The combination of simulation and physical testing is powerful. In this case study Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and a 96 tonne load test were used to prove that the lifting points for a new semi-rigid inflatable rescue craft met their statutory requirements before full manufacture. The FEA was used to optimise the detailed design of the lifting points, without the need to test each different configuration, and the load test was used to prove the final design in practice, before full manufacture. The FEA showed that the bearing stresses in the Glass Reinforced Polymer (GRP) hull of the initial design were unacceptable and appropriate design changes were made from further analysis. However, to suitably risk manage the project a full load test was required to demonstrate that the revised lifting point details met their statutory requirements, before full manufacture of the new craft.