The Ann Letitia Russell Rescue Group


Saving Fleetwoods Historic Lifeboat

Registered Charity No:1166752

41ft Watson Class Lifeboat

The 41ft Watson class non self-righting motor Lifeboat was built between 1931 and 1952 and was in service at Lifeboat stations around the coast of Britain between 1931 and 1982.

The 41 ft Watson class was designed for the R.N.L.I. for 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. Pre-war production of the 41ft Watson class ran from 1931 until 1939 thirteen boats were completed during this time. Post-war production of the 41ft class ran from 1948 until 1952 a further five boats were built during this period. In 1954 production was switched to the much modified 42ft Watson class non self-righting motor Lifeboat.


The 41 ft Watson class 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 other 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. The 41ft Watson class Lifeboat as well as having twin engines also had a sailing rig.


Length:- 41ft

Beam:- Slipway Type 11ft 8in, Beach Type 12ft 3in

Draught:- 3ft 8in (1.12m)

Engine:- 1939-1963 2x35bhp Weyburn AE6 6-cylinder petrol. 1963 with 47 bhp Ford-based Parsons Porbeagle 4-cylinder diesel engines

Speed:-7.5 Knots

Crew:- 8

Date of Service:- 1931 - 1982

41ft Watson Fleet_Page_1

41ft Watson Class Fleet