Previous names

  • 1972 Pentland Spiers
Certificate no 1515
Status Registered


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


Builder Groves & Gutteridge Ltd, Cowes
Built in 1932
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 0
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Petrol
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
12.46 feet (3.80 m)
5.38 feet (1.64 m)
Length: Overall
45.34 feet (13.83 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


THOMAS MCCUNN is a Watson lifeboat, built by Groves & Gutteridge of Cowes in 1932 as yard number 182 and registered at Lowestoft. Her build cost £7120 and was financed through a legacy made to the R.N.L.I by Mr. W. McCunn. She operated under lifeboat number 759 until she was sold out of service in 1971. Her hull is wooden and originally she would have had twin Weyburn petrol engines. These were replaced in 1973 with two Mermaid diesels. During her years of service based at Longhope, THOMAS MCCUNN was launched 101 times and saved 308 lives. Her first coxswain was William Dass who remained with the boat until 1946, when he was replaced by Alfred Johnston, who in turn stayed at his post until 1954. Dan Kirkpatrick succeded him and was awarded a silver medal for the rescue of fourteen men from the trawler STRATHCOE on 4 February 1959. After being decommissioned in 1972, she became known as the PENTLAND SPEIR. She was based at Walton for a time and then moved to Hayling Island in the 1990s. In 2000, she was bought from Mr. Peter Roberts of Midhurst for one pound and was sailed back to Longhope. She is now completely seaworthy and, although a museum boat, is available for film and television use and can be launched as required. In March 2007 her current owners reported her in excellent condition, retaining 95% originality.

Key dates

  • 1932

    Watson class lifeboat built by Groves & Gutteridge Ltd of Cowes, Isle of Wight

  • 1933-1962

    Served as the Longhope, Orkney Scotland lifeboat from 1933 to 1962

  • 1962-1972

    Served as a reserve lifeboat from 1962 to 1972

  • 1972

    Decommissioned and taken into private ownership under name PENTLAND SPEIR

  • 1990s

    Moved to Hayling Island having been based at Walton for a time

  • 2000

    Bought from Peter Roberts of Midhurst and sailed back to Longhope

  • 2007

    Museum boat in excellent condition. Completely seaworthy and can be launched as required

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