41ft Watson-class lifeboat

RNLB Edmund and Mary Robison (ON812), 6th of 13 in the Watson 41 Class. On the occasion of her Naming Ceremony off Princes Dock, Liverpool
Class overview
Name: 41ft Watson-class
Operators: RNLI
Preceded by: Various
Succeeded by: 42ft Watson
Cost: £5,600-£20,700
Built: 1931-1939, 1948-1952
In service: 1931-1982
Completed: 18
Lost: 3
Retired: 15
General characteristics
Class and type: 41ft Watson-class motor lifeboat
Displacement: 14-15 tons
Length: 41 ft (12 m)
Beam: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m) - 12 ft 3 in (3.73 m)
Draught: 3 ft 8 in (1.12 m)
Propulsion: (As built) 2x35bhp Weyburn AE6 6-cylinder petrol
Speed: 712 knots
Crew: 8

The 41 ft Watson-class was a non self-righting displacement hull lifeboat built between 1931 and 1952 and operated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution between 1931 and 1981.


The 41 ft Watson was designed for service at stations which required a larger and more powerful boat than the standard carriage launched types, but which could not accommodate the larger Watson types through boathouse or slipway constraints. There was also a beach type with 7 inches more beam and strengthened hulls to withstand the rigours of beach launching. Production ran from 1931 to 1939 and thirteen boats were completed. Between 1948 and 1952 a further five boats were built before attention turned to the much modified 42ft Watson type which appeared in 1954.


The 41 ft Watson had an aft cockpit with a cabin ahead of it containing the engine controls. There was a separate forward shelter and there was room in the two for sixteen people. The boats carried two sails as an auxiliary to the twin Weyburn AE6 6-cylinder petrol engines. The Beach types, as well as being wider, had various differences in deck layout, the first three (ON 751, 761/2) having end boxes and the fourth (ON 783) having raised bulwarks. The type was put back into production in 1948, nine years after the last had been built, in a revised version with an enlarged cabin which replaced the forward shelter. From 1963 eleven of the boats were re-engined with 47 bhp Ford-based Parsons Porbeagle 4-cylinder diesel engines.


ON is the RNLIs sequential Official Number.

ON Name Built Builder In service Stations Re-engined Comments
751 Abdy Beauclerk 1931 J. Samuel White, Cowes 1931–1958 Aldeburgh No.1 -- Beach type. Sold in 1959
758 Rosa Woodd and Phyllis Lunn 1933 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1933–1963
Shoreham Harbour
Relief fleet
1963-Parsons Porbeagle Sold in 1973
761 Charles Cooper Henderson 1933 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1933–1957
Relief fleet
1963-Parsons Porbeagle Beach type. Sold January 1976
762 Charles Dibdin (Civil Service No.2) 1933 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1933–1959 Walmer -- Beach type. Sold in 1961
769 Duke of York 1933 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1934–1961 The Lizard -- Sold in 1961
783 The Viscountess Wakefield 1936 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1936–1940 Hythe -- Beach type. Abandoned at Dunkirk 31/5/1940
806 Rachel and Mary Evans 1936 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1937–1968
Barry Dock
Relief fleet
-- Wrecked 12/4/1969 after breaking moorings on

reserve duty at Weston-Super-Mare.

807 Inbhear Mor 1938 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1938–1968
Relief fleet
1963-Parsons Porbeagle Sold in 1974
808 Mary Ann Hepworth 1938 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1938–1974 Whitby 1963-Parsons Porbeagle Sold in 1975
812 Edmund and Mary Robinson 1938 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1938–1950
New Brighton No.2
Relief fleet
-- Sold March 1964. Under Restoration 2015
813 Ann Letitia Russell 1938 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1939–1976 Fleetwood 1963-Parsons Porbeagle Sold April 1977. Returned to Fleetwood in August 2015 for restoration and display.
823 Matthew Simpson 1939 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1939–1972
Port Erin
Relief fleet
1963-Parsons Porbeagle Sold in 1976
824 John Pyremont 1939 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1939–1941 Tynemouth -- Destroyed in air raid 9/4/1941
856 Susan Ashley 1948 Groves & Guttridge, Cowes 1948–1972
Sennen Cove
Barry Dock No.2
1963-Parsons Porbeagle Boarding boat at Tynemouth 1979-80.

Display at Chatham Historic Dockyard

857 Glencoe, Glasgow 1949 Morgan Giles, Teignmouth 1949–1960
Relief fleet
1963-Parsons Porbeagle Sold in 1979
858 R.L.P. 1949 Sussex Yacht Co., Shoreham 1949–1975
Relief fleet
1963-Parsons Porbeagle Sold August 1981
859 Beryl Tollemanche 1949 Sussex Yacht Co., Shoreham 1949–1977
Relief fleet
1963-Parsons Porbeagle Beach type. Sold September 1979
897 St. Andrew (Civil Service No.10) 1952 William Osborne, Littlehampton 1952–1959
Relief fleet
Relief fleet
1963-Parsons Porbeagle Sold in 1982

External links

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