RNLI LIFEBOATS Boat Yard Maintenance / Re-fits

25th November 2009, 21:13
I am trying to find out how some aspects of more detailed maintenance was carried out on the older lifeboats - in particular the Watson Classes when, they went to Lifeboat Maintenance Centres/Yards for PRISM (Planned refit, Intermediate Survey & Maintenance).

For example on my own boat Joseph Soar, a Watson 47ft, the fuel tanks were inaccessible for normal station maintenance & it appears they were cleaned, maintained, etc when at a Lifeboat Maintenance Centre. Some lifeboats had a sump in the fuel tanks, with a fixed pipe to the underside of the deck cap, which allowed very easy removal of water/sludge, etc. - mine doesn't .. !

Cleaning the two fuel tanks on Joseph Soar is on my planned maintenance list, but if possible I would like to clean the tanks in-situ, as it's a fair job to remove & replace them.

I wondered if any forum members here were involved in the maintenance of lifeboats in Shipyards and can help with advice on this and any other maintenance aspects, or alternatively, if any members knows of anyone who was involved in such work. Any help or contacts would be greatly appreciated.

21st June 2010, 21:27
hi there my dad is currently renovating a watson class life boat jonas gibb now named thrift may be you both have some stories and tips for each other

Andy Iannetta
20th October 2010, 09:58
Hi Bernard,

Don't think that you will do it in situ!!! the Barnetts tanks had to come out, Quinton has just replaced his tanks after purging, it is a fairly big job but well worth doing, the worst part is removing all those deck screws the rest is easy.

Call me if you need a hand!

One other thing, when were they last out, knowing where she came from, I would be suprised if they had not been out? PM me!!


20th October 2010, 10:11
hi watson 47
perhaps try to contact frank ex salcombe mech who also owned that boat
he might know how to clean tanks i was crew in that boat when she was at shoreham i believe her last station in rnli service

24th October 2010, 23:01
granty .. great to hear from you & thanks for your post. I correspond quite regularly with Frank. It seems the tanks come out for cleaning on the Watson 47's. What prompted me to ask was that at least some of the earlier 46' 9 Watsons has a really great feature for cleaning the tanks. A seperate pipe from the fuel filler cap went to the bottom of the tank. A pump could be attached to this which would take any water or crud directly from the bottom of the tank .. simple .. !

I thought it was such a great & simple idea that it would have continued with later model Watsons, but apparently not.

Joseph Soar's last posting was with you in Shoreham. She came to you from Dunbar in September 1988 and was finally withdrawn from service in September 1990. A full and fruitful working life & now pampered in retirement ... ! It's great to know someone from one of her crews .. !

You might be interested in some recent pictures of Joseph Soar;


I am sending you a PM as well as you might be able to help out with some information a few other things.