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SOLD – 45ft GAFF KETCH LIFEBOAT CONVERSION – built 1921 – Lying: Suffolk



Boat Details

Overall Length: 45ft
Waterline: 43ft
Beam: 12ft 6ins
Draught: 3ft 6ins
Displacement: 15 Tons Thames Measurement
Engine: 100hp Perkins Diesel
Berths: Seven in three cabins
Sail: Gaff Ketch Rig
Designer: G L Watson
Builder: Saunders of Cowes
Year Built: 1921
Location: East Coast



Built 1921 by Saunders of East Cowes as the Frederick and Emma served
firstly at Wick Lifeboat Station until 1938, her final “shout” at Wick was to assist downed RAF Walrus L12237.
During January 1939 she arrived at Amble Lifeboat Station, the first lifeboat to be stationed there after the re-opening since the closure in 1852; during her service at both stations, she saved a total of 94 lives, 37 while at Wick and 57 at Amble until end of service in 1952.
Bought, rebuilt, converted and maintained for over 50 years by a professional shipwright. A regular competitor at East Coast Gaffer events; she is in working order, however, would benefit from some updating of the accommodation; she was surveyed on Robertson’s slip in Woodbridge for winter maintenance and was reported as “sound”.

Registered with National Historic Ships Cert No 772.

Length on deck 45ft
Beam 12ft 6ins
Draft 3ft 6ins
Tonnage (gross) 15.26

Planked in double diagonal Honduras mahogany fastened with copper nails and roves. Heavy oak timbers at 30″ centres.
Solid teak backbone with heavy iron strap floors.
Decks of marine plywood, sheathed externally and finished with deck paint.
High toe rail/bulwark all-round set on galvanised stanchion bases.
Inch & half thick Honduras mahogany coach roof coamings with sheathed marine plywood coach roof.
Large self- draining cockpit with seating either side and vast lockers beneath.
Thick cork rubbing band all around.
Gaff rig ketch on a solid deck-stepped mast.
Solid varnished wooden booms and gaffs.
Galvanised standing rigging to internal galvanised steel chain plates.
Mainsail and mizzen by James Lawrence; staysail, genoa and mizzen staysail
Perkins S6M 100hp 6cyl diesel installed new 1965.
MR10A gearbox with single lever controls to large fixed-pitch propeller in a tunnel. 6 knots cruising speed, 10 knots max. 1 gallon/hr at cruising speed
100-gallon steel fuel tank under the cockpit sole.
60 gallon galvanised steel water tank under the cockpit sole.
4×12 volt domestic batteries; 2xL2 volt engine start batteries; engine alternator.
2 manual bilge pumps and engine driven bilge pump.

Good headroom throughout.
Maximum 7 berths with large double skippers’ cabin.
step down from the cockpit into passageway offset to starboard past engine space.
Starboard pilot berth in the passageway under deck-head. Large chart desk and storage area on top of the engine box.
Main saloon forward; single settee berth to starboard; double settee berth to port; drop-leaf saloon table in the centre.
Flavel 2 burner gas stove with oven and grill. Worksurface either side with stowage for crockery with shelves above; gas-powered fridge under the work surface. Starboard side large work surface area with single stainless sink; manual freshwater pump.
Forepeak stowage, bosun’s locker and single berth to port if required.
Skippers cabin port side of engine box accessed through a passage to port at the base of the companionway steps; large double berth when folded down; full standing headroom.
Heads compartment at the entrance to skipper’s cabin; Jabsco sea toilet discharges directly

Galvanised anchor chain 3/8″ x approx. 15 fathoms
Set of engine gaskets
Spare propeller


A well converted former Watson Class Lifeboat offering a large volume interior ideal for extended voyaging or living board. With a shoal draught and protected propeller STADATS is suitable for use on inland waterways, European Canals and shallow estuaries on a drying mooring. Lifeboats from the 1920s are now extremely rare and offer immense character and style. With a traditional gaff rig, STADATS is a capable and weatherly passage maker. Seriously for sale with all offers considered for a sale this Autumn.

GUIDE PRICE: SOLD – December 2019

LYING: Ashore Suffolk

VIEWING: Through the brokers CLASSIC YACHTS – 01905-356482