Irish Lifeboats

The definitive guide to the Irish lifeboat service

D Class (IB1) Lifeboats

First introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1963, the design of the inflatable D class lifeboat continues to evolve to meet changes in demand and technology. The current version the IB1 was introduced in 2003.

These fast, light inflatable boats are suited to shallow water and confined locations such as close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves.These craft can reach casualties in places where an all-weather lifeboat would be unable to operate.

The D class has a single 50hp outboard engine and can be righted manually by the crew after a capsize. Equipment includes both fitted and hand-held VHF radio, night-vision equipment, and first aid kit including oxygen. 

All RNLI inshore lifeboats are built and maintained at the Inshore Lifeboat Centre (ILC) in Cowes, Isle of Wight. A D class lifeboat is generally refitted every 2 years. This process sees the entire lifeboat stripped and rebuilt with any part found to be worn, torn or broken being repaired or replaced.

D Class Facts

Introduced: 1963 (Latest version 2003)

Length: 5m

Width: 2m

Load: 400kg

Launch Type: Trolley or davit

Fuel Capacity: 68 litres

Crew: 2-3

Range: 3 hours at maxium speed

Engines: 1 x mariner at 40 or 50hp

Year Built
 Bradley and Sonia
 Fenit 08/01/10 to date
 Realt na Mara
 Dun laoghaire 10/06/10 to date
 David Roulston (Civil Service No. 52)
 Portrush 09/09/10 to date
 Newcastle 03/12/14 to date
 Isabella Purchase
 Tramore 28/05/15 to date
 Alfred William Newman
 Wexford 25/06/15 to date
 Larne 21/07/15 to date
 Aideen Cresswell
 Howth 12/07/16 to date
 Wicklow 23/02/17 to date
 Celia Mary
 Clifden 19/10/17 to 2020
 Naomh Dubhan
  Fethard 01/02/18 to date
 Clann Lir
  Ballyglass 28/06/18 to date
 Courtown 29/01/20 to date
 Fenit due 2021
 Dun Laoghaire due 2021
Lifeboats listed in YELLOW are under construction. Lifeboats listed in WHITE are in service.
Last Updated 18/02/21