The facility on the Isle of Wight is highly respected across the globe as a centre of excellence for the building and maintenance of inflatable and rigid inflatable lifeboats, including the B class and D class lifeboats, and the lifeguards' inshore rescue boat, the Arancia (which are constructed under licence from Arancia of New Zealand).
Not only does it make lifeboats for its own service, but it also constructs them for others. Recently craft have been supplied to the Dutch and Icelandic lifeboat services, the Police and Irish Coast Guard.
Gradually the site has grown and there is now a large building to house the production of the Atlantic 75 and Atlantic 85 rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), which incorporates a dedicated laminating shop, spray booth, machine shop and welding bay.
The work is very skilled and a team of over 70 boatbuilders, fitters, electricians and solutionists are employed, including apprentices as well as supporting office and stores persons.
They give support to lifeboat stations and lifeguard units on all aspects of inflatable and rigid inflatable boat supply and maintenance. Just like RNLI crews, their work and attention to detail is vital for saving lives at sea.
The ILC does not operate alone, however. It is only one piece of a jigsaw. Other departments are critical to how the RNLI operates such as the Operations, Engineering, Training, Fundraising, IS and Purchasing departments, which all operate as a vital team.
Visitors are always welcome to see the work of the Inshore Lifeboat Centre firsthand, but please book beforehand and make an appointment. We are also pleased to host visits by schools and other organisations.
The Inshore Lifeboat Centre is located in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight and is easily reached from the mainland by regular ferry services.