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Carley floats are not in evidence in WWI era ships as far as I can see (unlike WW2 where they seemed to be placed on any and every available surface visible). However, Wikipedia's page said they were used in both world wars. The patent was awarded in 1903
If the ship was damaged badly enough to sink, any boats onboard would be matchwood anyway. That is why the Carley floats were cork or balsa. They would still float if damaged.
I believe that's true...many boats were landed before naval actions. That's bad news if your ship goes down...but I suppose "The Higher Ups" don't expect there to be many survivors, anyway!
I imagine the boats were left at home when the ships went to sea for action. There Germans did it, too.
I'm building the Flyhawk HMS Agincourt, and the layout of the boats makes me curious: After the amidships flying bridge over the turrets was removed, most of the boats were stowed abreast the 4th turret (Turret 'Thursday'). They blocked much of the training arcs of the turret, and even if they cleared the muzzle blast when the guns fired would destroy them. What happened to them in action? There seems no other reasonable place to move them - would they just be shoved overboard and abandoned? See the lower left image below.
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