Registration number 1446
Status National Historic Fleet


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Lifeboat
Location Cromer
Vessel type Watson Class Lifeboat
Current use Museum based
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required Yes
Web address


Builder Groves & Gutteridge Ltd, Cowes
Built in 1935
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 2
Primary engine type Petrol
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
12.75 feet (3.89m)
6.00 feet (1.83m)
Length: Overall
45.97 feet (14.02m)
Tonnage: Gross


Commissioned by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution to save lives at sea, H F BAILEY was built by Groves & Gutteridge in 1934 at Cowes to a design by G.L. Watson. The lifeboat was donated by Henry Francis Bailey of Brockenhurst at a cost of £7307 14s. The lifeboat entered service at Cromer on 12 December 1935 as No1 lifeboat under Coxswain Henry Blogg, already famous for his medal winning rescues. The boat launched 154 times and saved 448 lives at Cromer. During this time her crew were awarded one Gold, two Silver and nine Bronze awards for gallantry by the RNLI. She was transferred to Helvick Head (Eire) in 1946.

When sold out of service in 1973, the famous boat was on display outdoors at Thorpe Water Sport Park in Surrey before Sir Peter Cadbury bought her and presented her to the RNLI Henry Blogg Museum in 1991.  In 2003 she was officially transferred to the RNLI Heritage Trust.



Key dates

  • 1934

    Built by Groves & Gutteridge of Cowes as a Watson type lifeboat, donated by Henry Francis Bailey of Brockenhurst

  • December 1935

     Arrives at Cromer, to serve as No 1 lifeboat under Coxswain Henry Blogg

  • August 1937

    Sir Samuel Hoare officially names the H F BAILEY after its donor

  • October 1939

    29 people rescued from SS MOUNT IDA, wrecked in a gale and heavy seas

  • January 1941

    H F BAILEY saved 101 crew members from SS MERIONES following bombing by German aircraft

  • August 1941

    88 men saved from 6 vessels wrecked on Haisborough Sands

  • October 1941

    44 crew members rescued from the SS ENGLISH TRADER grounded in a full gale and heavy seas

  • December 1945

    Leaves Cromer station

  • August 1946

    Transferred to Helvick Head (Eire) where she saved 12 lives

  • 1960

    Transferred to Relief Fleet

  • June 1973

    H F BAILEY sold and put on display at Thorpe Water Park, Surrey

  • April 1991

    Bought at auction by Mr Peter Cadbury and gifted to RNLI Henry Blogg Museum and people of Cromer. Restored and repainted by volunteers

  • April 2006

    Moved into purpose-built museum. Strategy of care changed to conservation


Classic Boat: H F Bailey's new home, April 2004

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