Certificate no 2363
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Lifeboat
Location Whitstable
Vessel type Liverpool Class Lifeboat
Current use Commercial Activity
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes
Info required No


Builder Groves & Gutteridge Ltd, Cowes
Built in 1948
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 2
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
10.60 feet (3.23 m)
2.00 feet (0.61 m)
Length: Overall
36.50 feet (11.13 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


THE CHIEFTAIN is a twin screw Liverpool class lifeboat built by Groves & Gutteridge of Cowes, Isle of Wight in 1948. She is of double diagonal construction, has a mahogany hull and her engine is a Beta model 38 installed in 2009. The vessel was the Barmouth lifeboat from 1949 to 1982 and saved 132 lives.

The majority of Liverpool class lifeboats were carriage launched. THE CHIEFTAIN was slip launched and was the last lifeboat at Barmouth to be slip launched due to the estuary becoming silted up. She retains ninety percent of her original timber and all her original fittings. 

2019: THE CHIEFTAIN was transferred to Whitstable under new ownership.


Classic Boat: 1,000 Boat Pageant - Forces vessels and lifeboats, June 2012

Key dates

  • 1948

    Liverpool class lifeboat built by Groves & Gutteridge of Cowes, Isle of Wight

  • 1982

    Served as the Barmouth lifeboat from 1949 to 1982 and saved 132 lives

  • 2009

    Beta model 38 engine installed

  • 2010

    Restoration completed with 90% of original timber and all of original fittings retained

  • 2012

    Vessel selected to take part in Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant on 3 June 2012

  • 2014

    Vessel in private use based at Bristol 


  • July 2020

    A Sustainability Grant of £300 towards the cost of a cover was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships UK

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

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