Previous names

  • 1932 - 1973 Rosa Wood & Phyllis Lunn
Certificate no 423
Status Registered


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


Builder Groves & Gutteridge Ltd, Cowes
Built in 1932
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Petrol
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
13.00 feet (3.97 m)
3.61 feet (1.10 m)
Length: Overall
40.98 feet (12.50 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


Built in 1932 by Groves & Gutteridge of Cowes, Isle of Wight, DOWAGER is a lifeboat who was launched with the name ROSA WOOD & PHYLLIS LUNN. Her hull is of mahogany on oak frames and her engines were twin 72 hp Parsons Porbeagle diesels. She became Shoreham’s fifth lifeboat and served for 30 years during which time she was launched 244 times and saved 143 lives; she then spent another ten years on the reserve fleet of the RNLI. During World War II she took part in the Dunkirk evacuation. She was sold out of service in 1973 to a private owner who renamed her DOWAGER and converted her into a cruising yacht. In 1998 she was known to be based at Limehouse Basin, London.

As of April 2019 it was reported that DOWAGER was up for sale, berthed on the river Medway at Allington Lock.


Brann, Christian, The Little Ships of Dunkirk: 1940-1990, Collectors Books Ltd, 1989

Key dates

  • 1932

    Built by Groves & Gutteridge of Cowes, Isle of Wight

  • 1940

    Was involved in the Dunkirk evacuation in World War Two

  • 2015

    Took part in the 75th Anniversary Return to Dunkirk commemorations, May 2015.  Source: ADLS

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