"Cecil Paine" twin engine / twin screw Liverpool Class Lifeboat. Photo: Tom Kennedy
The "Cecil Paine", a twin-screw Liverpool Class Lifeboat built in 1945
at the Crosshaven Boatyard in this photo dated 26 May, 1973.

Photo: Courtesy Tom Kennedy to TRLOTTTE, with our many thanks

The Liverpool Class of lifeboat is named after the shipyards where this craft was first manufactured circa 1850. The early versions of these wooden rescue boats were equipped and powered by 12 oars, in addition to small sails mounted on a mast that lowered aft. It wasn't until 1932 that new manufactured craft came equipped with a single-screw petrol engine, with fuel tanks located under the decking forward of the cabin. In 1945, the Liverpools were fitted with two engines and twin-screws, adding a lot of power to the rescue watercraft. The Liverpool Class' self-righting ability, first introduced circa 1940, is attributed to the raised, sealed compartments in turn sealed with sealed mahogany boxes that ensured buoyancy even if the hull was damaged. Many of the modern 20th Century versions of these 35'6" lifeboats were built by shipbuilders Groves & Gutteridge, Isle of Wight.

RNLB Foresters Centenary @1936 - Courtesy RNLI Image Archives
RNLB "Foresters Centenary", a single screw Liverpool class lifeboat based out of
Sheringham Lifeboat Station, Norfolk, England from 1936-61

Photo: Courtesy RNLI Image Archives with our many thanks

A regular sight at various Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) stations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, these boats were usually kept in-waiting and dry in the station's boathouse. While most Liverpool Class lifeboats were berthed in quays on stand-by, a rare few such as "The Chieftain" and the "William Cantrell Ashley" were launched from a slipway. When summoned, the boat was launched down a slipway into the water with crew aboard and engines running, minimizing precious lost time especially where lives were at stake. The Liverpool Class made significant contributions during World War II searching for, and rescuing downed Allied and German airmen from aircraft ditched in the North Sea and English Channel, often in adverse weather and minimal cover from the elements afforded to the rescue crews. In 1954, the final Liverpool Class Lifeboat, the "Grace Darling" was produced. The Liverpool Class of lifeboat was officially retired by the RNLI in 1982, when "The Chieftain", the last one in active service, was withdrawn.

RNLB Anne Allen @1933 Courtesy RNLI Archives
RNLB "Anne Allen" @1933 - Skegness Lifeboat Station
Photo: Courtesy RNLI Image Archives with our many thanks

What survived of the RLNI Liverpool Class Lifeboats were purchased over the years by non-government organizations and individuals, where many underwent major cosmetic alterations above the keel. A few boats made it into preservation in local nautical history museums and heritage fleets located near the Lifeboat Stations they originally served. Dedicated Liverpool Class Lifeboat purists have also restored, or are in tje process of restoring the boats in their charge to their former glory, such as the case with the RNLB Robert Lindsay.

RNLB The Chieftain Coutesey Barmouth RNLI - Jacki Puddle
Ex-RNLI "The Chieftain", beautifully kept in its original condition and working
order in this undated recent photo taken near Barmouth Lifeboat Station.

Photo: Courtesy Jacki Puddle, Barmouth RNLI Press Officer with our many thanks

"Captain" is likely a two-engine twin-screw version of the Liverpool Lifeboat Class built during the late 1940s.

With Thanks and Appreciation

TRLOTTTE would like to express our thanks to the following individuals and organizations for providing and permitting the use of the photographs featured on this page.

Please visit the official RNLI website to learn more about their work and history.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Collector's Corner
LC Wooden Captain from Amazon UK and US LC Take-n-Play Captain available from PeepPeepThomas
Wooden version of Captain Take-n-Play version of Captain

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