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Old 15-03-2018, 12:04   #1
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When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

Over the years I have heard about "converted lifeboats" used as either power yachts or as motorsailors.

For the purposes of this thread (and fun discussion) I will include "Lifeboat Conversions" (to either sail, power, or motorsailor) as good to include. So, if you know of a nice Lifeboat Conversion (even if it does not have a rig or sails) feel free to include it in the mix. The point is to show how the boats have been converted for cruising.

Who hasn't looked at one of those big orange lifeboats seen hanging off the side of a large cargo ship and wondered what they would be like?

Millions of people saw the Hollywood film "Captain Philips" (staring Tom Hanks) and it featured several scenes shot inside one of those lifeboats. Normally the modern lifeboat used on commercial vessels is filled with many bucket seats and intended for carrying many people, in safety, but without much comfort features.

Occasionally I see converted lifeboats, and I thought this would be an interesting topic for CF Members to see too.

I will start with one I saw recently, but you are welcome to add others you may know of too.
______________

1984 Harding Lifeboat

This particular boat is for sale (I have no connection to it). So I will post some of the data about it and a few photos (there are more online). I think it looks interesting, and the previous owner has obviously taken some time to make the interior liveable. I also think what is noteworthy is the following description because of two key points that I think are impressive for a converted lifeboat.

While the photos do not show a mast or rig, it appears to have a tabernacle on deck, and the ad mentions all lines led to the cockpit.

"Vessel is very well equipped for single handed sailing. Converted Lifeboat to Motor Sailor that has:
1. made Trans Atlantic crossing as well as
2. circumnavigating Newfoundland.


Currently (March 2018) this boat is listed for sale with an asking price of Can$ 12,500 (US$ 9,579). It is located in Newfoundland Canada.

If you want to see more, here is the ad link:
1984 Harding Lifeboat Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Additional Specs, Equipment and Information:

Dimensions
LOA: 30 ft 0 in
Beam: 9 ft 0 in
Maximum Draft: 2 ft 6 in

Engines
Total Power: 60 HP

Engine 1:
Engine Brand: Mercury
Year Built: 2006
Engine Model: 60HP 4-Stroke
Engine Type: Outboard 4S
Engine/Fuel Type: Gas/Petrol
Propeller: 3 blade propeller
Engine Power: 60 HP

Tanks
Fresh Water Tanks: 1 (50 Gallons)
Fuel Tanks: 1 (25 Gallons)

___________________________________

My Disclaimers

I have no financial or other connection to this boat or the seller. I am not a broker. I just thought this boat is interesting.
I have not seen this boat in person, nor have I sailed on it.
As with any boat, it is a good idea to research the design to learn about how they sail, common problems and owner opinions.
As with any boat, it is smart to have a qualified yacht surveyor perform a survey of the boat to assess its condition.
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Old 15-03-2018, 13:39   #2
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

Steady's Notes:

Converted Lifeboats are fairly common in the UK. I have seen many that have been converted to either power boat status or liveaboard (like a canal boat).

I am a member of a historical lifeboats group, and I follow some of the stories of the boats. Notably, there are many lifeboats around the UK, and they are a non-profit volunteer organization, the RNLI, sponsored by local coastal villages. Occasionally their older boats go up for sale.

I enjoy seeing these boats and I hope CF members will too.
Steady
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Old 15-03-2018, 13:40   #3
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

Lifeboat Conversion
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Old 15-03-2018, 13:42   #4
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

Lifeboat Conversion with interesting topside paint scheme.
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Old 15-03-2018, 13:43   #5
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

Lifeboat conversions
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Old 15-03-2018, 13:44   #6
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

Repair kit at the ready?



And is the horn cleat to tie themselves on?
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Old 15-03-2018, 13:48   #7
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

More Lifeboat Conversions
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Old 15-03-2018, 14:19   #8
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

Some Lifeboat Conversions stay in canals.
Other go further, much further.

The most notable example I know of is the admirable adventure of a British yachtsman, David Cowper, who took a retired wooden lifeboat, prepared it well, and then went on a polar expedition. He accomplished something, but it was not his first or last accomplishment on the oceans.

Here is the MABLE E. HOLLAND.

"In 1984-1985 he sailed westwards round the globe in a converted ex-Royal National Lifeboat Institution Watson 42 foot wooden lifeboat, named the MABEL E. HOLLAND, via the Panama Canal, becoming the first person to circumnavigate solo in a motor boat. "

"These feats served as a prelude to the first solo circumnavigation via the Northwest Passage, which consumed four years two months and ended in 1990.

"On 14 July 1986, he departed from Newcastle to make his way across the North Atlantic up the west coast of Greenland to enter Lancaster Sound, eventually reaching Fort Ross at the east end of Bellot Strait. Due to heavy pack ice and the start of an early winter, MABEL E. HOLLAND remained in the ice for two full years at this location. When Cowper returned the next summer, he found the boat waterlogged, and spent the short summer pulling her ashore and repairing her. In 1988, he managed to reach the MacKenzie River and left the boat at Inuvik, Northwest Territories (east of Alaska) before one of the coldest winters in recorded Arctic history. "

He returned and completed his circumnavigation.

"On the tenth of August 1989, he sailed into the Bering Strait, becoming the first person to have completed the passage single-handed as part of a circumnavigation of the world. Continuing via Midway and Papua New Guinea, he reached Darwin, Northern Territory on the Australian coast just before the start of the hurricane season where he laid up his boat. Returning in April 1990, he continued via the Cape of Good Hope, arriving back in Newcastle on 24 September 1990. "

You can read more about this admirable yachtsman here on this blog (source of the above quoted excerpts).
http://arcticnorthwestpassage.blogsp...lar-bound.html
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Old 15-03-2018, 14:27   #9
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

More Lifeboat Conversion to enjoy:
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Old 15-03-2018, 14:29   #10
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

More Lifeboat Conversions.
So many different styles.
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Old 15-03-2018, 14:33   #11
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

Some Lifeboat Conversions are intended as liveaboard boats (often in a canal), and I saw one that was purposefully designed as a boatel (B&B type).

With the increasing popularity of "Tiny Homes" it is no surprise that some people look at living in a Lifeboat Conversion as something to consider.

Imagine what you would do if you had a Lifeboat to Convert to a tiny home.
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Old 15-03-2018, 14:37   #12
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

If you have gotten this far, you may think all of the Lifeboat Conversions were either canal boats or simply power boats. You might be thinking: "Where is the sail?"

Some of the older Lifeboats did have sails (originally) and used them to get out to ships in distress and there are some existing Lifeboat Conversions that show sails. Here are a few I found.
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Old 15-03-2018, 14:48   #13
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

Some sailors have done some amazing sailing voyages in Lifeboat Conversions.

Some were sailing, and some motoring, such as David Cowper.

One that comes to mind is Tristan Jones, who sailed his 34 foot Lifeboat Conversion CRESSWELL to the Arctic Circle in 1959, famously with a 3 legged, one eyed Labrador dog. He wrote a book about this adventure, titled "Ice."

I enjoyed reading several of the 17 books written by Tristan Jones, and while his adventures may be "sea stories" or "yarns" he wrote in a style that made his books enjoyable and inspiring too. If you have not yet read one, I think you might be surprised.

Can you think of another famous Lifeboat Conversion sailor?
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Old 16-03-2018, 08:06   #14
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

Where would you find a cheap lifeboat with an almost new/unused motor?

Here....in Chittagong Beach in India, where they break up large commercial vessels on the beach.

According to one source (Mike): £2.800 each with working engine, and just in case you want another one they can supply you 20 per month 😁
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Old 16-03-2018, 08:46   #15
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Re: When Your Lifeboat is Your Sailboat and Your Sailboat is a Lifeboat

This is very cool. Thanks for sharing this unique aspect of boating that I'm sure few thing of.
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