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Zetland Lifeboat Museum and Redcar Heritage Centre


Please remember, the Zetland is 'the peoples boat',

so we would like you to be part of this journey to

ensure the Zetland is around for future generations

to admire and be proud of.

Any donations would be gratefully appreciated.

Segment Zetland

Our Mission

The Friends of Zetland Lifeboat (FoZL) was formed by a group of enthusiastic volunteers who manage the Zetland Lifeboat Museum & Redcar Heritage Centre.  

The main focal point of interest in the museum is the Zetland lifeboat, regarded by maritime historians as an important time capsule of our seafaring past.

Our aim was to conserve and protect the Zetland Lifeboat and her environment to ensure she stands proudly in Redcar for generations to come. Many surveys were carried out over recent years to establish the extent of repairs required with a view to having them carried out. Further surveys indicated evidence of wood rot and decay around the length of the keel and stem posts, all of which needed urgent attention. Although the surveyors had given us earlier professional advice, this was restricted to what could be seen by the naked eye.

Maritime conservationists carefully removed parts the deck and the adjacent air boxes (flotation chambers) revealing the extent of the timber deterioration which had never been opened up since approx 1824.

Only at this stage were we able to draw up a specification for the works and put the project out to tender.

Following extensive discussions with interested parties, it was decided to use local fisherman and boat repairer Tony Young.


We fully intended to have the work carried out within the museum, as being a ‘peoples boat’ it would have been nice to invite the people of Redcar to keep viewing the work as it progressed, however, she had to be removed due to Health and Safety issues.

Once all the paint had been removed, the timbers were repaired and preserved. She was repainted as recommended by the surveyors who recommend a complete repaint due to the existing coatings breaking down and delaminating.

All work carried out was documented, photographed and archived.


In simple terms, our mission succeeded in keeping the Zetland as original as possible – Rest assured not an inch of timber was replaced if it could be conserved. The Zetland still looks like a lifeboat, which is over 200 years old but one that has been lovingly cared for. So people can look at her over the next 200 years and marvel at the bravery of her maritime past.

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