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 M.S.C. MERLIN - Yard No 295 - Tug - Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd - Built 1939

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M.S.C. MERLIN - Yard No 295 - Tug - Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd - Built 1939


(Photograph courtesy of the Manchester Ship Canal Company.)


Ship No 295
Launched at Leith
Feb 1940.
No ceremony here,
there was a war on.

Owners    Manchester Ship Canal
Registered    Manchester Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Tug Launched    27/02/1940
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    86' 0" Weather    
Beam    23' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     12' 0"      
G.R.T.    131 tons      
Engines   Diesel 2 stroke cycle, single acting, Reciprocating Internal Combustion by Crossley Brothers, Manchester.      
Props    2      
Speed    10.25 knots      
Other known names    1969-Plutone, 1996-Katria Prima     
Current Status    Seen in Croatia still working in 2014 named as Zornik    
Content on the MSC MERLIN will be added as and when available. 



M.S.C. MERLIN at work on the Manchester Canal

(photo credit unknown)

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.

The MSC MERLIN was in fact launched during the first few months of World War II. One in the long line of tugs built for the Manchester Ship Canal Company, she had a crew of Four and was to be kept very busy during the war years and beyond.

Sold out of the Manchester Ship Canal Company in 1969 she was to go on and have a few more names and was last seen in March 2014 still working in Croatia, some 74 years after her launch at the beginning of World War Two in Leith during the dark days of 1940

The yard built ships to last, thats for sure, dont know of too many ships still around after three quarters of a century and still working as they were intended.

She has undergone a bit of restructuring work topsides but still the same old hull.

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.



 The ex MSC MERLIN now named Zornik, seen here in this photograph by Dragec on the website


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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