Stebbings Lifeboat Conversion

I don’t know whether Stebbings actually sold any lifeboat conversions, but an article appraising the design of such a craft was published in Yachting World in August 1946.

The problem for Stebbings appears to have been that following the end of the war their contract with the Admiralty to produce lifeboats was ended and they were left with a number of craft that were suddenly surplus to requirements. And the majority of these had never been afloat.

The conversion was to be to a standard Board of Trade agreed lifeboat design, 28′ overall in length, with a beam of 8’4.5″, and a draught of 2’3″, and clinker built. The conversion included the addition of single engine and fore and aft cabins providing four berths, a small galley, and a heads. The cockpit was central.

The price was reckoned to be in the order of £400. Although this was a lot of money in 1946 it would have represented a significant saving compared to commissioning the build of a new motor cruiser from scratch. As such, lifeboat conversions are not uncommon, with one of the more famous being Erskine Childers’ Dulcibella, around which the classic The Riddle of the Sands was written.

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1 Response to Stebbings Lifeboat Conversion

  1. roger randall says:

    i owned a Stebbings lifeboat conversion about 1961. purchased sunk at Tuckton tea gardens on the river Stour near the road bridge, pumped it out and slipped it onto a bench i dug out of the river bank near my fathers property just past MEXE to be launched on the next flood.
    I fixed the cabin, galley, head and installed berths and floor in aft cabin adding about a ton of lead.
    the engine was a morris navigator petrol/oil four clyinder hand crank. to cold start first light up a hand blowlamp and heat manifold, turn on small petrol tank, and crank quickly on full throttle until engine runs, carefully turn fuel valve to oil and you are off at about 5 knots max. no speed or depth instruments just a trailing oil slick, gas works black varnish, lead on string with knots. for sandbanks, boy scout compass, AA road map Pool to Christchurch and Isl of wight teal towel . Sold boat after cruising Pool to Portsmouth and places in between to a couple who put it on a truck to the Thames I may be able to find photos if you are interested. roger

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