puffers & vics




Builder J Duthie, Torry
Official Nr ?
Yard Nr
Launched 1913
Length 86.2 ft
Beam c 18 ft
Gross 108 tons
Engine ?

Built as trawler NORTHESK, reg ME 244, for Jos. Johnson +co, Montrose. Almost certainly, looking at her lines, as a steam drifter.

Converted to cargo carrying in 1951 when sshe was old to W. Dennison, Orkney. The stumpy funnel suggests that she may have been diesel powered by the time the photograph below was taken in 1965. 

Hugh Carmichael of Craignure on Mull reportedly purchased her from Orkney owners in 1964. I have found some references to her in Orkney archives as having been employed in the mid-50s carrying harvested bladder wrack to a seaweed processing factory as Hatston and John MacDonald of Mull tells me that she was also reputedly employed in the burgeoning Orkney egg industry, on which trade she was a regular visitir to Glasgow, via the Caledonian Canal, with full loads of them. This trade continued into the early 1960s. .

The photograph below is of her in Carmichael's ownership in 1965 at Corpach, near Forrt William.  She was presumably engaged on the timber contract for the paper mill there on which he also used the former VICs "Eldesa" and "Marsa" . I am indebted to John MacDonald for also mentioning that the return cargo, probably to Mull, would likely have been either ground agricultural limestone or bricks, both of which were produced by Highland Lime Co. at Torlundy and loaded at Corpach Basin. With her drifter's V hull she was unsuitable for the traditional method of puffers delivering cargoes to remote communities: beaching.

John MacDonald has identified the young man seen on her stern (below) as Jimmy Hamilton, an Orcadian, and tells me that Jimmy believes that she was wrecked off the Irish coast on passage to he thinks the West Indies after having been sold by Carmichael in 1967. There is a record of the wreck of a Shapinsay, described as a 108grt trawler, off Waterford Harbour with the date of sinking given as 7th November 1967. Same vessel?

Photograph  courtesy of the Roy Cressey Collection