Coastal Forces Boats

  • Boat Number
    Enter a number e.g. 658
  • Boat Companies
  • Boat Yards
  • Loss by Year
    Select Year (s)
  • Loss by Fate
    Select Fate (s)
motor gunboats lying alongside one another in harbour are seen from above on the harbour wall, moored in the water below
Photo: Imperial War Museum (A9929) Motor Gunboats built by Britsh Power Boat

The Boats of Coastal Forces

Information about boats may be viewed in a variety of ways, from a straight forward boat search using its number where known, to looking at records for boats by various groupings, including by yard, by company & design type, boat losses by year, or the manner in which boats were lost.

Search Options

The options panel at top left of the page comprises a series of links that when selected, present further options related to the type of search. Some searches, such as by company or builder's yard present an initial selection that once made, generate a further set of options with which to refine a search. Dropdown lists permit a single choice, while checkboxes permit of multiple choices. Records will update on the right of screen automatically as related options are selected or deselected.


Some brief notes on some of the terms to be found within the database of boats.
Constructive Total Loss: a boat damaged beyond economic repair.
Lend-Lease: boats built in the United States under a scheme initiated by the US Congress in 1941 that enabled the construction of boats on a lend or lease basis to the Allies, on the strict understanding they were returned to the US Government at war's end.
Paid Off: a boat that had been taken out of service and its crew transferred, either to undergo improvements or repairs, or as a prelude to being placed on the disposal list.
Placed on the disposal list: a boat whose useful service life was at an end or was deemed surplus to requirement, and which was to be sold or otherwise disposed of.
Requisitioned: a boat building or already built for a foreign navy which was taken over for use by the Royal Navy, with the original owner compensated for the loss.

Using the Database

Boat Number: The details for an individual boat based on the pennant number — enter a number only e.g. 347. Certain boats changed their designation once, twice, or even three times, and so all officially allocated numbers are recorded within the results. Boats with a previous number are highlighted by the use of an orange marker and are discounted from the overall total; those lost in service by a red marker; and those re-designated and subsequently lost by an orange & red marker.

Key to boat record:

Boat with earlier number Boat lost in service Boat with earlier number lost in service

Boat Companies: The companies who designed motor boats for Light Coastal Forces, and the various models they manufactured. In many instances the design company was also the boat builder, although some design companies outsourced certain of their builds to other yards, or had boats built under licence abroad. The Fairmile company on the other hand only ever designed boats, and then arranged for all building and construction work to be carried out by independent yards at home and abroad.

Boat Yards: All the yards worldwide, arranged by country, that built boats for Coastal Forces. In some instances the yard is that of the manufacturing company who designed the boat, but in the majority of cases the yards are ones commissioned by Fairmile to construct its designs of Motor Launches, Motor Gun Boats, and Motor Torpedo Boats.

Boat Losses by Year: Boats lost in service, viewed year on year for the period of the Second World War.

Boat Losses by Fate: The officially recorded means by which boats lost in service were destroyed.