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ST-206 - 37½ FT SEAPLANE TENDER Mk I

Owned and operated by Powerboat Restorations currently residing at the Trust

PRINCIPAL PARTICULARS:
Type: 200 class Seaplane Tender
Service: Royal Air Force
Builders: British Power Boat Co.
Year Built: 1931
Number Built: 104 (RAF 200-299 & 300-303)
Displacement: 4.5 Tons
Length: 37½ ft
Beam: 8½ ft
Draught: 2½ ft
Hull: Mahogany
Engines: 2 x 100hp Power Meadows
Max Speed: 29 knots

Seaplane Tender (ST) 206 is one of the very successful 200 class built by The British Power Boat Co. at Hythe. The prototype of this class, ST 200, was evaluated by Aircraftman T.E. Shaw, also known as the famous Lawrence of Arabia. The 200 class seaplane tenders were twin engined, hard-chined, vee-bottomed boats which were designed to combine safety at sea in any flying weather with immediate speed in an emergency and economy of maintenance. The 17 frames and the skins of the hull structure were of African Mahogany throughout, whereas the stem, hog-keel, chine and gunwale, with all plank-battens and stringers were of Columbia Pine. The rubbers on the gunwales and chines were of Canadian Rock Elm. Most of the internal woodwork was of a very light and strong white African timber, which was soft to work but without much holding property for small or fine-cut screws. The cabin roof was planked fore aft; - later units the roof was of three-ply, covered externally with doped fabric. The transom was a three-piece plate of 1 and 1/8" Mahogany lap-jointed and ribboned, with internal stiffening. The bottom planking was double diagonal, the inner skin being 5/16" and the outer 7/16", with fabric inter-lining doped by a boiled oil varnish mixture. The skins were screwed to the frames and stringers by brass screws and copper nail clenched plank to plank between the frames. The sides were single 5/8" planking, screwed to the battens or stringers. The hull was divided into four compartments; - the fore compartment to the end of the wheelhouse, the cabin compartment, the engine cockpit compartment and the transom compartment.

The early craft of the 200 series were powered by twin Power Meadows petrol engines, which were produced for the British Power Boat Company by the Meadows Company of Wolverhampton. Each had a rating of 100hp and through Meadows gearboxes directly drove the 14" manganese bronze propellers. Maximum speed was about 29 knots which could be maintained for ½ an hour. Otherwise the maximum cruising speed was 24 knots and with the 65 gallons of fuel carried, gave an endurance of 140 miles. Later units of the 200 series seaplane tenders (craft numbered 292-303 and 323-324) were powered by twin Perkins S6M diesel engines. Several of the type, like ST 206, were subsequently converted to Firefloats.


37½ ft ST 211 of the same type as ST206.

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