puffers & vics




Builder Swan Kelvin Dock
Official Nr 144265
Yard Nr
Launched 1920
Length 66.4 ft
Beam 18.4  ft
Gross 98 tons
Nett 38 tons
Engine 2 Cyl Steam Compound

Built for Dickson & Coy, she was registered top James Warnock of Paisley in 1930 in whose ownership she remained until at least 1940. Later was in the ownership of Alexander McNeil of Greenock. . One of the last two vessels built at Kelvin Dock by the Swan family, the other being the "Kype". Except for the record of her loss, I've no  further information for her, for example if she was ever owned by Hays, as was her sister "Kype", although other black and white photographs of her do show what could be a Hay funnel. She was lost as described in this article in the Oban Times of 16th December 1961:

"A veteran West Highland puffer, the LOGAN (98 tons), owned by Alexander McNeil, Greenock, sank off Lochaline pier on Friday, following hours of continuous effort to keep her afloat after she was towed from near Craignure with her boiler room awash, by a fishing boat.
The LOGAN was carrying 105 tons of coal from Troon to Skye, when on Friday afternoon, while sailing in the Sound of Mull, she sprang a leak near the stern. With a force 7 to 8 gale blowing, it was a struggle to keep the LOGAN afloat and steer her safely. After two hours, distress rockets were fired. The first five were not seen, but the sixth (and their last!) was seen by the Oban-bound fishing boat ARTEMIS.
The LOGAN was taken in tow to Lochaline pier, where she was made fast. Fort William fire brigade was summoned, and pumped water out of the puffer for some hours, but it was a hopeless task, as the LOGAN gave signs of sinking. After she had been moved about 100 yards north of the pier, as she was a potential danger to navigation, she went down in deep water"

The left hand photograph shows her beached to discharge coal at Lochbuie on Mull, possibly in the late 1950s. The photograph on the right is undated but shows her at Customs House Quay in Glasgow, to which puffers were frequent visitors to discharge loads of sand, used by Glasgow Corporation Tramways to spread on the tram rails to increase adhesion.

Photograph copyright Alistair Gibson kindly supplied by Bryan Gibson

Photograph  from the Dan McDonald collection courtesy of the Ballast Trust and ireproduced under a Creative Commons license