Previous names

  • 1925 - 1953 Prudential
Certificate no 461
Status National Historic Fleet


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


Builder Saunders Roe, Cowes, Isle of Wight
Built in 1925
Hull material Wood
Rig Unknown
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Sail
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
12.98 feet (3.96 m)
3.61 feet (1.10 m)
Length: Overall
48.56 feet (14.81 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


TRIMILIA, built in double diaginal teak by Saunders Roe in 1925 at Cowes, Isle of Wight, was a new design of lifeboat, designed specifically for use out of Ramsgate. Her class was known as Ramsgate Class, although only a couple are believed to have been built. She was originally named PRUDENTIAL, having been paid for by The Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd. She was in service at Ramsgate from 1925 to 1953 and is credited with saving 3130 lives in her career including 2800 men from the beaches of Dunkirk. She was the Flagship of the Commodore, Lifeboat Division, at the Spithead Naval Review in 1953, the year of her retirement.

Between 1962 and 2011 she was in Woodbridge, Suffolk, where she was converted to a spacious and comfortable yacht.  In January 2011 she moved from Woodbridge to Ipswich and spent 5 years situated near the lock gates.  In 2015 she moved to what many regard as the nicest berth at Ipswich Haven Marina, the hammerhead opposite the Old Customs House and during this time she has seen a change in hull colour, from her traditional blue to grey.

Although this vessel is on the National Historic Fleet, we are currently lacking information on this particular vessel. If you have any information on this vessel past or present, please contact us.


Brann, Christian, The Little Ships of Dunkirk: 1940-1990, Collectors Books Ltd, 1989
ADLS News: Fleet news, Spring 2015

Key dates

  • 1925

    Built by Samuel E. Saunders at Cowes, Isle of Wight

  • 1926

    Named PRUDENTIAL at a ceremony in Ramsgate Harbour

  • 1926

    Assigned as the Ramsgate lifeboat

  • 1940

    Took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk

  • 1941

    Adopted by Miss Violet Bonnings of Walton School for Girls at Aylesbury

  • 1953

    Put into reserve and chosen as Flagship of the Commodore of Lifeboat Division at the Spithead Naval Review

  • 1953

    Sold out of service to Mr  F. H. W. Haywood and converted for use as a houseboat

  • 1972

    Named TRIMILIA

  • 1983

    Offered for sale at Woodbridge, Suffolk

  • 2000/2005

    Returned to Dunkirk for the Anniversary Celebrations

  • 2011

    Based at Ipswich Haven Marina


  • April-September 2010

    A Sustainability Award of £1250 for engine repair was made from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships

  • April 2008

    A Sustainability Grant of £750 for wheelhouse repair was made by the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact