TRISTAN is a seaplane tender built in 1949 in Lowestoft. Commissioned by the RAF to work as a refueller for Sunderland seaplanes, TRISTAN was originally built with two Thornycroft diesel engines before being replaced in 1979 by two Perkins 124BHP diesel engines. Originally, the boat had a small forward placed open cockpit, at a half-deck lower than the maindeck. Forward and below this was a very small crew cabin. A very large engine room was at the stern, and a rudder gear compartment behind this. The central area was for aviation fuel tanks, and was accessible by manholes on the side decks. In the foremost bow, was a very large chain locker. All under deck chambers were separated by 5-6mm thick watertight bulkheads. Steering was achieved by prop-shaft from the cockpit to the rudder compartment, which drove two large rudders. In 1980, the boat was purchased in Bristol for private use and was in a low state of repair. Major repairs were done, and a large upper deck was added. This gave the boat a tendency to roll, which may have been due to the narrow beam of 11 feet, or unsuitable ballast placing. The boat was located in Wallasea at this time. By 1999 the boat had lost its upper deck, and was in a low state of repair again. The boat had been at Canvey Island in Essex, and moved to Barking in Essex. A new owner purchased the boat and removed it back to Canvey Island. The boat was then sold to its present owner in 2006, and has remained in Canvey Island. Currently the boat has been taken back to the original bare metal and welded, plated where necessary and primed inside and outside. The engines had been previously removed and the propshaft exit holes welded over. The original propellers and propshafts still exist and are being kept with the boat for re-installation at a later date. Two large bilge keels support the hull on either side when out of water. This boat is a twin screw prototype version of LINDSEY 2111, built a few years later on in development, and with standard rudders rather than the Kitchener system onboard LINDSEY 2111.
Seaplane tender built in Lowestoft to work as a refueller for Sunderland seaplanes
Two Thornycroft diesel engines replaced by Perkins 124BHP diesel engines
Boat was purchased in Bristol in low state of repair for private use
Major repairs carried out and large upper deck added
Boat in poor state of repair with upper deck missing at Barking
Boat purchased by new owner and relocated to Canvey Island
Boat sold to present owner in 2006 and retained at Canvey Island
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