Previous names

  • 1945 - 1965 Harbinger
  • 1965 - 2003 Peggy
Certificate no 1956
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Lifeboat
Location Hoylake
Vessel type Shallow Water - Sailing & Pulling Class
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company, Blackwall
Built in 1900
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type None
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
10.00 feet (3.05 m)
Length: Overall
35.00 feet (10.68 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



CHAPMAN is a twelve-oared boat, built by Thames Ironworks in 1900. She served as a lifeboat at Groomsport from 1901 to 1920 and at Hilbre Island from 1924 to 1939 and spent the war years at Point of Air colliery in North Wales.

She became a pleasure boat, with engine installed, taking out day-trippers in Blackpool and renamed HARBINGER.  Following this she bacame a pilot boat on the Lune Estuary for 25 years, a wheelhouse being added.

Known as PEGGY, she was finally sold to a member of the Hoylake crew who intended restoring her as a lifeboat and day tripper. Sadly the project proved too challenging and the boat was passed through various hands, ultimately being beached on the banks of the River Ribble at Tarleton. There she was simply neglected and was derelict when her present owner rediscovered her in 1998.

In 2003 she was officially renamed the restored lifeboat CHAPMAN on Hoylake promenade, in front of a crowd of 20,000 people attending the annual Hoylake Lifeboat Day.

Thirteeen of the lives saved by the CHAPMAN were rescued in a remarkable service by the Groomsport crew on 27 February 1903. Shortly after 9.00am that morning, the Coastguard reported that a barque situated about a mile north-west of the Copeland Islands was signalling for immediate assistance. The Groomsport coxswain, Henry Waterson, assembled his crew and launched the lifeboat. The vessel in distress was the Danish ship Hjertness of Sandjeford, bound from New Zealand for Glasgow laden with timber. One of her anchor cables had failed and there was a risk, in the strong west-north-west gale which was blowing, that the other might also be lost. The heavy sea prevented the CHAPMAN going alongside, so she manoeuvred beneath the stern of the troubled barque. The twelve crew members and a pilot were all lowered by rope into the safety of the lifeboat. The ship’s dog – Amon – was also rescued. The CHAPMAN then set sail for Groomsport in the heavy seas. She was fortunate to be met by a steam tug which towed the lifeboat much of the way back.

Key dates

  • 1911

    Vessel launched from Groomsport to save 5 persons from the schooner MARY of Glasgow

  • 1924-1939

    Vessel based at Hilbre Island, Wirral, Cheshire where she was launched 7 times  In July 1937 she saved 2 persons from the yacht Seabird

  • 1939 - 1945

    Served at the Point of Air colliery

  • 1945 - 1960s

    Served as a pleasure boat, HARBINGER in Blackpool

  • 1960s

    She became a pilot boat, Peggy, operating from Sunderland Point on Lune estuary

  • 1990

    Sold to Hoylake lifeboat engineer who commenced adaptation of the boat to recapture her lifeboat appearance and be available for pleasure trips

  • 1990s
    1. Vessel given to Burbo Bank Caravan Park in Meols and used as a children’s plaything
  • 1990s

    Sold to a Midlands owner who intends to restore her and is moved to Douglas Boatyard Tarleton, Lancashire but is effectively deserted

  • 1998

    Vessel rediscovered by Hoylake Lifeboat Museum  Having established legal ownership she is moved to Birkenhead

  • 2003 - 2004

    She is restored at Laird Foundation, Birkenhead using trainees

  • 2004 - 2006

    She was on public display at Wirral’s Historic Warships Exhibition 

  • 2012

    The vessel is housed internally within Hoylake Lifeboat Museum

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