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.