Previous names

  • Spirit of Angle
  • Scubie Doo
Certificate no 2709
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Lifeboat
Location Portishead
Vessel type Watson 46.9 Class Lifeboat
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes
Info required No


Builder White, J Samuel & Co Ltd, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Built in 1956
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 2
Number of masts
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 2
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None


Length: Overall
46.75 feet (14.02 m)
Breadth: Beam
12.75 feet (3.66 m)
4.50 feet (1.22 m)
Air Draft
11.00 feet (3.35 m)
Tonnage: Gross


The RICHARD VERNON AND MARY GARFORTH OF LEEDS was built in 1955 and is a Watson Class Lifeboat, exhibited at the RNLI's London Boat Show at Olympia in 1956. This was the first ever London Boat Show.

She is one of the few examples of an original 1950s RNLI Watson Lifeboat and one of the early modified Watson Class Lifeboats with air bag self righting fitted, using compressed air to inflate aft cabin roof mounted air bags.

She then entered RNLI service at Angle in Pembroke in 1957 leaving there in 1987 to serve in Wicklow, Ireland for a year before she entered service as a dive boat named Scubie Doo. She was renamed in 1999 as Spirit of Angle upon her return to South Wales when she was mainly restored back to original condition. In service she was credited with 71 lives saved.

The engines were changed from 4 cylinder Ferry diesels to the current Ford 6 cylinder engines by the RNLI during a refit in 1981, the engine room is as left by the RNLI. The original navigation and radar equipment is fully functional and still fitted as is the RNLI rescue gear, stretchers etc. 

Currently undergoing restoration it is anticipated that the RICHARD VERNON AND MARY GARFORTH OF LEEDS will be refloated in September 2013.

Update, June 2020: Vessel up for sale

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