Costs and Expenses

The RNLI is a charity and therefor relies on donations for its continued existance. With running costs averaging at 339,000 per day, every pound is welcome.

To give you an idea of just how much money it takes to keep the RNLI going, here are just a few of the costs involved.

Tamar Class Lifeboat

A brand new Tamar class lifeboat like the RNLB Misses Robertson of Kintail costs 2.7 million today.

These boats require refitting every 3-5years, a process which costs 150,000 - 255,000. This works out at an average of around 57,000 per year maintenance.

This figure does not include the cost of fuel and all the other costs incurred with every single launch.


It costs on average 1214 per person per year to train the crew.

This is well over 35,000 per year in training for Peterhead Lifeboat Station.


Outfitting a lifeboatman is another highly expensive process.

  • Gloves - 7
  • Boots - 36
  • Thermal suit - 90
  • Trousers - 200
  • Jacket - 240
  • Drysuit - 350
  • Safety Helmet - 180
  • Lifejacket - 385

Not including the thermal suit and drysuit (which are not required wear for every person on the lifeboat) this is still just over 1000 of equipment per person.

This does not include the specialised gear that RNLI lifeguards use - wet suits, rescue board, rescue tube, binoculars, spinal board, radio, first aid kit and other assorted gear.

This is only very small glimpse into the costs incurred by the RNLI. For more information, visit the RNLI Homepage.

A charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SCO37736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland  I  RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 01073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240 and RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 are all companies registered at West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ. Images & copyright © RNLI 2008.