The main two methods the U.S. Life-Saving Service used in rescuing people from the perils of shipwreck were the breeches buoy and small rescue craft consisting of surfboats and lifeboats. The information provided here is being made available to give you a brief understanding of the early rescue craft the USLSS used. Included with each boat description is a photo or two of what each boat looked like that the service used. Some boats feature a profile drawing as well.
We hope that this information provides you with some tools to help identify boats you may have seen in various museum collections. Some very limited vintage boats are still being used as pleasure craft today that you might be able to identify using this information. If you do find a boat still being used today or one sitting in storage or out in the woods, please let us know so we can try to make sure it is preserved.
As you explore the database of the boats, this is just the beginning of researching them. More information is available through books, our publications as well as our membership. If you are having trouble identifying a boat, please let us know and we will help investigate it.