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.
The new building will will take around 18 months to complete with work preparing the foundations and piling for the building and ramp scheduled to take place from September 2020 to May 2021.
The building is required to house our forthcoming new Shannon-class lifeboat which was funded 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
Wells lifeboats and the lifeboat crew remain operational and ready to launch if needed during the coronavirus outbreak. New procedures have been adopted during service calls, training and exercises to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. For example, crews muster outside the boathouse before a service call and only those selected remain on station and boats, equipment and the boathouse are cleaned and sanitised after use.
All public visits to the lifeboat station are cancelled. Please do not enter the boathouse except by prior arrangement.
All our usual public and fund-raising events and activities over the year have also had to be cancelled, including our annual lifeboat service and our open day and open evenings. We're sorry not to be able to meet and chat with you as we usually do and thank you for your support during these difficult times.
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.