Model, of Beeching lifeboat

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made in Great Yarmouth

Postcard of Model, of Beeching lifeboat.
© National Museums Scotland

Model, of Beeching lifeboat

This wooden model is a copy of the lifeboat designed in 1851 by James Beeching of Great Yarmouth for the Duke of Northumberland's competition to find a satisfactory lifeboat. Built for the Ramsgate Harbour Commissioners, Beeching's lifeboat was the first self-righting lifeboat to go into service. The model was built to a scale of 1:12 by Mr P A Rumbelow of Great Yarmouth.

The lifeboat was clinker-built i.e. the hull was constructed of overlapping planks. It was able to self-right due a variety of factors. It had high end boxes which encased the raised air cases. It had a ten-hundredweight iron keel. It also had a tank between the bottom and the deck which was divided into compartments and which carried two and a half tons of water.

Beeching's lifeboat greatly influenced the design of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's boats for the following 35 years. It also influenced the general lines of self-righters for the next century.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-002-093-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1983.199
Date: Model: 20th century; Original: 1851
Dimensions: 38.00" x 11.00" x 10.50"
What: Boat / lifeboat / model
Subject: 23. SHIPPING, Special Purpose Vessels (Departmental Classification)
Who: Duke of Northumberland (Holder of competition for improved lifeboat)
James Beeching (Builder of the original boat)
P.A. Rumbelow, Great Yarmouth, England (Model maker)
Where: England, Norfolk, Great Yarmouth
Description: Model of the self-righting lifeboat built in 1851 by James Beeching of Great Yarmouth, winning the prize offered by the Duke of Northumberland, model by P.A. Rumbelow, scale 1:12
  • Storer, J D. Ship Models in the Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh: A catalogue of models representing the history of shipping from 1500 BC to the present day. Edinburgh: Royal Scottish Museum Information Series, 1985, p 87. 
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