Ship Shape Assist the RNLI with St Marys Lifeboat


The RNLI are the world’s elite maritime rescue organisation and if you’ve ever had the misfortune to need their services then you’ll know that they operate to the very highest standards in every respect.

It’s for that reason that we were delighted to be given the opportunity to clean the St. Marys lifeboat at Plymouth Yacht Haven, Mount Batten in October.

The St Marys Lifeboat

The Severn class lifeboat named The Whiteheads is based in the Isles of Scilly 28 miles off Land’s End and had been undergoing maintenance in Plymouth.

We were asked by the RNLI for a full exterior and interior clean so that the boat could be handed back to her crew in immaculate condition ready for her journey home.

We’ve Never Cleaned a Cleaner Boat

No dirt in sight. The work on the exterior was mostly removing watermarks which, as you’ll know, is a painful task. However we used an excellent product to make this job a lot easier called Panel Wipe from Gtechniq.

The lifeboats don’t have a gelcoat, instead they are coated in an extremely high quality air craft paint which is harder than gelcoat and therefore offers a stronger protection to the substrates in extreme operating conditions.

We encountered one or two areas of staining on the exterior paintwork caused by the reaction between dissimilar metals where the exterior fittings meet the superstructure. There was also one small area where some grinding sparks from the maintenance work had left surface rust marks too. We used our stain removal treatment to completely remove the staining and rust marks from the orange paintwork.

The lifeboat’s interior again was in excellent order. Our work was in hoovering the carpets, cleaning the leather upholstery and wiping down all of the interior surfaces. In the engine room we cleaned all of the accessible surfaces and wiped clean all of the steelwork.

The work took 3 days for our two man team of Shane Dawe and John Cox who battled the conditions (as you can see in the photo above) to do a thorough and detailed job.

Thank you to the RNLI for this opportunity to work on one of these exceptionally built lifeboats and on behalf of mariners everywhere a thank you to the St. Marys crew for the inspiring and selfless work you do.

Shane, JC, Richard & John
(The Ship Shape Team)

One Response to Ship Shape Assist the RNLI with St Marys Lifeboat

  1. Dave Brown November 29, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Excellent work to you all at Ship Shape, i must say that the lads at Ship Shape are e
    Excellent i had some recent work done on my own boat Essential and i must say i was well pleased.
    The work i had done was mostly below the water line hull cleaned and antifouled, outdrives cleaned and protected,trim tabs and props polished and a repair to the hulls cosmetic stripe which was a perfect match.
    There communication skills were second to none and they were extremely proffessional in carrying out thier work.
    I will not hesitate to use Ship Shape in the future.

    Kind Regards,


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