Helen Smitton is a non-self-righting, 38-ft Watson-class lifeboat constructed from Honduras mahogany on Canadian rock elmframes and stringers. Her floors are iron. A layer of calico coated with white lead paste sits between each layer of the hull. A 1.5 ton fixed iron ballast keel and a triangular drop keel that passes through the fixed keel are present. She was powered by a 37hp Wolseley petrol engine. That engine is now missing. 
Helen Smitton is undergoing preservation work at Marloes, Pembrokeshire, West Wales, having been reduced to little more than a bare hull in poor condition and with structural problems. 95% of her original wooden hull remains.  She is listed on the National Register of Historic Vessels by National Historic Ships, with certificate number 2220.