puffers & vics


Stormlight (3) 


Builder W J Yarwood Northwich
Official Nr 185789
Yard Nr
Launched 1957
Length 86 ft
Beam 23 ft
Gross 158 tons
Engine 2 Cyl Steam Compound

Built for Ross & Marshall  Stormlight marked a considerable advance in crew amenities, with electric light, central heating and a small cabin for each crewman.

Originally intended as a motor vessel, the decision was taken to stay with coal fired steam in light of the Middle East oil crisis of the time. That decision was soon regretted and, prompted by the need for substantial hyrdaulic power for her grain working machinery, Stormlight was converted from steam by the rather strange arrangement of having three inexpensive marinised Ford diesels installed which powered hydraulic packs, which in turn drove the single propellor shaft. The arrangement was unreliable and very unpopular with her crews. It had been .

On 15th December 1973 while carrying a cargo of telephone cable: she stranded on rocks at the entrance to Craighouse, Jura. Her crew were saved by the Islay lifeboat but Stormlight was later declared a total loss.

The photograph below shows her in Paisley Harbour on the White Cart Water. Looks like she has a cargo of whisky barrels on board. By the way they are stacked on deck they are probably empty and going back to the distillery somewhere on the west coast or islands.

Photograph courtesy of the Roy Cressey Collection