British Power Boat Co - 16ft Marine Dinghy Inboard

The 16ft Inboard Dinghy made its first appearance in 1931. The craft was developed to carry out tasks that had until then carried out by slower larger craft. The Marine Section in those days had inumerable small jobs to and from moored aircraft and boats and managed with the older 35ft "Brooke" type launches or pulling dinghies. The Inboard Planing Dinghy was able to do the same jobs and many others with only one dinghy driver in the boat.

According to RAF records all were built by the BPB Co at Hythe, however Pilborough indicates that the first craft of the type built by BPB was numbered 108 and that it was originally powered by a Ferry 10hp engine. According to the same source the first craft, 100, was [owered by a 6hp "watermota" engine. Dinghy 112 was also powered by a Ferry 10hp engine and on trials achieved a mean speed of 10.972 knots. However the vast majority of the type were built by BPB and the first craft to be powered by the Power Meadows 8/28 hp engine was Dinghy 116, however it is recorded that Dinghy 114 was re-engined from a Ferry to a Power Meadows in May 1932.

The construction of the of the 16ft was exactly the same as the 18ft type, but eith the obvious difference of size. The craft certainly included the reverse clinker bottom planking for exactly the same reason as the 18ft type did.

The first craft were numbered in the 100 series, however, this was soon to make a rea mess of the RAF craft numbering system when the 64ft and 63ft HSL's were introduced. Thus, like the 18ft types, the 16ft Inboard Dinghies were renumbered in 1936, by simply adding 600 to the original number. Thus 114 became 614 and so on.

Several craft of this type were war losses, however of those that survived the war, many were disposed of in 1946/47, but a couple were still in service into the 1950's. Dinghy 628 was transferred to the Sea Cadets at Southport in 1946 and sold by Walsall SCC in 1953.

The number of 16ft craft built was low, the 18ft type being more successful in RAF service. However the 16ft Plaining Dinghy, over the years, was modified by the Admiralty and became a standard craft, built in its hundreds for general use by smaller warships of destroyer/sloop/escort size.