Previous names

  • X44
Certificate no 2294
Status Registered


Function Fighting Vessel
Subfunction Landing Craft
Location Sandwich
Vessel type X Lighter
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Osbourne, Graham & Co. Ltd, Sunderland
Built in 1915
Hull material Steel
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
21.00 feet (6.41 m)
7.50 feet (2.29 m)
Length: Overall
105.50 feet (32.18 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



SPITHEAD was built by Osbourne Graham & Co.Ltd.of Sunderland in 1915 and was built as a powered armoured landing craft (X-Lighter) specifically for the World War I Dardenelles campaign. Sold by the Admiralty in 1921, she was bought by the James Dredging & Towage Co. who used her until 1936. She was then sold to F W Horlock Ocean Transport Ltd. and carried aggregate on the East Coast and River Thames. During World War II, she was requisitioned by the Admiralty and was used as a fleet tender at Scapa Flow, thereafter returning to her previous owners and duties. She later changed hands many times, continuing in the ballast trade; her last commercial use was as a dive/salvage vessel in the 1970s. Since the 1980s, SPITHEAD has been used as a houseboat. Major restoration was planned and underway in 2009. As a vessel which has served and survived two World Wars she has historic significance, being specifically designed as the first amphibious landing craft with early use of diesel power in any vessel.

This vessel is a survivor from the First World War. You can read more about her wartime history by visiting our First World War: Britain's Surviving Vessels website


  • January 2011

    A Sustainability Award of ú1000 for remedial work of the hull was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships

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