Previous names

  • 1943 - 1960 Pinnace
Certificate no 2037
Status Archived


Function Service Vessel
Location NONE
Vessel type RAF Air Sea Rescue Launch
Archive reason Disposed
Current use None
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Ranalagh Yacht Yard, Wootton Creek, Isle of Wight
Built in 1943
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
14.00 feet (4.27 m)
3.50 feet (1.07 m)
Length: Overall
60.00 feet (18.30 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



Built in 1943 at the Ranalagh Yard, Wootton Creek, Isle of Wight as an Air Sea Rescue Launch for the RAF, given the pennant number of RAF 1344 when she was built and allocated to the RAF until 23rd February 1943, when she was transferred to the RN and given the number TRSB 44260.

GEORGE HAIG had a mahogany double diagonal hull and Perkins diesel engines which replaced the original Perkins petrol engines when she was de-commissioned in 1947. She was converted by Leo Robinson (possibly at Tewkesbury) in May 1944 and allocated to Special Forces for Operation Overlord serving with ANCXF (Allied Naval Command Expeditionary Force). This group was the Anglo-American force that made all preparations for the invading forces at Normandy. She was allocated to HMS LUCIFER at Swansea on 24 May 1944 and after D-Day was re-allocated to HMS VECTIS in December 1944. She was utilized for boarding party duties until HMS VECTIS was decommissioned in May 1945.

Later in that year she was laid up but was retained for re-allocation. Two such allocations were authorized but both were subsequently cancelled and on 10 December 1945 she was laid up at DSCD in Poole. She was registered as PINNACE at Poole (she was registered as no 17 in Poole 1949) to Maurice Wilkinson Derrick, Redhall, Roestock, St Albans, Staffs. She was then purchased by R.G. Davidge on 1 April 1961 for £3100 from John Peate, 30 Elgin Court, Parkstone, Dorset. On Sunday 20 August 1961, PINNACE was rescued by the Shoreham lifeboat after going to the help of a capsized dinghy, when the rigging and sails of the dinghy had fouled her propeller.

In the 1961 season, she visited Gosport, Cowes, Le Havre, Newhaven and returned to her home port of Shoreham. In 1962, she visited Pin Mill and Harwich. In October 1962 she was renamed GEORGE HAIG. In 1965/66 she underwent an alteration to make a saloon over the engine room. In the 1960s, she cruised extensively from Lands End to Harwich, Holland, Belgium and through the French canals. In 1971 immediately after R.G. Davidge had sold GEORGE HAIG, her new owners were arrested, being accused of drug smuggling. From 1971–1987, her whereabouts were unknown, but in 1987 she was bought by Mike Johnson who kept her at Essex Marina on the River Crouch until mid 1998 and then moved her to Dauntless Boat Yard, Canvey Island.

GEORGE HAIG was reported to have been broken up in 2009 due to lack of funds.

Key dates

  • 1943

    Vessel built at the Ranalagh Yard, Wootton Creek, Isle of Wight as an Air Sea Rescue Launch for the RAF

  • 1947

    Decommissioned from the RAF

  • 1944

    Vessel converted and allocated to Special Forces for Operation Overlord serving with ANCXF (Allied Naval Command Expeditionary Force)

  • 1949

    Registered under private ownership

  • 2009

    Vessel reported to have been broken up

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