posted in another mystical thread that is now locked

I will try & find it......Derek
Title: Re: RAF vessel ID
Post by: raflaunches on January 23, 2017, 08:32:42 pm
Hi John and John

If you can't find the thread, when I get home this weekend I'll consult my references from the RAF Marine Craft Directory collection I have and hopefully I'll have the answer. :-))
All the best

Title: Re: RAF vessel ID
Post by: raflaunches on February 08, 2017, 09:22:34 pm
Right Guys

Sorry for the delay- I've had to try to find several books that I know that I have and I have way too many book shelves!!!

Caomhnoir 1 is a bit of a mystery boat as her identity is assigned to two different RSLs- RSL 1656 and RSL 1657.
The craft was for sale by North Western Fisheries Board at Glen Bay during 1995. Caomhnoir 1 is known to have been built by Blackmore & Sons and thus can only be either RSL 1656 or RSL 1657 as they were the only RSL's built by this company.

RSL 1656

Built by Blackmore & Sons at Bideford having being ordered in 1955 under contract number 6/MC/1651/CB21(a). After trials the craft was accepted by the RAF and taken on charge on the 20th June 1956.
She was allocated to 1106 MCU based at Drummore, South West Scotland, on 29th July 1956 on voucher number MC2/178/MC where she was joined by RSL's 1655 and 1661, however 1661 soon left the section and 1656 was one of two RSLs to stay at the Scottish base until 1960. On the 23rd February 1960 on voucher number MC2/18/60 she was allocated to 238 MU at Calshot for repair and survey. After her refit she was sent to the MCT&SU at RAF Mount Batten on 24th February 1961. Whilst at Mount Batten she required further repairs, and unusually the repairs were put out for contract. The RSL was sent to C.Toms and Sons in Newquay for work issued on contract CTT A343594/60/C12a on the 12th April 1961. The work was completed within 5 months and the RSL was returned to MCT&SU on the 7th September 1961. Within a couple of months RSL 1656 was allocated to the Marine Craft Training School (MCTS) on the 16th November 1961 but this allocation was short lived and she was back with the MCT&SU in 8th January 1962. However on 29th January she was on the move again as she sailed to the new establishment at 1113 MCU at Holyhead. This proved to be her best posting as she served at Holyhead for 12 years and eventually relieved by her sister RSL 1657. She was sent back to RAF Mount Batten for repairs on 3rd April 1974 and once repairs were complete she was sent back to Holyhead 1113 MCU on 3rd January 1975. She spent another 6 years at Holyhead and ended up being the sole RSL based there. With more modern vessels becoming more available the older wooden hulled boats were not supported by maintenance and therefore on 26th June 1981 she was recalled to Mount Batten for storage pending survey. As is often the case after many years of service she was earmarked for disposal and she was officially struck off charge on 18th March 1982 and decided to to sell her as lying. Consequently the DSDC took her over and she was advertised for sale by competitive tender in July 19182 edition of Motor Boat & Yachting with a closing date of 29th July 1982. She was described as hull in poor to fair condition with two Roll-Royce engines fitted. The engine numbers were serial numbers Port 113/111 and Stbd 113/177, both described as unserviceable.

This is from the RAF Marine Craft Class Directory Appendix B 43ft Range Safety Launches compiled by Terry Holtham and Donald Smith (WSS Small Craft Group). I'll upload RSL 1657's history tomorrow night. Happy reading. :-)) [size=78%] [/size]
Title: Re: RAF vessel ID
Post by: raflaunches on February 09, 2017, 03:23:12 pm
Part 2...

RSL 1657

Built by Blackmore and Sons at Bideford having being ordered in 1955 under contract number 6/MC/1651/CB21(a) and taken on charge by the RAF on 4th July 1956.
She was allocated to Pembroke Dock, South Wales, on voucher number MC2/613/MC replacing Seaplane Tender (ST) 364 according to the chit but she also replaced RSL 1643 which moved on to Newhaven. Pembroke Dock was home to 1115 MCU and RSL 1657 was kept busy on range clearances for several months before the task was taken over by the Army. RSL 1657 was then transferred to 1105 MCU based at Porthcawl on the 20th February 1957 where she replaced ST 1593. After a couple of years at Porthcawl she returned to 238 MU at Calshot for repairs on the 15th January 1959. After her repairs she was placed into storage along with RSL 1658 before being allocated to the MCT&SU at RAF Mount Batten on the 10th February 1961.
After a year operating out of the South West of England, the craft was re-allocated for overseas service and was prepared for shipment to Cyprus. RSL 1657 was transferred on paper dated 18th October 1962 to 1153 MCU to be based at Limassol. The preparations took a while and the RSL was shipped overseas on the SS Tabor on the 6th May 1963. After a short period of service range clearing for the RAF aircraft based at Akrotiri she was involved with two rescues, however one rescue recorded by RSL 1657 in 1963 was when she rescued three men who had been missing in a small boat for three days. During the middle of the next year she was temporarily detached to the Marine Craft Unit at Tobruk, North Africa. Subsequent to her stay in North Africa she was recorded as being at Malta for repairs however the report was not dated. The RSL may well have returned to Tobruk or remained in storage at Malta but she was later re-allocated back to Limassol on the 13th July 1967. Here she remained for the next three years until she was required to be shipped back to the UK for survey and storage dated 9th January 1970 at RAF Mount Batten.
With surveys complete she was retained in storage with the Repair Wing at Mount Batten but was one the craft transported to Gosport around 1970/1. The RAF had run down its own servicing capability from 1969 and handed over all major servicing and storage of RAF wooden craft to the Royal Navy. The new facility was located at the Naval Gunboat Yard at Haslar, Gosport. After a period of storage at Haslar she was prepared for issue on voucher MC 4/74 dated 20th February 1974 for service at 1113 MCU at Holyhead where she remained until 13th August 1976. She returned to Haslar for storage and its perhaps likely that she was found to be beyond economical repair as not long after the survey she was declared for disposal on the 9th December 1978. She further deteriorated until it was decided that she was to be offered for sale by tender in Tender 3/78 (FDI No 343).
RSL 1657 still wearing her RAF insignia was subsequently advertised for sale by competitive tender in the April 1978 edition of Motor Boat & Yachting as part of tender 354/4/78/0205. She was advertised as lying at Clarence Yard, Gosport, complete with Rolls-Royce engine in fair condition and the hull as good. She was sold out of service on the 7th August 1978 leaving the Inner Camber at Portsmouth on a low loader. At that time she was observed to have massive lengths of seaweed hanging from her bottom including up to 3 feet long from her propellers all indicating that she had been unused for some time. Her destination is unknown however it is possible she may have been the craft  subsequently sighted at a boat yard in Lymington.

Hope this helps for research into the history of this RSL. :-)) 
Title: Re: RAF vessel ID
Post by: Johnb on February 09, 2017, 07:05:05 pm
Hi Nick B. Thanks for your reply. It's great to have some background on this vessel. When I have time I'll see can I track down the present owner and perhaps find out more of the history. I'd like to get on board and take some photos if possible. I'll let you know how i get on.
Thanks again for your research and generosity of your time.