Dunleary Lifeboat Project


About Us


Who We Are?

In 1919, the “Dunleary” lifeboat was built by the Civil Service, Post Office and British Telecom Lifeboat Fund and stationed in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. She quickly became a symbol of courage and skill, with a legacy that lives on in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s ongoing mission to save lives at sea.

The Dunleary, is a 45 ft Watson-class lifeboat that served the Royal National Lifeboat Institution between 1919 and 1956. This historic vessel is one of the largest pulling and sailing lifeboats built for the RNLI and has a fascinating history that spans several decades.

Dunleary was powered by a 60 bhp Tylor D1 6-cylinder petrol engine and retained a full sailing rig and drop keel. As one of the earliest 45 ft Watson motors, it played a significant role in the evolution of lifeboat technology, paving the way for future designs.

The restoration of the Dunleary is a labour of love, a tribute to the brave men and women who risked their lives to save others at sea. Every effort is being made to preserve the boat’s original features and ensure that it remains true to its heritage.

Over the years, the “Dunleary” made 81 launches and saved 85 lives, making her a true hero of the sea. One of her most heroic rescues came in 1939 when she saved the crew of 15 from the H.M. Trawler “Gaul”. Another was in 1944 when she rescued the crew of 5 from the fishing vessel “Gipsy” in rough seas and a SSE gale.

Despite its long and illustrious service history, the Dunleary eventually fell into disrepair and was left abandoned for many years. But now, thanks to the efforts of a dedicated team of restoration experts, this once-great vessel is being brought back to life.