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BlueWild organised Thalassa's 5-year stability, inflation and swamping tests on a sunny Sunday, 27th of March. Thalassa is an 8.4m cabin rib with an internal 315hp diesel engine. Following a full inspection of paperwork and an 'out-of-water' structural survey two weeks ago, an MCA appointed surveyor had come from Inverkip Marina to oversee the flotation tests.

Thalassa's owner, Alan, had asked on social-media for 10 volunteers to be passengers with a regulation average-weight of 75kg pp. Alan kitted us out with brand new lifejackets straight from the packet and we all sat patiently aboard.

The tests involve checking all safety kit, then measuring the height of normal freeboard. With passengers all moved to starboard, all three tube compartments on that side were completely deflated to measure the resultant height above water and the angle of list. Key to the design of a 'Rib' (Rigid Inflatable Boat) is that it can sail as a normal boat even if all the tubes are deflated.

After that, 50 buckets of water are flooded into the centre-area footwell to simulate swamping before the bilge pump is activated. The surveyor observed closely and was clearly a difficult man to please but left satisfied that all tests had been successfully passed.

As a ‘thank you’ the volunteers were offered a complimentary tour around the Bass Rock early in the season which starts on 1st April. BlueWild Nature Boat Tours

“Hey, sit still youse doon there, nae jigglin’ aboot, ye can jiggle when Ah gie the orders.”

Photo by Kenny Maule

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