Registration number 1962
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Lifeboat
Location Hesketh Bank
Vessel type Watson Class Lifeboat
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No


Builder Saunders, S E Ltd, East Cowes
Built in 1924
Hull material Wood
Rig Gaff Cutter
Number of decks 2
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
12.60 feet (3.84m)
4.00 feet (1.22m)
Length: Overall
45.00 feet (13.73m)


MANCHESTER AND SALFORD (ON-689) is a 45ft Watson Class single screw motor lifeboat built by S.E. Saunders Ltd at Cowes, Isle of Wight, in 1924. Her original engine was an 80hp Weyburn DE6 petrol engine. She was the first lifeboat to travel up the Manchester Ship Canal. She served as the Douglas, Isle of Man, lifeboat between 1924 and 1946, during which time she was launched 28 times and saved 8 lives. She was fitted with radio in 1938. There is no record of her wartime service. She then became a reserve lifeboat from 1946 to 1954, serving at Islay, Barra Island, Campbelltown, Stornaway, being launched 12 times and saving 5 lives.  She was sold out of service in 1954 and converted on Clydeside where she was fitted with a 120hp Perkins 56M diesel engine. She was then based in North Wales and visited Scotland. By the 1990s she was at Bangor, North Wales and she was later abandoned at Deganwy where she was repossessed by court order. By 2000 she was in a poor state consisting of little more than a wrecked, stripped hull.

In 2001 the current owner began the process of restoration.  She was originally constructed of Honduras mahogany on oak frames with Canadian rock elm and copper fastened, much of which had to be replaced, as had the 33 keel bolts. The oak curves that formed the deck edge were rotten and also had to be replaced, although the curved oak hoops (oak frames) were retained. Main beams, curved edge beams and copper rivets were all replaced. The curved aft desk (end box) also had to be replaced, as did the hauling plates. She had two masts, a large sail area and drop keel. Further alterations included the fitting of an 8hp bow thruster, and the sheathing of the coach roof with West system epoxy.

Her restoration was completed in 2016-17 with her painting in RNLI blue and orange livery and the addition of spars and fittings along with fine details. She is now in operational use as a pIeasure vessel, for attending lifeboat rallies, and is available as a classic sailing charter vessel. In December 2022 she underwent maintenance at the Douglas Boatyard at Hesketh Bank, Lancashire

Her current owner is in the process of fully restoring her, this should be completed by 2022




  • March 2023

    A Sustainability Grant of £500 for survey was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships

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