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Sunday, 28 October 2012

From Sail to Steel.

Built at the Leith Shipyards of Ramage & Ferguson 1931

The finished entity that was the Henry Robb Shipyard, was an accumulation of no less than four previous shipyards that had slipways on the small patch of ground that was to eventually become the Henry Robb Shipbuilders & Engineers  “Victoria Shipyards” at Leith.

The Leith Shipyards website will try and collate the full list of all the ships built in the yards to become the central point of reference for more than 1,000 ships of all kinds built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, Ramage & Ferguson, Cran & Somerville and Hawthorns & Co.

There is nowhere on the internet that provides all this kind of information all in one readable website with stories of the ships and of the men and women who sailed or served on them.

We require our readers help with this huge project and any information on any of the ships along with any photographs would be most appreciated.

This is a story that goes back in time to the famous shipwright Thomas Morton who invented the patent slip a means where vessels could be brought from the sea to dry land and worked on thus making it less costly to work on than dry docking the vessel.

Thomas Morton & Co arrive in the Leith Shipyards story by way of the fact that they had been taken over by the shipbuilding firm of Hawthorns & Co in 1912, Hawthorns themselves would be taken over by Henry Robb Shipyards in 1924 this gave Robb access to building berths and meant that they could build further ships and launch them directly into the sea.

Boatbuilding Manual, Fifth Edition Boatbuilding Manual, Fifth Edition
Get the latest boatbuilding tips from this updated classic Since its first publication in 1970, Boatbuilding Manual has become the standard reference in boatbuilding and boat design schools, in the offices of professional builders, and in the basement workshops of home builders. No other boatbuilding text has simultaneously served the disparate needs of professional and amateur audiences so successfully. Carl Cramer, the publisher of WoodenBoat and Professional Boatbuilder magazines, has fully updated this fifth edition with the latest in boatbuilding techniques and developments. Includes: The latest wood-epoxy construction methods that make amateur building more successful than ever before Recommendations on products and materials, saving you time and money substantial time and expense Topics include: Plans, Tools, Woods, Fiberglass and Other Hull Materials, Fastenings, Lines and Laying Down, Molds, Templates, and the Backbone, Setting Up, Framing, Planking, Deck Framing, Decking, Deck Joinerwork, Interior Joinerwork, Finishing, Sailboat Miscellany, Steering, Tanks, Plumbing, etc, Mechanical and Electrical, Potpourri, Safety

Ship Construction Ship Construction
Ship Construction, Seventh Edition, offers guidance for ship design and shipbuilding from start to finish. It provides an overview of current shipyard techniques, safety in shipyard practice, materials and strengths, welding and cutting, and ship structure, along with computer-aided design and manufacture, international regulations for ship types, new materials, and fabrication technologies. Comprised of seven sections divided into 32 chapters, the book introduces the reader to shipbuilding, including the basic design of a ship, ship dimensions and category, and development of ship types. It then turns to a discussion of rules and regulations governing ship strength and structural integrity, testing of materials used in ship construction, and welding practices and weld testing. Developments in the layout of a shipyard are also considered, along with development of the initial structural and arrangement design into information usable by production; the processes involved in the preparation and machining of a plate or section; and how a ship structure is assembled. A number of websites containing further information, drawings, and photographs, as well as regulations that apply to ships and their construction, are listed at the end of most chapters. This text is an invaluable resource for students of marine sciences and technology, practicing marine engineers and naval architects, and professionals from other disciplines ranging from law to insurance, accounting, and logistics. Covers the complete ship construction process including the development of ship types, materials and strengths, welding and cutting and ship structure, with numerous clear line diagrams included for ease of understanding Includes the latest developments in technology and shipyard methods, including a new chapter on computer-aided design and manufacture Essential for students and professionals, particularly those working in shipyards, supervising ship construction, conversion and maintenance

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Deck Boy on the MV KAWATIRI

MV KAWATIRI Ship No 399 (Photo credit unknown)

We have a story sent in to the website from Gary King about his time as a Deck Boy on the USSCo vessel KAWATIRI Ship No 399

Along with some photographs as well

You can read more of this story on the ship pages of the KAWATIRI on the website

ARCADIAN Ship No 473- A Whale of a Tale


A truly amazing story has come to light regarding a voyage by the ARCADIAN in June 1965 across the stormy North Atlantic from Canada to the U.K.

She had a very valuable deck cargo in the form of four live very rare Beluga Whales that had been caught by fishermen in the St Lawrence and were wanted by Cleethorpes Zoo in England.

There was a sad end to this voyage as only one of the precious cargo survived.

The female Beluga that survived was soon to die in captivity a couple of months later at  the Marine Land Zoo in England.
Now a request for help has came into the Leithshipyards website from the Aquarium of Quebec in Canada looking for information on this voyage.

For more of the story see the ship page of ARCADIAN on the website and if any one can help with any details of this voyage then please contact the website. 

A Beluga Whale of the type that they tried to ship on the MV ARCADIAN in 1965
The rare whale is on the endangered species list.
We shall soon have some new information about this amazing voyage coming soon to the website and also new is that we have decided to start to do some advertising as a means of helping to offset some of the cost of running and operating the website at

Tramp Ships