puffers & vics



Scott & Sons (Bowling) Ltd.


Founded in 1851, only five years before the launch of the first puffer, the yard's location at Bowling on the Clyde estuary was only a few hundred metres from the sea-lock gates at the western end of the Forth and Clyde Canal.  The business traded under numerous names - Scott, MacGill and Duncan; Scott and MacGill; Scott and Co; Scott and Sons - before being incorporated in 1958 as a limited liability company as Scott and Sons (Bowling) Ltd.

In 1965, the company was taken over, at their invitation, by Scotts' Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd. It subsequently became part of the Scott Lithgow Group following the 1970 merger of Scotts' Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd and Lithgows Ltd, Port Glasgow, Inverclyde.

In order to facilitate this merger, Scotts and Sons (Bowling) Ltd was released from Scotts' Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd to become part of the 1969 group of companies. This group of companies went on to become Scott Lithgow Ltd.

Nationalised in 1977 into British Shipbuilders, the company was placed on care and maintenance by British Shipbuilders in 1979 and shipbuilding ceased in 1979.

Throughout most of its existence, Scotts specialised in smaller vessels, generally of under 1000 tons, including of course puffers but also tugs and other workboats. I do not at this time have any definate data on the subject but I believe that over the years Scotts build around 40 puffers in total.

more information needed specifically on puffers built here.