RYDER was built by Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company at Bow Creek in 1902 with a legacy from Mr William Ryder of Brixton, London, and was sent by rail to her first station on 23 May 1902. The coxswain of the Looe lifeboat at that time was Edward Toms and the vessel's first call out was on 27 February 1903 to the 575 ton steamer DAISY of Liverpool.
She remained in service until 10 April 1930 when, with motor boats on station at Plymouth and Fowey, the decision was made to close the Looe Lifeboat Station. RYDER was withdrawn and sold out of service and then became known as HALMAY III until 1987. Whilst in service, she was launched 12 time and saved 37 lives. Her hull is double diagonally built, with the stem, stern posts and deadwood made of English oak. The keel, hog, keelson and timbers are of Canadian elm and the planks are mahogany. She has a 14cwt iron ballast keel. She has a pointed stern and bow with a plumb straight stem curved at the forefoot. She is a ketch with dipping lug sails.
RYDER was purchased by the Polperro Heritage Museum and put on display, being the only lifeboat of this type to be displayed afloat. In 2021 it was reported that RYDER will be arriving in Charlestown Harbour to be cared for by the harbour and to form part of a permanent display about the history of the Cornish lifeboats. They aim to have her out sailing each year for Lifeboat Day.
Farr, Graham, Lists of British Life-Boats Part 2: Self-righting & Sailing Lifeboats 1851-1918, 1983
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £26,400 for restoration work
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