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 WM. MESSINA - Yard No 21 - Tug - Union Castle Line - Built 1925

Leith Shipyards

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WM. MESSINA - Yard No 21 - Tug - Union Castle Line - Built 1925

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Owners   Union Castle Line
Registered    London Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Tug Launched    12/03/1925
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    90' 0" Weather    
Beam    20' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Moulded     11' 0"      
G.R.T.    121      
Speed    11 knots      
Other known names        
Current Status        
As content on WM MESSINA becomes available it will be added here. 
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 WM. MESSINA was in fact the first ship launched from the Victoria Shipyards (Hawthorns) by Henry Robb Shipbuilders Ltd.

This was an order from the famous Union Castle Line, and the firm of Henry Robb had managed to take over the well known shipbuilders and engineers Hawthorns & Co of Leith the year before her launch so the yard now had four building berths to launch into the sea.

Hawthorns had built many fine ships during there time in Leith and that expertise was to be put to good use in the future of the new larger yard.


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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