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Hi All,

I was reading a thread long ago (2008) from a guy in the USA looking to buy what was left of Robust. What caught my eye was comments in the discussion that the MOD had reduced the length of the R class by 30 feet? I have built a model hull of this class and I would like to replicate it before the MOD got their hands on it by jumboing it up to its correct size. I also know of the added deck the MOD built on it for the officers not to mix with the ratings!
My question is does anyone know at what hull station did they chop out to reduce the length of the tug?

Kind Regards,
WelshinGuzz
 

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From recollection the R Class were to be based on Lloydsman but they were shortened at the design stage. So any model of a R class with the missing 30ft would reflect something that never existed.

I am unsure how you concluded that the MOD added an extra deck so the officers would not mix with the crew. If you look at an image of the Lloydsman there are 2 accommodation decks above the main deck with accommodation ports below, this is the same as an R Class.
 

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I would say that the after deck and the bow has been 'chopped' a bit. Perhaps go for twin screws instead of singles crew would do that. Midships is quite similar except that funnels are lead up differently.
 

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Further to ex colleague RetiredPMSO's post, I was recently in touch with another ex colleague who was one-time head of engineering at RMAS HQ in Bath. While he wasn't at HQ at the time the R Class were designed/ordered did know something about the "shortening". I quote him below:

"I did see an original R class design that was put forward by ( I think) C. D. Holmes the builders. For some reason, probably cost, a section was cut out of the hull in about the uptakes area. Not sure of quite how much but about 20ft seems to ring a bell. This of course altered the whole sea keeping dynamics of the design. One of the Shipwright draughtsmen made a small drawing of the original design that folded to demonstrate the effect of the reduction. A sort of then and now of the cost cutting exercise. Even under the original design length, not a very successful class. Under powered, some awful machinery and from reports terrible sea keeping qualities. From then on with the introduction of Marine Services Officers into the Vessels post, things changed with regard to project design. Hope this is some help."
 

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The R Class vessels hull look very similar if not the same as the two United Towing Company tugs 'Welshman' and 'Irishman'. I sailed on both.
 
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