Tasmania Police Launches New Patrol Boat equipped with the Rhotheta RT-500-M

The Van Diemen has been in service with the Tasmanian Police Department for 21 years. This vessel has been so successful that, when the department decided to increase its capability by adding another vessel, the very detailed specifications were for a similar but larger and faster vessel.

Fine Entry Marine of Geraldton, Western Australia, submitted the winning tender. Fine Entry’s managing director Tim Browne knew he would be working in familiar territory – he had, after all, built the Van Diemen when he worked at Geraldton Boat Builders. He even delivered it. Much of the team he assembled had worked alongside him, as had several of his contractors. Personnel at many of the suppliers also remained unchanged. This is the way it is in a town, remote by some standards, where people tend to be long-term residents.

A major structural modification suggested by Fine Entry is usually invisible: twin keels instead of the original single. Geraldton has its share of horrendous weather and its rock lobster fleet operates almost in disregard of it. The local fishermen consider twin keels a no-brainer for their influence on stability, and behaviour in following seas.

This was a brave move by Tim Browne. He had to achieve the contract speed of 28.5 knots at full load – a load increased by larger fuel tanks and added equipment – plus the increased drag of the extra keel. The expected penalty of the keel alone was a loss of 1.5 knots, but the speed achieved on trials was 30 knots. An exceptionally fair hull undoubtedly made its contribution to this result.

The RT-500-M is a VHF/UHF radio direction finding (DF) solution designed for professional maritime applications. With continuous frequency coverage between 118 and 470 MHz, the RT-500-M is capable of operation on all common emergency frequencies including 121.5 MHz, VHF Marine Ch. 16 (156.8 MHz), 243 MHz, and 406 MHz distress beacons (ELTs/EPIRBs/PLBs). Additionally, the RT-500-M is capable of decoding messages from 406 MHz Cospas-Sarsat distress beacons—including latitude/longitude when available.

About Rhotheta
Rhotheta has leveraged more than 30 years of engineering experience to develop a comprehensive line of radio direction-finding equipment for air traffic control, search and rescue, and vessel traffic services. The company has found a competitive edge in the industry through a keen dedication to customer service and an optimal price/performance ratio. More than 200 organizations depend on Rhotheta products including the U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard, and German Air Navigation Services. For more information, visit https://rhothetaint.com/marine/

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