Arun Class

 Arun Class Facts and Figures 

 Introduced Length Overall Displacement Range Crew
 1971 52' and 54' 23.5 tons 220 nautical miles 5


The Arun class lifeboats were the second largest lifeboat in the RNLI all-weather fleet. They take their name from the River Arun in Sussex.

The first three were built of wood, one other was built of steel, the remainder were built of fibreglass.

The first Arun class entered service in 1971 the final Arun was built in 1990. A total of 46 Arun class lifeboats were built for the RNLI.

When production of the Severn class began the writing was on the wall for the Arun class, the final examples were withdrawn from service in 2008.

Most of the Arun class have been sold for service with other lifesaving services around the world. Arun class lifeboat can now be found in Iceland, China, Finland, Chile and Australia.

Former Portrush lifeboat (1981-2000) Arun class ?Richard Evans (Civil Service no 39)?.

Photo : Albert Bridge 

 Waveney Class

Waveney Class Facts and Figures 

 Introduced Length Overall Displacement Range Crew
 1967 44'  18 tons 167 nautical miles 5


The 44ft Waveney class lifeboat was the first fast lifeboat to see service with the RNLI. The Waveney class designed by the U.S. Coast Guard. In 1964 the RNLI acquired the USCG 44328 from the U.S. Coast Guard and went on to build 21 of the type.

The Waveney class was a familar sight around the Irish coast the final examples were withdrawn in the late 90's.

Many Waveney class lifeboats went on to see further service in New Zealand and Australia.

For further information of the 44ft Waveney class Irish Lifeboats highly recommed the  44ft Motor Lifeboats website.


 ON 1006 "Connel Elizabeth Cargill" was built in 1967. It served as Troon lifeboat from 1968 until 1985. ON1006 served at Arklow from 1986 until 1990. It then served in the relief fleet until 1997. After withdrawal it was sold for further service with the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol Australia where it was renamed "P&O Nedlloyd Rawalpindi" and has served at Sydney Division, Mosman, NSW since 1999. Photo : Tom Nolan

 Solent Class

Solent Class facts and Figures 

 Introduced Length Overall Displacement Range Crew
 1969 48' 6" 27 tons 240 nautical miles 7


The Solent class were a self-righting all weather lifeboat. The Solent had an all-welded steel hull, fitted with an iron ballast keel weighing over four tons, and aluminium alloy upperworks.

The Solent was self-righting by virtue of its large watertight wheelhouse. A double bottom was formed below the engine room and this the forepeak, the void under the after cabin and the wing compartments were all filled withrigid polyurethane foam to increase buoyancy.

The hull was divided by four main watertight bulkheads and twenty-five watertight compartments.

Power was provided by twin 110hp Gardner diesel engines. The twin fuel tanks each had a capacity for 120 gallons. Twin spade rudders, coupled to Mathway manual steering gear gave better manoeuvrability than earlier lifeboat classes.

The final Solent class lifeboats were withdrawn in the early 90's. Some were sold for further service as lifeboats to the Coastal Volunteer Rescue in Australia. 


Solent-class lifeboat "R.Hope Roberts" 

 Brede Class

Brede Class Facts and Figures   

 Introduced Length Overall Displacement Range Crew
 1979 33'  8.5 tons 140 nautical miles 5


The 33ft Brede Class was built to fill a gap in capability between the largest inshore lifeboat and the smallest offshore lifeboat. The Brede Class was based on the Lochin Marine 33 commerical angling boat which fitted RNLI requirements at the time where the cost of an all new design could not be justified.

The first Brede (33-01) was based on the angling boat design with the addition of a large buoyancy block to give self-righting capability. For the second boat onwards a series of modifications were undertaken. This included an enlarged wheelhouse which provided self-righting capability.

All Brede Class lifeboats were fitted with twin Catterpillar 3208 NA engines providing a speed of around 20 knots. The Brede had a range of around 140 nautical miles.

Although the Brede Class proved to be very capable lifeboats they did not have long operational careers with the RNLI and many were sold for further service with other life-saving assocations. 

Brede Class 33-08 Foresters Future finished her service with the RNLI as part of the relief fleet in 2002. 33-08 was sold to the National Sea Rescue Institute in South Africa where she was renamed the Spirit of Safmarine III. Photo : NSRI 

Atlantic 21 

Atlantic 21 Facts and Figures 

 Introduced Length Overall Speed Endurance Crew
 1970 23ft 29 Knots 3 hours at max speed 3


The Atlantic type inshore lifeboat is one of the most successful classes of lifeboat ever built for the RNLI. The Atlantic was developed during the 1960s following the success of the 16ft inflatable inshore lifeboat.

The first experimental boat went on trial at Gorleston and another longer and modified hull went on trial at Lyme Regis. 

The first production Atlantic 21 went on station at Hartlepool in 1972. During the 1970s and 1980s the need for faster lifeboats saw the Atlantic 21 enter service at many stations in both the UK and Ireland. Many of the smaller offshore lifeboats were replaced by the Atlantic 21 including stations such as Youghal Co Cork.

In the first two decades of service, Atlantic 21 lifeboats launched over 15,000 times and saving nearly 5,000 lives.

In the early 1990s the need for a larger and faster RIB saw the introduction of the Atlantic 75 lifeboat. The new Atlantic 21 built for an Irish Lifeboat station was B-593 Valarie Hull which went on station at Kilkeel in 1993. In total 96 Atlantic 21s were built the last on station in Ireland stood down in 2008.


Former Enniskillen Atlantic 21 B-592 Ernest Armstrong  Photo : Albert Bridge