Registration number 2329
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Lifeboat
Location Coleraine
Vessel type Watson Class Lifeboat
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions Yes
Info required Yes


Builder White, J Samuel & Co Ltd, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Built in 1962
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 2
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
13.50 feet (4.12m)
4.50 feet (1.37m)
Length: Overall
47.00 feet (14.34m)
Air Draft
11.00 feet (3.35m)


JOSEPH SOAR is a Watson Class Motor Lifeboat of timber construction with twin Gardner diesel engines model 5LW. She was built by J Samuel White of Cowes, Isle of Wight in 1962 and placed on service at St Davids in 1963; in 1985 she was transferred to Dunbar and in 1988 transferred to Shoreham Harbour.

She was withdrawn from service in 1990 and sold out of service in 1992. Throughout her life with the RNLI JOSEPH SOAR was launched 134 times and saved 53 lives.

Ex RNLB ‘Joseph Soar (Civil Service No. 34) ON 971, underwent a full and extensive 18 month refit in 2012 and is maintained to exacting, ‘As-in-Service’ standards.

She is now almost exclusively used in promotion and fundraising for the RNLI. She regularly visits dozens of RNLI Stations, throughout Great Britain and Ireland each year in support of fundraising operations.

Visitors are warmly welcomed aboard the vessel at most of these events. (Tides, weather and access permitting). Event details, Programmes and Passage Plans are normally available on her Facebook Page, “Ex Rnlb Joseph Soar”, where you can also book tours of the vessel. 

Key dates

  • 1963 Lifeboat placed on service at St Davids Lifeboat Station. First operational launch took place on 5 October
  • 1964 Vessel named on 19 May by the President of the RNLI, HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
  • 1976 Cabin was modified to become inherently self-righting. Radar was also installed
  • 1978 Coxswain William Thomas Morris awarded the RNLI's Bronze Medal for rescuing seven people from the Royal Naval tender MFV7 on 11 March.
  • 1981 Coxswain Frederick John awarded RNLI's Bronze Medal for rescuing three men from stricken tugboat VERNICOS GIORGOS in October.
  • 1985 Vessel was withdrawn from service at St Davids. The station was temporarily closed while a new boathouse was built. She was eventually replaced by the Oakley Class lifeboat RUBY & ARTHUR REED on 10 December
  • July 1985 Vessel was placed on service at Dunbar as their temporary station lifeboat
  • November 1985 Vessel carried one of the longest services in the RNLI's history rescuring three people from the Norwegian gas tanker INGA THOLSTRUP, which had run aground near Inchkeith. JOSEPH SOAR returned to Dunbar 91 hours after being called out.
  • 1988 Withdrawn from Dunbar in August and placed on service at Shoreham Harbour in September
  • 1990 Finally withdrawn from the RNLI's fleet in September.
  • 1992 Sold in October and received a Civic send off from the Mayor of Poole and other dignitaries after 27 years of service

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