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Marine / ‘All talk and no action’: historic ex-lifeboat remains unsold

The owner of the former Lerwick lifeboat has dropped the price to £600, while he is happy to donate it to the museum

RNLI's Lady Jane and Martha Ryland leaving Lerwick's small boat harbour into windy weather on 31 January 1953. Photo: Dennis Coutts

THE OWNER of Shetland’s first RNLI lifeboat is growing fearful for its long-term prospects after a sale fell through.

Charles Anderson has reduced the price of the historic boat to £600 in the hope of a quick sale.

But he is still open to donating the 51ft ex-lifeboat to the Shetland Museum, or a lifeboat museum.

This is similar to what the former lifeboat looks like now.

Shetland News revealed in February that Anderson was looking for a new owner for the boat. He was planning to undertake a renovation, but time constraints have put paid to the idea.

The Lady Jane and Martha Ryland was brought to Lerwick in 1930 to give the RNLI its first presence in Shetland. She was replaced in 1958.

The boat – which has been described as being in an “unloved” state – is currently docked in Dartmouth.

“I have moved back to the work London way and don’t have the time to spend on her – currently the mooring fees are expensive and I’m looking to pass the project on,” Anderson said.

“The yard owners aren’t interested in the boat or its history. Their focus is money.”

Anderson has had lots of enquires about turning it into a house boat or an Air BnB, or people buying it for its parts.

There has also been interest in folk sinking her for a wreck dive, while someone thought about putting a hydrogen engine inside.

“But lots of talk and no action,” Anderson said.

“So, I have reduced the price as I plan to sell it promptly. I would donate the boat to the Shetland Museum or lifeboat museum if they wanted her.”

People can find an online listing for the boat here. Charles Anderson can be contacted on 07917110487.