The Y-class is mainly used as a small tender carried on board the RNLI All Weather lifeboats that serve the shores of the UK, and is normally found on the Severn and the Tamar class lifeboats, the Arun class having been retired.
When in use it carries up to a crew of two and is primarily used in cliff incidents where the casualty is near the shore and the all-weather lifeboat cannot get to the base of the cliffs due to rocks.
Aboard the Tamar class lifeboat within the stern section is a built-in recessed chamber which houses the small inflatable Y-class tender. Access to the inflatable tender is achieved by lowering the transom and lifting a section of deck. This allows the tender to be launched and recovered on a ramp provided by the lowered transom section.