2015: The All-weather Lifeboat Centre opens

Our All-weather Lifeboat Centre brings the construction, repair and maintenance of our all-weather lifeboats under one roof for the first time in RNLI history.
The RNLI All-weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole

Photo: Nathan Williams

The RNLI All-weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole

The RNLI’s All-weather Lifeboat Centre brings the construction, repair and maintenance of our all-weather lifeboats under one roof for the first time in our history.

With two vast boathalls containing flexible bays, a covered courtyard area and a total workshop floor space of 5,000m², the All-weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole is the RNLI’s first state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for over 40 years.

Beginning in 2015 with the 25-knot Shannon class, it will be used to construct and fit out our current and future generations of all-weather lifeboats.

The centre gives us complete control over the cost and quality of our all-weather lifeboats by removing uncertainty in the supply chain. But its work is not restricted to new builds.

RNLI Director of Engineering and Asset Management Angus Watson says: ‘As well as building Shannons, we are refitting existing lifeboats, to bring the onboard technology up to date.’

We will use it to repair and maintain our entire all-weather lifeboat fleet - including the Severn, Tamar and Trent classes - and the boats in our inshore training fleet.

Boatbuilders working on the hull of a Shannon class lifeboat at the All-weather Lifeboat Centre

Photo: Nathan Williams

Boatbuilders working on the hull of a Shannon class lifeboat at the All-weather Lifeboat Centre

Our All-weather Lifeboat Centre embodies Continuous Improvement techniques established at our Inshore Lifeboat Centre on the Isle of Wight and elsewhere.

It means we can build and maintain all-weather lifeboats to the standards we need, as efficiently as possible.

And our All-weather Lifeboat Centre apprenticeship programme ensures we’re able to pass these skills on as we train the lifeboat builders of tomorrow.

Lifeboat volunteers need your help right now

Our crews are facing their toughest Christmas ever. Call outs are increasing, but RNLI income has gone down. And people are still getting into danger in the water. It’s a Perfect Storm. But you can help them through it with a donation today.