This model depicts the Shearwater, a pilot launch used in Liverpool from 1978 to 1987. Launches like this were gradually phased into the pilots service from 1962, taking pilots out to ships on demand from shore instead of waiting on pilot ships stationed at sea. In 1962 high speed launches took over the tender service to the Mersey Bar. In 1974, launches began taking pilots out to Point Lynas to board ships, and from this date there was only one pilot ship on station at the Mersey Bar. In 1982, the last on-station pilot boat, the Arnet Robinson, came out of service, and the era of pilot boats stationed at sea was over. Modern pilots continue to be taken out to ships by high speed launches.
Shearwater sank in 1987 when she caught fire in the Crosby Channel.