Larne Lifeboat William and Jane in October 1997
|Operators:||Royal National Lifeboat Institution|
|Preceded by:||Rother, Solent|
|Length:||44 ft 10 in (13.67 m)|
|Beam:||12 ft 8 in (3.86 m)|
|Draught:||4 ft 2 in (1.27 m)|
|Propulsion:||Two diesel engines (various models)|
|Speed:||15.4 kn (28.5 km/h)|
The Waveney class lifeboat was the first class of lifeboats operated by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) capable of operating at speeds in excess of 10 knots (19 km/h). Based on an American design, 22 saw operational service between 1964 and 1999 at the RNLI's stations around the coast of the United Kingdom and Ireland. After being superseded by faster boats in the 1990s, many were sold for further use with lifeboat services abroad, notably in Australia and New Zealand.
In the 1960s the RNLI's fleet consisted of motor lifeboats of limited speed due to the shape of their hulls. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) had developed a 44-foot motor lifeboat which planed across the surface of the water, the consequence of which is a reduced wetted surface area to the hull, and therefore a much higher speed. One was built for the RNLI by the USCG in Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard, Maryland,  and this was put through extensive trials and proved capable of operating in restricted spaces, even though the propellers lacked the usual protection afforded to lifeboats.
The prototype was never given a name although the crews nicknamed it "The Yank". It entered trials in 1964 but the first production boats did not start to emerge until 1967. After six had been placed in service there was a hiatus which lasted until 1974 when production was restarted, and then continued through until 1982 by which time 22 were in service. The entire fleet was replaced between 1996 and 1999 as new Trent- and Severn-class lifeboats came into service, but many were sold for further use as lifeboats or pilot boats.
The boats launched in 1967 and 1968 were built by Brooke Marine at Lowestoft and those in 1975 by Groves and Gutterdige in Cowes. The 1976 batch came from Bideford Ship Yard and the last three from Fairey Marine in Cowes.
Two 50 feet (15 m) long versions were built as the first of a proposed fleet of Thames-class lifeboats but the class was cancelled in favour of an Arun-class with a different hull shape and improved crew facilities.
The steel hull is 44 feet 10 inches (13.67 m) long and 12 feet 8 inches (3.86 m) wide, drawing 4 feet 2 inches (1.27 m) of water. The hull is divided into seven watertight compartments including two survivor compartments and a crew space. The coxswain operates the boat from an open wheelhouse. Powered by a pair of diesel engines, it has an operating radius of 95 nautical miles (176 km).
The prototype was built with twin 200hp Cummins engines but in 1973 they were upgraded to 250hp Ford engines. The first batch of production boats were initially built with pairs of 215hp Cummins engines. All these, including the prototype were re-engined in the early 1980s with 203hp Caterpillar engines. The 1975 boats had more powerful 260hp General Motors engines. The ones built in 1976 were originally fitted with 250hp Ford Mermaid engines but these were changed after a couple of years for Caterpillar engines of the same power as had by then been fitted to the three final boats.
|ON||Op. No.||Name||Built||In service||Principal stations||Further use||Image|
|–||44-001||–||1964||1964–1996||Falmouth||Preserved at Chatham Historic Dockyard|
|1001||44-002||John F. Kennedy||1966||1967–1996||Dun Laoghaire||Fishing boat Sarah JFK at North Shields|
|1002||44-003||Khami||1967||1967–1997||Great Yarmouth and Gorleston||Sold to Australia|
|1003||44-004||Faithful Forrester||1967||1967–1997||Dover||Sold to Australia|
|Pilot boat St Hilda of Whitby at Whitby|
|1005||44-006||Arthur and Blanche Harris||1968||1968–1974
|Sold to Australia|
|1006||44-007||Connel Elizabeth Cargill||1967||1968–1985
|Sold to Australia|
|1026||44-008||Eric Seal (C.S. No. 36)||1974||1974–1996||Eyemouth||Sold to Namibia|
|1027||44-009||Helen Turnbull||1974||1974–1997||Sheerness||Pleasure boat Badger at Douglas|
|1028||44-010||Thomas Forehead and Mary Rowse II||1974||1974–1987
|Sold to New Zealand|
|Sold to Australia|
|1033||44-012||The White Rose of Yorkshire||1974||1974–1988
|Sold to Canada|
|1034||44-013||Thomas James King||1975||1975–1997||St Helier||Pilot boat Northesk at Montrose|
|1035||44-014||St Patrick||1975||1975–1996||Dunmore East||Sold to Australia|
|1036||44-015||Lady of Lancashire||1975||1976–1989
|Pilot boat St Boisil at Berwick-on-Tweed|
|1042||44-016||Ralph and Joy Swann||1976||1976–1990
|Trip boat West Swann at Port Howard|
|1043||44-017||The Nelsons of Donaghadee||1976||1976–1997||Sunderland||Sold to New Zealand|
|1044||44-018||The Scout||1977||1977–1997||Hartlepool||Sold to Uruguay|
|1045||44-019||Louis Marchesi of Round Table||1977||1977–1985
|Sold to New Zealand|
|1060||44-020||John Fison||1980||1980–1996||Harwich||Sold to New Zealand|
|1065||44-021||Barham||1980||1980–1999||Great Yarmouth and Gorleston||Pleasure boat Legend at Auckland|
|1079||44-022||The William and Jane||1982||1982–1998||Blyth||Sold to New Zealand|
|P&O Nedlloyd Rawalpindi||1006||1967||1999||Mosman, New South Wales|
|P&O Nedlloyd Strathaird||1029||1974||1999||Horseshoe Bay, New South Wales|
|P&O Nedlloyd Strahallan||1005||1968||1999||Bayview, New South Wales|
|P&O Nedlloyd Stratheden||1002||1967||1999||Brighton le Sands, New South Wales|
|P&O Nedlloyd Strathmore||1003||1967||1999||Narooma, New South Wales|
|P&O Nedlloyd Strathnaver||1035||1975||1999||Batemans Bay, New South Wales|
|Hamilton Rotary Rescue||1060||1980||1999||Raglan||Now at Nelson|
|John Barton Acland Rescue||1079||1982||2000||Now cruiser William and Jane|
|Nicholsons Rescue/Trust Porinua Rescue||1043||1976||1998||Mana|
|P&O Nedlloyd Rescue||1045||1977||1999||Now a houseboat at Whangarei|
|1a 001||1033||1974||1999||Roberts Bank, Vancouver, Canada|
|Ades 16 14-016||1044||1977||1997||Puerto del Buceo, Uruguay|
|Spirit of Standard Bank||1026||1974||1999||Walvis Bay, Namibia||Moved to Luderitz in 2005|
- Wake-Walker, Edward; Deane, Heather and Purches, Georgette (1989). Lifeboat! Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Shepperton: Ian Allan. p. 41. ISBN 0-7110-1835-9.
- Kipling, Ray; Kipling, Susannah (2006). Never Turn Back. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. pp. 83–85. ISBN 0-7509-4307-6.
- Lawford, Clive. "RNLI (Waveney Class)". Clive Lawford. Retrieved 2010-12-20.
- Denton, Tony (2009). Handbook 2009. Shrewsbury: Lifeboat Enthusiasts Society. pp. 26–29.
- Morris, Jeff (2002). The History of the Falmouth Lifeboats (2nd ed.). Coventry: Lifeboat Enthusiasts Society. pp. 18–19.
- Leach, Nicholas (2002). Fowey Lifeboats. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. pp. 75–93. ISBN 0-7524-2378-9.
- Whitby Lifeboat: The White Rose of Yorkshire
- Salsbury, Alan (2010). A History of the Exmouth Lifeboats. Wellington, Somerset: Halsgrove. pp. 121–128. ISBN 978-0-85704-073-2.
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