About Us!

Whitstable Vintage Lifeboat Trips is a small local family run business owned and operated by husband and wife team Richard and Sue, who have both lived in Whitstable all their lives. They are joined by a crew made up of friends and family along with Bella their friendly boat dog.

Both of them take great pride in offering an enjoyable and welcoming experience to all their passengers, whether they are first timers on board or are one of their many regular guests.

Sue deals with all enquiries both online and at our ticket hut, ably assisted by “Bella” their boat dog, and she will do all she can to make sure that everyone has a great time right from the moment they arrive until they step back ashore. Sue particularly enjoys meeting and greeting our passengers and will always go the extra mile to make sure everyone enjoys their time with us.

Richard will be your  skipper for the trip and he is someone with a lifetime`s experience of boating in the local area starting with helping out on the families fishing boat from a young age before becoming a fisherman when he left school. At the same time he joined the local Lifeboat crew and served for nearly forty years. With his local knowledge and years of experience, you couldn’t be in better hands.

Stories of interest

Filming Saving Lives at Sea with Dermot O`Leary

In 2023 we were privileged to have our boat used as a backdrop to a special edition of the BBC series Saving Lives at Sea. This was a special edition to mark the RNLI 200 year  anniversary in 2024 by telling the story of some of the most notable rescues of the Second World War. We spent a fascinating day filming with Dermot O`Leary who told the story of the Margate Lifeboat crew who bravely took part in the Dunkirk evacuation on a vessel similar to ours.

National Historic Ships Flagship Award

In 2023 our Vintage Lifeboat “The Chieftain” was awarded the prestigious title of National Historic Ships Flagship of the year in recognition of her importance to the nation`s maritime heritage and in celebration of her 75th anniversary. She was one of only three vessels to receive the award that year.

To mark the award you will see that she flies the specially presented pennant from her foremast and the “Defaced Red Ensign” of the National Historic Ships organisation from her stern