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 PORT TAURANGA - Yard No 235 - Motor Vessel - Capt. A.F.Watchling, New Zealand - Built 1936

Leith Shipyards

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PORT TAURANGA - Yard No 235 - Motor Vessel - Capt. A.F.Watchling, New Zealand - Built 1936



The Motor Vessel
This classic looking ship with fine lines, was to work the waters of Australia and New Zealand for many years and would eventually become a Union Steamship vessel and be re-named KOPUA



Owners    Capt A.F.Watchling, Auckland New Zealand
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Twin Screw Motor Vessel Cargo Launched    26/11/1936
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    235' 0" Weather    
Beam    45' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Moulded     15' 6"      
Draught    12' 0"      
G.R.T.    1524 tons      
DWT    1,500 tons      
Engines    Two sets of British "Polar" diesel engines with service B.H.P. of 1200      
Props    2      
Speed    11 knots      
Other known names    1948-KOPUA, 1960-COBARGO, 1973- SAMOAN BAY, 1974- UNIVERSAL DALLAS    
Current Status   She was believed broken up in 1977    
As info on the PORT TAURANGA becomes available it will be updated here. 
The twin screw motor vessel PORT TAURANGA was named after the Maori for a sheltered anchorage for waka (canoe's). Port Tauranga is a city in the North Island of New Zealand on the Bay of Plenty.
For more info on Tuaranga  


The classic lines of the PORT TAURANGA, seen here starting another voyage.

(Photo is courtesy of OSF) 


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.

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.

This classic looking ship had a long and proud history designed and built to carry long lengths of timber and at the time her 95 foot long hatch was the longest on Llyods shipping register.

There is a lot more history on this fine ship still to go into this page, so keep checking back for more.

To be continued.


As KOPUA in her Union Steamship Co of New Zealand days.

(photo courtesy of OSF)


Nice old picture from a calendar sent in by Bob Love

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.

So if you know any of the men or women who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch and we shall add the story here. 

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0 #1 Bob Love 2016-10-06 15:30
I have a coloured photograph of M.V.Port Tauranga berthed at Auckland, NZ. This may have been part of a calendar and it was sent from " Bob" a member of the crew to my father ( now deceased)
My Grandads brother is known to have settled in NZ but the story is he was lost at sea possibly from a supply vessel serving the Antarctic explorations.
I believe " Bob" may have been my Grandads brother's son so he might have the same name as me " Bob Love". He did have younger siblings - I have some photos of some of the family probably taken in the 1920,s when my Dad stayed in NZ for a while - probably near Wellington.
Long shot, but grateful for any leads.
Bob Love

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