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RNLI Museum and Manufacturing led by Peter Hebard

On Wednesday Oct 12th 2023 a group of ten Probus members and two partners visted the RNLI in Poole. This visit included a Museum visit in the morning.followed by lunch at the HQ site followed by a tour of the manufacturing facility.


The Museum contains an original mahogany lifeboat which was used during the Dunkirk rescue mission having made 3 trips to shore to rescue soldiers from the beach. It’s construction is so elaborate that it will never go to sea again. It is estimated that the cost to renovate it would be more than £3 million.


A leisurely Lunch was taken at the restaurant in the HQ building.


After lunch we were split into 2 groups of 6 to tour the manufacturing facility. This is made up of 2 large buildings where they manufacture up to 6 boats a year as well as renovating existing boats. The boat requirements are so exacting that making their own boats is the best solution. The composite used for the hull consists of layers of resin and foam. Giving strength, light weight, and flexibility. A combination of layers that Peter Hebard helped develop at Bristol University a ‘few’ years ago.


The layout supported by large ovens enabled the baking to enable much faster drying. A really interesting visit with some photos below showing the new boats under development. Many thanks to Peter for organising the trip.

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