The fire on the 10.5m vessel with two people on board was out but it had disabled the engine south west of Worthing Pier.
It had been on passage from Brighton Marina to Poole.
Once on scene, the crew established the fire was out.
A towline was set up between the vessel and the lifeboat and it was taken to Shoreham Harbour.
The coastguard unit and Shoreham firefighters checked the boat to make sure the fire would not reignite.
The lifeboat stood down and returned to station.
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