As the station has a full-time mechanic, the boathouse is usually open and manned during the week and on Saturday mornings. Visitors are welcome to come in and have a look around.
Wells boathouse is largely original. It has a modern exterior and has been extended and altered over the years but much of it is the original 1895 building inside. Unlike many modern RNLI boathouses, there is no separate public area or viewing gallery as the building is barely big enough to house the boats and their supporting equipment. This makes for an interesting and different experience but it also means that visitors do need to take extra care as they move around and that small children should be closely supervised.
We have a small gift shop for information and souvenirs but this is not normally open unless there is a public event on. However, you may well meet crew and station officers at the boathouse and most are willing to stop for a chat or answer a few questions if they're not too busy.
We're happy to accommodate visits from larger parties such as a schools or scout groups, but please contact us first to arrange this. Visits usually consist of a talk, possibly a video, a question and answer session and a walk round the facilities.
We run open evenings at the boathouse on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer holidays. Visitors usually start with a short talk by a crew member with a question and answer session and the chance for children (and perhaps a grown-up or two) to dress up in lifeboat kit. Unusually, you will then also have the chance to go aboard the Mersey lifeboat to look at its equipment. Children also have the opportunity to sit in the inshore lifeboat.
Once a year we also run an all-day open day and barbecue at the boathouse, usually with the inshore lifeboat out on the water so that you can see it operating.
Wells Lifeboat is celebrating 150 years as an RNLI station this year with a week of events around the station and town...
Exhibition at Maltings
Open 11am-4pm, free entry
Historic Lifeboats on display
Outer Harbour, 11am-3.30pm
A private presentation by invite only at the boathouse, 12noon-1.30pm
Come look round the lifeboat station and meet the crew, refreshments on sale, 2pm-4.15pm
Past, present and future lifeboats sail from the outer harbour to Wells quayside, passing the harbour office before returning to the boathouse. View from the beach bank or the main quay, free (donations welcome). 4.30pm-5.15pm. The current all-weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboat will be recovered and rehoused from around 5.30pm and can be viewed from the beach-end of the beach bank.
Invited guests, 7pm.
Exhibition at the Maltings
11th-16th July, 11-4
The RNLI in Wells past and present, photographs and exhibits, free entry
Launch and preview
Wednesday 10th July, 5.30pm
Evening preview of our exhibition
Saving Lives at Sea
Thursday 11th July, 7pm-9pm
Episodes of the BBC TV series and discussion with Wells RNLI crew members. Tickets £5 from the Maltings
Fish & Chip supper
with the Wild Rovers
Friday 12th July, 7.30pm
Fish, chips and shanties with the Wild Rovers at Wells Sailing Club. Tickets £12 from the Maltings.
Open day and flotilla
Saturday 13th July
Lifeboats on display 11am to 3.30pm, flotilla to quay 4.30pm-5.15pm, boathouse open to public 2pm-4.15pm, private presentation of 150th anniversary vellum by invitation at the boathouse from 12noon-1.30pm.
The Perfect Storm
Monday 15th July, 7pm
Film screening at the Maltings, tickets £5 from the Maltings
Tuesday 16th July, 7pm
A celebatory dinner at the Crown Hotel on the Buttlands. Tickets £35 from the Crown Hotel.
Planning permission has been granted for a new lifeboat station at Wells to house our forthcoming Shannon-class all weather lifeboat but legal work relating to the new site has taken longer than expected and we are now hoping that building work will be able to start in September 2019. This will take around 18 months to complete so our new Shannon-class lifeboat should then come into service late in 2021.
Funding for the new lifeboat was raised in part with a station appeal for £250,000 in 2014-15 and also by the Civil Service charity The Lifeboat Fund with its 150th Anniversary Appeal. We are hugely grateful to everyone who has donated, fund-raised, helped and supported us both locally and across the UK and even further afield. Your contribution is appreciated and will help to save lives and keep our volunteeer crews safe in the years to come. Read more about the station appeal
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity, registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). This website is managed and maintained by local volunteers at Wells-next-the-Sea Lifeboat Station and is not the main RNLI site. All text and images copyright (C)2005-2019 RNLI Wells Lifeboat Station, or as indicated, and may not be downloaded, copied or reproduced elsewhere without prior permission of the station or the relevant copyright holder.