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Waveney Class Lifeboats

Waveney class ON 1006 "Connel Elizabeth Cargill" pictured during the Arklow Maritime Festival in August 1987. Photo Tom Nolan

The Waveney class lifeboat was the first class of lifeboats operated by the RNLI capable of operating at speeds in exce​ss of 10 knots. The class is based on an American Coast Guard design. The RNLI bought one of the 44-foot lifeboats from the USCG for trials around the coasts of the UK & Ireland.  

The prototype was never given a name although the crews nicknamed it "The Yank". It entered trials in 1964. The first production boat entered service in 1967 and the Waveney class continued to be built in batches at various yards. A total of 22 were built for RNLI service. 

The last Waveney was built in 1982 and the class was replaced by the Trent and Severn class lifeboats. Many of the retired Waveney class lifeboats were sold to other rescue organisations across the world. 

Waveney Class Facts

Introduced: 1964 (Last built 1982)

Length: 13.67m

Width: 4.2m

Launch Type: Afloat

Fuel Capacity: 1,340 litres

Crew: 5

Range: 190 nautical miles

Max Speed: 15.4 Knots

Engines: 2 Diesel engines of various models

Lifeboats highlighted in GREEN were based at Irish Lifeboat stations.


(1) Now on display at the RNLI Museum, Chatham.

(2) Sold to the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol (Australia) for further service.

(3) Sold to the Sea Rescue Institute of Namibia for further service.

(4) Sold to the Royal New Zealand Coastguard Federation for further service.

(5) Sold to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary for further service.

(6) Sold to the ADES (Uruguay) for further service.

O.N. is the RNLI's Official Number of the boat

Op.No. is the RNLI's Operational Number of the boat carried on the hull

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