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377 Zeta

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triker69uk View Drop Down
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Joined: 16 October 2006
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    Posted: 16 October 2006 at 10:21am

hi all. have very recently aqquired zeta, a 41' seaplane tender i have noticed mentioned a few times on this site. brief history as follows:

 

ZETA, formerly RAF 377, a sea plane tender.  Built in  September 1940 and completed on 4 August 1941 by Brooke Marine Motorcraft Ltd, Oulton Broad.  Yard number BYC 574. LOA 40ft, LWL 38ft 9in. MB 8ft 9in, DR 2ft 6in. 5.5tons. Hull is double diagonal above the waterline and triple diagonal below, fastened with copper nails and roves.  Hull has a pointed bow with raked straight stem, cruiser (?) stern.  Current engines are twin inboard diesels made Perkins in 1940, model S6M, 5cy, bore 4 3/8 in x stroke 5in, 98hp.

RAF reference no 16F/58 MK 1. Her sea trials were at 52 Maintenance Unit, Pool of Marine Craft, and she was sent to Greeniock on 26 april 1942 as a personnel transport. She remained there in service until 26 November 1943 and then transferred to RAF Calshot, Southampton, and was used for rescue duties. It is believed that she took part in the Normandy invasions as one of the inshore rescue craft. She remained on service at Southampton Water until 23 November 1948. She was then sent to RAF Aldergrove, Northern Ireland, and was used on Lough Neagh as a range safety boat and was subsequently sent to No1107 Marine Craft Unit. Newhaven as a training craft. She was sold out of service in 1957 and renamed ZETA (meaning handmaiden). She passed through several owners until found semi-derelict at Benfleet Creek in 1991. The current owner has carried out much restoration work - internally only the wheelhouse and toilet are original, the remaning furniture was too badly rotted to save. Most of her portside underwater planking has been replaced together with several rotten frames. Her two engines are the original Perkins S6Ms. A complete refit was carried out on the craft in 1999 and engine replacement is now required. The craft is intended to be displayed at the Military Powerbaot Trust's new museum/centre.

i would like to find out more. can anyone help. i am after info such as why are some designated st prefix & others raf. who crewed them, what where their ranks. any ideas where to get info on their missions etc. all help gratefully recieved. can be contacted via email or on 01843 229306

cheers, graham

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triker69uk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote triker69uk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 October 2006 at 3:54pm

PLEASE NOTE. Just to clarify things, i dont own the boat. i have been asked by my friend who is the owner to place this posting as he has been in hospital since buying it last christmas & it is difficult under these circumstances to gain access to a computer. if anyone has any information on her, there may be a delay in replies as obviously i am acting on his behalf & need to relay things to him. alternatively, his son can be contacted re this on 07871219952 or freeman1045@tiscalli.co.uk. i have also been asked by the owner to state it is not up for sale & he has no intention of selling as he noticed a few enquiries along these lines.

cheers, graham

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