A recent article in The Engineer details how Dunkeswell, Devon-based Supacat went about the task of developing the vessel, which forms the basis for the UK Royal National Lifeboat Institution's (RNLI) Launch & Recovery System.
This LRS will carry the Shannon-class lifeboat to the water at beach sites without a launch jetty.
Author Stephen Harris says in The Engineer article that the system consists of an automated hydraulic tractor and carriage in RNLI's orange and blue livery. After a rescue, the boat can be picked up from a beached position and be ready for relaunch in a few minutes.
Since corrosion in salt water is an issue, the company used a corrosion-protection system from Portland-based Perryfields for some of the vehicle's steel parts. This coating consisted of a zinc spray followed by polyurethane paint, to give an attractive finish with strong corrosion resistance on parts of the structure that were too large or too intricate to be galvanised.
And polyurethane also found use in the wheels, redesigned to reduce maintenance. Supacat replaced oil-filled hubs and tyres with single-piece elastomer mouldings provided by Gloucestershire-based Custom Moulded Polyurethane (CMP).
See http://www.theengineer.co.uk/in-depth/analysis/supacat-provides-rescue-remedy/1012580.article#ixzz1ur4bsV7Erovides rescue remedy