RAF K-type dinghy, complete
'Dinghy, type K'. Stores reference 27C/1927. Introduced in January 1942 this is the classic wartime one-man dinghy intended for emergency use. Manufactured in rubberised cotton in the form of a boat-shaped inflation chamber with a proofed cotton cape and hood at the rear end and a flexible apron or spray shield at the front. This provided the airman with some protection from sea-spray and the elements when in use. These were permanently attached and could be unrolled and fastened to the sides using small straps and 'D' rings around the top of the float chamber. In addition the dinghy has a water pocket on the underside to aid stability, an integral sleeve to hold the CO2 gas inflation cylinder and a top-up valve to which a hand operated concertina type inflation bellows could be attached. Specially moulded housings on either side of the dinghy allow the insertion of an extendable wooden 'thwart' into which the base of the 7-section aluminium mast could be fitted. This was used in conjuction with a red glazed cotton sail in the form of an isosceles triangle printed with sailing instructions. The sail was fitted with simple rope 'steerling lines'. The type K was carried folded and compressed within a variety of different packs used in conjuction with the airman's parachute equipment. These packs had internal stowage pockets to house the various accessories that were not normally carried within the dinghy itself. The choice of pack (and therefore accessories) depended on the type of parachute worn by the airman and/or the type of aircraft being flown.
This example is in superb condition and comes from my own collection. The fabric is beautifully supple including the normally perished and hard spray shields. It is printed with user instructions and retains all the original straps & D-rings, bellows strap and so on. The mast and sail are in excellent condition and come with the rarely found 'bag' in which they were stored. The thwart is qually good. The dinghy also comes with the correct March 1944 dated MK.IX CO2 cylinder with bottle cover (& box for the latter); MK.II inflation bellows (boxed dated 1945); 2 sets of leak-stoppers (3 per set) and another larger leak stopper (boxed); cotton sea drogue; pair of small hand paddles; collapsible fabric baler cup (boxed); marching compass MK.II and an ultra rare compressed viscose sponge. Finally there is a deflation pump used to suck out the air such that the dinghy could be compressed enough to ensure it would fit into its pack. All in all this is a rare opportunity to obtain a fantastic dinghy. Quite simply the best one we have ever seen, bar none. NB. The CO2 cylinder cannot be posted overseas. Stock code NIVK-1.