The Loftsman
Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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Home Ships Built in Leith 1918 to 1939 A.A.COWAN - Yard No 242 - Motor Cargo Vessel - United Africa Co,Nigeria - Built 1937

Leith Shipyards

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A.A.COWAN - Yard No 242 - Motor Cargo Vessel - United Africa Co,Nigeria - Built 1937

photograph will be added soon.

The MV A.A.COWAN Ship No 242
Owners    United Africa Co,Nigeria
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Twin Screw Motor Cargo Launched    27/11/1937
      Handed Over    01/12/1937
Ship Details          
Length Overall    136' 0" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    125' 0" Weather    
Beam      24' 0"      
Depth Mld     9' 6" Time to Water    
G.R.T.    319 tons      

Deutz Diesel Twin R.V.6.M.

B.H.P. 360

Props    2      
Speed    9.5 knots      
Other known names        
Current Status        
Content on the MV A.A.COWAN will be added as and when available. 
Ships History

Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to
pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.

To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.

Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was
hoped for a long and successful working life.

The A.A.COWAN was specially designed for work on the river and coastal trade in the Gulf of Guinea, single deck type with top gallant foc'sle and machinery aft. Her accomoddation was specially arranged to suit the extreme tropical conditions she had to work in.

We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.

Tales from the Ship

Here you will find the stories from the men and women who sailed on the ships, what was it really like to be working on a ship in a raging sea and in the pitch dark of night, the real stories some funny some sad, some good and some bad.

Dedicated to all the brave men and women who sailed the vessels from the Leith Shipyards.

Should you know of anyone who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch so that we can add the story here.

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0 #1 Mike Monahan 2014-01-23 13:08
The A.A. Cowan IMO 5000016 enjoys an intended distinction, she received the first Lloyds Register (LR) Number in a system that was to become the IMO Number System. In 1963 LR assigned the number 500001 to the A.A. Cowan because this vessel appeared first alphabetically in the 1963-64 LR publication of the Register of Ships. This LR numbering system with a check digit added at the left became the basis for the current IMO Number System used since the 1990's to number all ships worldwide and since 2009 to number all ship owners and ship management companies.

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