44ft Motor Lifeboats
Here is a little bit about the website and some of the things that have inspired me along the way.

In early 1999 while working on another website, I came up with an idea to make a simple web page displaying a few photos I had taken of the Ramsgate (England) Waveney class lifeboat 44-016 the "Ralph and Joy Swann". I had taken the photos to help me build a model of the 40-016, which I had chosen as a project at the Medway College of Design, where I was studying Industrial Modelmaking. I guess that my interest in the lifeboat service must stem from my father who was Deputy Launching Officer at Ramsgate for over 21 years.
While building my model I could always rely on help from the then coxswain at Ramsgate, Ron Cannon. Ron always had a story to tell and was a fantastic coxswain, something I experienced first hand in 1982, when I took my father's place on the trip to the local lightships to deliver Christmas gifts. I got a little taste of what the 44’s could do on this trip. See the movie below which I took on a 8mm cine camera, sadly I put it away when we turned for home and it started to get a bit wet (today I would have gladly sacrificed the camera!).
Before long my page had turned into a website and the next job was to find a title and "44-016 Ex Ramsgate Lifeboat" is what I decided on.
At this stage the website also included information on earlier Ramsgate lifeboats but after discussion with the Hon. Sec. at the Ramsgate branch of the RNLI, I was given permission to use this material to build a seperate website for them, which I still maintain today.

Before long I was getting emails asking if I could add the other Waveneys! So in due course the other 21 Waveneys in the RNLI fleet were added. It was at this stage that I began to receive a lot of interest from the U.S.A. where the boat design had originated from. So naturally a U.S. Coast Guard page was added as well as pages for all the other organisations, which operated this type of lifeboat such as the Canadian Coast Guard.

As the website now had information on every boat of this type totaling 162, I decided in March 2002 to rename the website "44ft Motor Lifeboats".
It is quite often a surprise to people who write to me to find that I live in Norway. I was brought up in a place called Broadstairs, which borders onto Ramsgate. After my work had taken me to various other places in England, I moved to Norway in 1986 (where they even had two 44´s!). It is perhaps no less of a surprise to me that the geographical area in which I live doesn't cause me any problems with my work on the website. Over the years I have made many friends worldwide with people with the same interest in the 44´s. I have even been lucky enough to meet up with many of these face to face with a few trips over to the U.S.A.

First I had the great honor to be invited to attend the decommissioning of the 44301, which was the last 44 in the service and was based at Chatham, Massachusetts where the ceremony took place. Here I had the pleasure of putting names to the many faces of the Coast Guard buddies I had corresponded with for so many years. As well as making many new friends and meeting Coast Guard personnel from Capt. Robert W. Witter who led the design team for the 44, right up to the Commandant.
Had the great honor of meeting U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen
During another trip, I was told by my Coast Guard buddy Randy Wiley, that I was now a road warrior after we traveled the coast from Vancouver Island to Eureka California. Visiting all the ex 44´s along the way and many of the U.S. Coast Guard Stations. Along the whole coast we received a truly American style welcome.
One of the highlights of the trip, going to sea aboard the 44409 courtesy of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Marine Unit
“A few years later I completed the rest of the coast down to San Diego, stopping off to visit another 44 at Bethel Island California. This was the ex RNLI Waveney the 44-022 now renamed Gryphon and owned by Tom and Kris Carpenter. They purchased her from the Royal New Zealand Coast Guard where she served after leaving the RNLI. After a 12 year refit, and 6 years cruising New Zealand and Australia, they shipped the Gryphon to the West Coast to start new adventures, exploring the coast from San Diego to Northern Alaska. The 44-022 is almost certainly the most travelled 44, with many years of faithful service still left in her.

This boat has to be seen to be believed!  Those who have served on a 44 could probably not imagine living in style on one.
Well that's enough about me! Now I must thank you and all the many others who have so kindly supported this project by visiting the website and any thanks from you should be equally shared with everyone who has so willingly given me their kind help and shared their knowledge. Without this help there would be no website.

Thanks again,

Copyright 1999-2023 by Clive Lawford (e-mail). All Rights Reserved.
You are very welcome to link to this site, though any form of duplication requires written consent from me unless otherwise stated.