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RAF fast boat. I can't put Pinnis in the search.

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RAF fast boat. I can't put Pinnis in the search.

Old 10th Jan 2021, 10:59
  #41 (permalink)  
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Suddenly remembered some of the various houseboats on the River Adur just across the A259 from Shoreham Airport have a service history:

https://spitfiresofthesea.com/shoreham-survivors/
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Old 10th Jan 2021, 13:09
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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About 10 years ago we had a holiday on the Isle of Wight staying on a converted WW2 Motor Gun Boat in the bay at Bembridge - don't know if it is still there
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Old 10th Jan 2021, 13:18
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Great pics, VP.
I think there was more than one incident during the drop trials when the FIAM didn't deploy, but the one I recall was where the angle of descent meant that the crewman at the side door of the launch aircraft saw the test round bounce off the 'oggin and come back towards him!
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Old 10th Jan 2021, 13:31
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cpt_Pugwash View Post
Great pics, VP.
I think there was more than one incident during the drop trials when the FIAM didn't deploy, but the one I recall was where the angle of descent meant that the crewman at the side door of the launch aircraft saw the test round bounce off the 'oggin and come back towards him!
Happened in Falmouth Bay, with a weapon released from one of the Canberra BI6s. I used to have a copy of some stills taken from the 80" focal length 35mm HS cine film taken from the Porthkerris OP of the incident, but can't seem to find them. From what I remember, it was a high speed release (probably around 400kts) and the reefing line on the AT/S 'chute failed, so the canopy opened fully with a heck of a bang. That sheared off the tail shaft, and the weapon tumbled end over end until it hit the water with a heck of a splash. The weapon broke in half, and half of it bounced back upwards, just as the release aircraft came back into frame. From the film it looked a pretty close thing as to whether the broken section would hit the aircraft or not, but I think that, in reality, there was around 50ft to 100ft of clearance. The release height was probably somewhere around 500ft, I think, would have been typical for the low and fast part of the development trials.

I wasn't on the range or flying that day, but I gather the person in the back of the Canberra for that sortie did get a glimpse of the bit of weapon coming back up through the bomb bay periscope. I don't think any of the bomb bay cameras caught it, as they would have been set up aft, looking forwards, to see what was happening with the 'chute lanyard, S&A connector, etc.
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Old 10th Jan 2021, 13:51
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Ah, possibly a different incident then, VP. I understood it was a helo drop , and the round dropped at a shallow angle and just bounced intact back up towards the launch aircraft.
And then there was the round launched from Arrochar which almost took out a car on the A814!
Sorry, too much thread drift now.
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Old 10th Jan 2021, 14:12
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cpt_Pugwash View Post
Ah, possibly a different incident then, VP. I understood it was a helo drop , and the round dropped at a shallow angle and just bounced intact back up towards the launch aircraft.
And then there was the round launched from Arrochar which almost took out a car on the A814!
Sorry, too much thread drift now.
I remember being told about that one by Mike McLoughrie, the OiC of the noise range at Loch Goil, years ago. IIRC it was an old Mk8, pretty much unstoppable once the engine was running. For years I had a scrap Mk8 engine as a big door stop in my office, lovely made thing, with four radial cylinders, looked a bit like a diesel version of an old radial aircraft engine. Must have been hairy running torpedoes down the Loch Long range back then, with no real safety space.
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Old 10th Jan 2021, 19:07
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Thank You for your replies, it seemed strange that the RAF did not use the Packard Merlin in its fast launches bearing in mind that the owner of British Power Boats Hubert Scott Pain received a payment for every engine sold to Britain ((Cushty, nice one Son) until the engines came under the Lend Lease Programme. It is my understanding that the RAF did try RR Merlins but found them not suitable for the harsh Marine conditions or every RR Merlin was needed for aircraft. As most know both Packard and Ford built Merlin Aero Engines after re-engineering to make them suitable for mass production.
The Packard Merlin fitted to the RN fast craft were not marinised Merlins but were marinised American Liberty aero engines the only connection with the Merlin Engine was that both were V12 and the Merlin name apparently crossed over. The engines mainly used in RAF fast launches were Napier Lion Engines a arrow head configuration, three banks of four cylinders on the one Crankshaft and after conversion for marine use were called Power Sea Lions.
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Old 11th Jan 2021, 03:45
  #48 (permalink)  
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Thank you Mr T. That will enable me to do more detailed searching. The fact is, in the last 20 years I've written about everything in the Universe. I'd not need to create a single post . . . if I could find the originals.

Can't spell?! Hah, I've been tempted over the years to just post without spell-check. It is possible my wife would be the only person on Earth to know what the blazes I was talking about. However, I'm still a wee bit embarrassed about being, kind of, the opposite to word-blind. I can read well, but I can't see the words in my mind's eye. I have great sympathy for people that get on in life while hiding dyslexia. And this includes an American professor.

I know this is a well trodden ramble, and a huge drift, but just in case it helps some nipper, I resurrect it from time to time.

When I got serious about writing, Spell Check was getting fairly sophisticated and Keef did a sterling job on proofreading. At one stage I asked him if my metaphysical yarn offended his beliefs. He replied that he never lost site of the fact it was Science fiction.

Two things happened in this era. One I obviously got better at spelling simply because I wrote over a million words to produce the 230,000 in The Perfect Code. But in the last years of flying, having advised pilots on classical migraine for many years, I became something of a hypochondriac and decided to give up tryptophan - cheese and chocolate in particular. I was a year into writing when I noticed I could see much of a line of text on a big monitor rather then skitting from word to word. I just thought I was getting better. However, occasionally I'd give into cheese-lust and always the difficulty of reading came back within a few hours. It might take a week or longer to get back to the new normal.

To convince a parent about such things meets a lot of resistance. I knew it would be difficult and kind of gave up, but then my 50 year-old son happened to mention that he had more difficulty reading text on monitors if he ate cheese. It was the first clue ever that I was not alone and that there must be some common distruption. His professor brother shows no hint of such things, which is a good job since he seems to write a million words a week. Same with his sister.

They're all 52 for a few more days. Thought you'd like to know that.

Boats. I knew I was supposed to be saying something. The Earn had sat on a post. She'd been repaired and I can see from the posts above just how difficult that would have been. I recall her looking beautiful, the superstructure was possibly very modified. It's probably a very good job I didn't buy her.
But there had been the Sea Wolf. She had been a big open river boat of substantial construction, but almost no keel. Someone had spent a fortune on her creating two luxurious cabins separated by a raised wheelhouse. Like the Earn, one stood above the engine(s).

A friend had gone with his dad into the holiday business. He was a drummer and had a five piece band. They started the Martello holiday camp at Walton. I'd never been in a house before where the carpets reached the walls. They built a party room on the top floor which looked over the sea. Most nights I'd spend in the dancehall just hoping one of the thousands of pretty girls that came with their parents, could be led astray. Anyway, they bought this fine looking cabin cruiser not really realising just how un-seaworthy she was. The cabins had brass openable portholes and one had a large polished wood barrel as a fixture. I was never sure what was in it. There was also a fibreglass speedboat, the vessel that first hauled me up onto skis. It had a Sunbeam Rapier engine and almost stood on its prop. Since I failed to get out of the water, I used the obtuse angle of the mud to slip along first. First time, SPLAT! Second time I was going down the Walton Channel half covered in lovely black mud. There was an almost perfect dividing line. Anyway, the toys lost their immediate attraction and I found myself on the river just messing with boats. I was learning to fly then, and life had taken a bewildering change of course. Flying, floating and flirting filled my days, but, I'd taken the Sea Wolf off mooring, all 14 tonnes of her, and was chugging down the river. Things didn't sound too good. Walton Channel is over a mile long and has miles of smaller rivers feeding from the side. There's 7000 acres of backwaters to empty and a proportion of it uses 'the river'. The tide was again me (see how it's become talk like an Essex skipper time) and the engine, an old bus straight six, was now sounding sick. I needed another few hundred yards for the mooring, or half for dropping the sea anchor. I got neither. There was a heck of a bang. Not for the first time in my life did smoke come up through the cracks in wooden flooring. Last time it had been in my lovely old Wolseley straight six. Coming back from TV mending college with the love of my life and her friend, I'd managed to put a con-rod through the crank case. We even had some flames. The girls got us a lift in a femtosecond. Now I'd got the anchor out and it was holding. I lifted the floor. I'm sighing now at the imagery. On the floor of the engine room was a con-rod . . . with a piston on the end. There was no way I could patch a hole that size and claim the engine was just missing. It would have been better if it had gone missing altogether. :-)

The old boy was pretty good about it, especially when I showed him the oil was nearly all diesel. He paid well for maintenance but the oil had just been the right level in the huge vertical tank, but gradually been replaced with a fuel mix. It got a new BMC engine and gearbox.

Lots of adventures occurred and then I was married with children. One day I heard the Sea Wolf was for sale. Given the engine hadn't done many hours, and my family and friends could all fit on board for a trip to Stone Point, a lovely beach at the north end of the river, it seemed like a good idea. No way would I have taken it to sea. I had it out for sea trials and sunshine. Everyone had a great time, but the gearbox linkage was not working well, and reverse not too easy to get. I got on the keyside with my toolbox beside me and set about adjustments. I was sitting with my legs dangling into the engine bay and having a breather. I looked at one of the newly painted 'ribs' in the forward cabin. It was 10" X 3", maybe more. Something was nagging at me. The white paint had got a ripple in it that just looked wrong. I climbed down the steps and reached for the rib. I put my fingers into a ghastly mush of rotting wood. I'm sighing again. The local boat builders started to lift her out of the water and I shouted for them to stop. The hog was bending several inches under the centre blocks. A pity, the price was a lot less than the value of the engine but I'd never be able to shut my eyes while on board. The strange thing is, she sailed on for many years after that, someone living cheaply in some comfort. I could hardly believe it, but she made it to London, at least once.

Different world now. Where there had only been 13 boats in the main mooring part of the river, there are now hundreds if one includes Titchmarsh marina. We had great years down there, but the Tichmarsh family created a huge business. It would never be the same.

Funny thing. When I was working on my house in the 90's, a well known local fisherman came up to me in the timber yard. He'd never much like the young set, and things hadn't changed much.
"I threw a lobster pot at you when you were in that @#$^@ speedboat."
Just occasionally one thinks of a quick reply. "Bloody hell, I wondered where than came from. Do you want it back?" It was the first time in my life I'd seen him laugh.

Eclan.
There seems to be more and more posts like this these days which sound demented.
Hmm . . . quite so. Some of the chaps here have grown immune to me in the last 20 years. You'll be okay. Get someone to sit with you while you're reading and hold your hand. I gather there are pills one can take to ward off the effects of deranged wanderings, perhaps use Mr T's searching techniques and find the Things you think about late at night. WARNING. You will never be the same again.
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Old 11th Jan 2021, 12:00
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Spell check can be a bit of a menace when it does not recognise certain words of the English language and supplements them for another word with a totally different meaning, you do well sometimes to use your own intelligence rather the the artificial which could get you into trouble, as long as I get the gist of what people are writing about that's all that matters.

Somewhere I have seen a photograph of the 'Earn' in her prime and she was a superb looking 60ft triple screw Wartime built General Service Pinnace. She is still going as far as I am aware after a few years of neglect but has now been taken over by a chap who is refurbishing her. If you go on to a site called the 'British Power Boat Trust' and ask the question you will I am sure find out more.
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Old 11th Jan 2021, 12:02
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LR......keep it coming...
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Old 11th Jan 2021, 15:33
  #51 (permalink)  
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Ohhhh, nearly 1,600 words and over 8,000 characters. At 03:00 I went to the garage where my shopping was in extreme cold. Tea and cake then onto the science forums. My arm was hurting far more than the first jab. Bed 05:00.

09:30 a call from the AA finally got through the wall of stickiness in my brain. Their man had tested negative. Thank you. Slup slup SNORE.

14:30 - Is this what death feels like? Arm hurts. Both my heads and all four of my eyes, hurt. I cancelled tomorrow's dentist just in case I take harm to them. Darn, Dr Suki's got a lot of little items to do. Darn.

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Old 11th Jan 2021, 19:32
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The Aquila Maris still exists apparently she was used on a project in Ireland which was abandoned and so was she, I suspect that it may be to do with getting spares for her RR engines as they no longer make reciprocating spares.
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Old 11th Jan 2021, 21:53
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Originally Posted by tramontana View Post
The Aquila Maris still exists apparently she was used on a project in Ireland which was abandoned and so was she, I suspect that it may be to do with getting spares for her RR engines as they no longer make reciprocating spares.
Nice to hear she was still in one piece after all these years. I found a photo of her on the Shannon, here: Aquila Maris - ShipSpotting.com - Ship Photos and Ship Tracker



The boat that was on my charge, Aquila Maris II, seems to be in a very sorry state. I found a photo of her on the same website, here: http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/...php?lid=955171

The info on that website is wrong, she was on my charge at Portpatrick in the early 90's, and went from there up to Kyle of Lochalsh, I think, when West Freugh, and Portpatrick Range, closed around 1998/9. Here a photo of her, looking in a bad way, with the wrong name on her stern (should read Aquila Maris II):



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Old 12th Jan 2021, 02:29
  #54 (permalink)  
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tramontana. Sorry, I forgot to acknowledge your link. I'll certainly try to have a last peek at her if that's possible.

Aquila Maris II. A lovely hull line, but she puts me in mind of the Great Eastern converted to laying Transatlantic cables.

The company bought Isambard Kingdom Brunel's steamship Great Eastern, then the largest ship afloat, and converted it to lay cables. By May 1865, 2,600 miles of new cable were ready. The Great Eastern sailed from Ireland westwards, carrying the full length of cable.2
My underline. I'd read the book but never realised she carried the entire length. One thing that did stick in my mind from 30 years ago was that the Irish cable crew came under suspicion when the cable was shorted out en route. It turned out shards of metal had come off the sides of the gargantuan reel and skewered the cable. Cable breaks had to be mended after dragging the ocean floor.
I also remember, though not sure if it was the same hardback book, but minuscule voltages arriving at the other side were hoped to be raised by the use of high voltages. They took them so high the insulation broke down. How on Earth did they find that? Later ones had en route amplifiers. A quick valve/tube change would seem out of the question.

No wonder the story was:
How perseverance laid the first transatlantic telegraph cable
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Old 12th Jan 2021, 08:16
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Originally Posted by Loose rivets View Post
Aquila Maris II. A lovely hull line, but she puts me in mind of the Great Eastern converted to laying Transatlantic cables.
Indeed. Whoever added that monstrous superstructure really needs a good talking to. It looks as if they massively enlarged the wheelhouse, which used to barely have room for two before.

She looked her best, IMHO, with the original open bridge, before we added the wheelhouse, as in the earlier RAE photo in this thread of her leaving Portpatrick harbour. I found a couple of links to photos of the time when she was HM Customs Cutter Alert, before she was transferred to MoD, so still with the open bridge:


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Old 12th Jan 2021, 11:46
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Fast boats

The A.M. II certainly has lovely lines in that Bow shot. The A.M.I is up a creek somewhere off the Shannon I understand, no Harbour Dues I suppose, sometimes it seems that people/companies have more money than sense buying a boat and then letting it go all to pot.
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Old 13th Jan 2021, 20:53
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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A.M.I, up the creek in a sorry state, no idea when the photograph was taken.


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Old 15th Jan 2021, 11:48
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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MTB/E boat

My father did a shipwrights apprenticeship at Wallasea bay building MTB boats and post war a 30ft yacht Mary Plain? Which a friend owned. Moored on smallgains creek not far from a concrete boat wreck which had been built for D-Day. The yacht was pitch pine on oak frames and carvel built.
The MTBs were double diagonal planked ..possibly pine on oak as well but memory isn’t the best and the old man is long gone.
Further up the creek was a converted naval “Penis” owned by another mate who had been a lighterman in the port of london; a non swimmer, they punted the lighters along the Thames and one day he got wedged by the tide athwartships on one of the bridges and pinned by the tide. He also told stories of his time on Thames barges and taking two days to sail into whitstable from a couple of miles of shore when wind and tide waiteth for no man.
The converted penice is now in benfleet creek and ketch rigged I fink. Spent a couple of days sailing around Sheppey in the 80s.


London had been reliant on horse drawn transport and on the east side of the Deben there is the remnants of a loading facility “the rocks”.
Attached should be a picture of P22 which was built by a post war E boat yard for the Americans to patrol the Rhine. Iirc it was aluminium with a couple of massive Diesel engines and restored by an ex aircraft engineer at Chatham docks, now resting in Sandwich.
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Old 15th Jan 2021, 12:07
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Just remembered that I still have a souvenir taken from Aquila Maris I, the former RAF pinnace, her manually operated fog horn:



There was an old shed at RAE West Freugh, full of stuff that had been stripped out of Aquila Maris i before disposal. I liberated this, to use on the yacht I owned at the time. It still works, but could do with a polish. The thing I regret not liberating at the same time is a huge chrome searchlight. It was presumably fitted to the cabin roof when she was used in the search and rescue role, and had a handwheel that would have been inside the cabin, to both turn and pitch the light. From memory, that seachlight must have been around 18" in diameter. It was just too big and heavy to keep as a souvenir at the time. I expect it ended up getting scrapped, along with all the other stuff in that old shed.
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Old 15th Jan 2021, 12:28
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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There is a certain word meaning to giggle or chuckle that has now effectively been eliminated from the online lexicon as well, I refuse to use “snicker” instead, sounds far too American.
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