A clinker-built ship’s lifeboat, Dolphin was designed to carry 20 people. It is unknown when she was built, but this type of wooden lifeboat was popular due to its strength and size.

Following the sinking of RMS Titanic in 1912, shipping had to take more responsibility for the safety of their passengers (the Titanic held 3,300 passengers but only 20 lifeboats). 
After the World Wars, lifeboats became lighter and more compact as designers experimented with rubber and inflatables.

Dolphin came to the Scottish Maritime Museum from the Montrose branch of the Sea Cadets.