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|Length:||32 ft (9.8 m)|
|Beam:||9 ft (2.7 m)-9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 x 12 bhp Weyburn F2 2-cyl. petrol|
|Speed:||6.5–7.5 knots (7.5–8.6 mph)|
|Range:||~40 nautical miles (74 km)|
Designed by RNLI Naval Architect James Barnett, the Surf-class was the smallest and lightest offshore motor lifeboat produced by the Institution. Intended for stations where launching heavier boats would be difficult, the Surf-class enabled the RNLI to replace pulling and sailing lifeboats and plug gaps in motor lifeboat cover. The boats however, were only really suitable for inshore work in moderate conditions and they only had long service lives at two stations.
The first two boats were completely open with no shelter, not considered to be a problem for the kind of services that they were intended for. The boats were powered by two 2-cylinder Weyburn F2 horizontal petrol engines and whereas the first boat had twin screws, the second was propelled by Hotchkiss cones, a kind of water impeller. While this was a benefit in shallow waters, the cone powered boat was around 1 knot slower than the screw version.
The first two boats served for less than ten years before being sold off. The second batch appeared in 1938 and had 3 inches more beam and were fitted with a shelter ahead of the (tiller) steering position. All but one featured Hotchkiss cone propulsion, RNLB Kate Greatore (ON 816) was fitted with Gill water jets. These boats served for 10 to 12 years at most of their stations before being replaced by standard carriage launched boats, but at two locations, Poole and Newburgh, Surf-class boats continued into the sixties. RNLB John Ryburn (ON 837) was withdrawn from service at Newburgh at the end of September 1965 after more than twenty four years on station during which it launched on service only eleven times. With its withdrawal, the Newburgh station was closed.
|ON[a]||Name||Built||Builder||In service||Principal Station||Comments|
|779||Rosabella||1935||J. Samuel White, Cowes||1936–1945||Ilfracombe||Sold to Dutch lifeboat service June 1946|
|780||Royal Silver Jubilee 1910-1935||1935||Groves & Guttridge, Cowes||1936–1945||Wells||Sold to Dutch lifeboat service June 1946|
|810||Augustus and Laura||1938||Groves & Guttridge, Cowes||1938–1950||Newbiggin||Sold October 1950|
|811||Thomas Kirk Wright||1938||Groves & Guttridge, Cowes||1939–1962||Poole||Sold 1963. On display in the Old Lifeboat House at Poole.|
|816||Kate Greatorex||1939||Groves & Guttridge, Cowes||1939–1951||Minehead||Sold March 1952|
|817||Laurence Arden, Stockport||1939||Groves & Guttridge, Cowes||1939–1949
|Sold December 1951|
|835||The Gordon Warren||1939||J. Samuel White, Cowes||1939–1949
|Sold January 1952|
|836||Norman Nasmyth||1940||Alexander Robertson, Sandbank||1940–1950
|Sold in 1966|
|837||John Ryburn||1941||Alexander Robertson, Sandbank||1941–1965||Newburgh||Capsized on service 26/1/1942, two crew lost. Sold in 1966|
- ON is the RNLI's Official Number of the boat.