Over the coming years 16 big slipway stations will have to be rebuilt or refurbished to house the new Tamar class lifeboats. At £5M Tenby represents just under half of the RNLI's annual capital expenditure.
Delivering the project for that sum has forced a rethink in the way the RNLI works with its contractors. 'When we went out to tender for Tenby all the prices came in well over the money we had to spend, ' Ritchings explains. 'Only two contractors really gave any meaningful response - Dean & Dyball and John Martin - and we decided to work in partnership with them on all the slipway stations. What we learn on one can be transferred to the next, and so on.' Padstow station is next, followed by a refurbishment of Angle in Wales.
The contractors and the cradle, fuel and door suppliers sit in meetings together and swap ideas.
Cost reductions at Tenby came from:
Downsizing the building by 10%
Changing the pile design to reduce them from 52 to 41. Dispensing with the last two piles on the slipway alone saved £100,000
Instead of piles socketed 6m into into the rock the contractor changed the design to 2m drill and core
The last four transoms which required most underwater work were changed from concrete to steel to limit the work of divers
Employment of the MB2 amphibious vehicle