PALFINGER: Next generation rescue boats for the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution


PALFINGER has designed a state-of-the-art Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat (RHIB) prototype for the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution, the KNRM. The prototype is the first of the twelve boats ordered in 2022. To mark the official start of the building process, a traditional keel laying ceremony was held in Dronrijp, the Netherlands.


In early 2022, PALFINGER was awarded a contract by the Koninklijke Nederlands Redding Maatschappij (KNRM) for twelve custom-built Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIB), which will assist the organization in their future rescue operations. With the keel laying ceremony last Friday, PALFINGER and the KNRM announced the start of the production phase in Dronrijp, the Netherlands, where the robust hull of the first prototype will be produced.


Prototyping at its best

PALFINGER MARINE's rigid inflatable boats are specifically designed for fast interventions in the roughest sea conditions. Working closely together with the Dutch rescue organization, PALFINGER has developed the prototype for a new series of 7.5-meter-long, twin outboard aluminum RHIBs. The new design incorporates both optimized seating ergonomics for the crew as well as a better performance in terms of stability and viewing lines. Arnoud Straakenbroek, Global Sales Director Governmental & Professional Boats and Davits at PALFINGER about the project: “So far, we look back at a very successful collaboration between PALFINGER and the KNRM. More than 120 design decisions resulted in a high-performing, customized prototype of our new RHIB series. The keel-laying ceremony strengthened the ties further and fueled our excitement as we are taking the next steps in the project – constructing and testing the prototype, followed by the production of the remaining eleven boats”.


“PALFINGER designed the optimal solution that meets our special requirements regarding reliability,
safety, and quality for our rescue staff”, says Jacob Tas, General Director of the KNRM.


Tradition meets modern boat construction

The tradition of keel laying is said to bring good luck to the boat during construction and to the captain and crew during its lifespan. The KNRM named the new boat class Chaterina D, after the first boat donors’ names, Chaterina Hollenga and Dick Veen, a former fleet inspector and his partner, who also laid the keel during the ceremony.

After the hull construction, the assembly of the first boat will take place at the PALFINGER boat production facility in Harderwijk, the Netherlands. In July 2023, the KNRM and PALFINGER will intensively test the boat according to the defined quality criteria. If it meets all expectations and is approved by the organization, PALFINGER will start building the remaining eleven RHIBs. “As a member of the International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF), the Netherlands are among the global players in the Search and Rescue (SAR) segment. With this project, we take an important step further in this segment and prepare our way for more exciting projects and partnerships in the future”, says Arnoud Straakenbroek.


Next generation rescue boats

Keel-laying ceremony for state-of-the-art PALFINGER Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boat


The international mechanical engineering company PALFINGER is the world's leading provider of innovative crane and lifting solutions. As a global partner for pioneering and reliable deck equipment and lifesaving appliances, PALFINGER MARINE supplies high-quality products to fulfill standardized and customized demands. Supported worldwide by a network of experienced and skilled specialists, we provide flexible and efficient service solutions. Our portfolio gives a competitive edge for customers in the maritime and offshore industry.



PALFINGER is an international technology and mechanical engineering company and the world's leading producer and provider of innovative crane and lifting solutions. With around 12,700 employees (without contingent workers.), more than 30 manufacturing sites and a worldwide sales and service network of around 5,000 service points, PALFINGER creates added value from the challenges of its customers. PALFINGER is consistently continuing on its course as a provider of innovative, complete solutions that deliver increased efficiency and better operability, while leveraging the potential of digitalization along the entire production and value chain. 

PALFINGER AG has been listed on the Vienna stock exchange since 1999, and in 2023 achieved record revenue of EUR 2.45 billion.

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Eva-Maria Wimmer | Marketing & Communication | PALFINGER MARINE
T +43 662 4684 |