Registration number 1954
Status Archived


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Lifeboat
Location Dun Laoghaire
Vessel type Watson Class Lifeboat
Archive reason Overseas Watch List
Current use Unknown
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No


Builder White, J Samuel & Co Ltd, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Built in 1911
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
12.60 feet (3.84m)
3.60 feet (1.10m)
Length: Overall
45.00 feet (13.73m)
Tonnage: Gross


DUNLEARY was the first motor lifeboat provided by the civil service fund and has an excellent wartime rescue history. She was built in 1919 and was named by the Countess of Fingall in honour of her launching place. She remained stationed in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland with the ON658, until 1939 and made a total of 81 launches, saving 85 lives. Her war service was at Lytham and in those years alone she made 34 launches, rescuing 28 people. She was sold out of service at Sunderland and converted to a motor sailer by Lambies Boatbuilders.

DUNLEARY was bought by her present owners in 1970, much in need of a thorough overhaul of her cabin superstructure. The hull was in good condition, but a new trawler-style wheelhouse has since been built and fitted.

As of 2018, the vessel has been brought back to her former station of Dun Laoghaire on the East Coast of Ireland, and there's a project underway to restore her to her former glory.

Update, May 2023: The Dunleary Lifeboat Project has been selected as a a recipient of the Heritage Council Ireland's Community Grant Scheme 2023. This means they can start Phase 1 of the restoration project. Their focus for this year is to carry out cosmetic work on the vessel to allow them to showcase it in its authentic glory. Once ready for display, the lifeboat will be moved to a public display area. Phase 1 will involve not only the lifeboat itself but also the restoration of the old bogeys. These will eventually be used to display the slipway so it's essential they are in top condition. A new steel supporting frame will be constructed to ensure safe public exhibition. 

Key dates

  • 1919

    Built by J Samuel White & Co of East Cowes, Isle of Wight as a Lifeboat for the Civil Service No7 Lifeboat Fund

  • 1919-39

    Served as a Lifeboat in Kingston, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland

  • 1939-51

    Served as a Lifeboat in Lytham-St-Annes.  In her career as a Lifeboat, she was launched 81 times and saved 85 lives

  • 1951

    Sold to a Port Authority doctor in Sunderland and converted to a motor sailor

  • 1970

    Bought by Mr Jack B Belfield and Ms Pat Jopling.  A complete overhaul of the cabin superstructure carried out.  It was fitted with an engine that seized and replaced with a 5.1 BMC Sealord 106 HP 6-Cyl Diesel

  • 1981

    She was moved from the River Wear to the River Tyne

  • 1992

    Refitted on the River Tyne

  • 2003

    She was moved to Warkworth Harbour Commission Yard at Amble, Northumberland after vandalism

  • 2015

    Vessel is thought to be in fair condition in the WHC Yard Amble adjacent to the RNLI Station

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