The first Motor Launches entered service in the First World War. These were 550 80-foot long vessels built by the US Elco company for the Admiralty receiving the designations ML-1 to ML-550 They served between 1916 and the end of the war with the Royal Navy defending the coast from German submarines.
|Fairmile A motor launch||110 ft||57 tons||25 knots||12|
|Fairmile B Motor Launch||85 tons||1940-45||1,284||Submarine chasing. Later adapted for Air Sea Rescue|
|Harbour Defence Motor Launch||54 tons||486||47||Defending harbours|
Post war many motor launches were taken on as pleasure boats and a number of them are on the National Register of Historic Vessels.