Britain's oldest surviving motor lifeboat is to be re-launched this weekend after undergoing a 10-year-long programme of restoration.
Britain’s oldest surviving motor lifeboat is to be re-launched this weekend after undergoing a 10-year-long programme of restoration. James Stevens No 14 will be put back in the water at Titchmarsh Marina on Saturday in a ceremony witnessed by descendents of her original crew.
James Stevens No 14 was built by Thames Ironworks in 1900 as a 43ft Norfolk & Suffolk type sailing lifeboat, and was the second station lifeboat at Walton-on-the-Naze. She became one of the RNLI’s first motor lifeboats in 1906 when she was fitted with a 40hp Blake petrol engine.
During her RNLI career she launched 126 times and saved 227 lives before being sold out of service in 1928, eventually becoming a houseboat at Maldon. Frinton and Walton Heritage Trust, who carried out the £250,000 restoration, intend to keep the boat as a floating exhibit which will also be available for trips.