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 1939 to 1945 M.S.C NEPTUNE - Yard No 319 - Tug - Manchester Ship Canal - Built - 1941

Leith Shipyards

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M.S.C NEPTUNE - Yard No 319 - Tug - Manchester Ship Canal - Built - 1941




The flag of the Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd.

 MSC NEPTUNE Ship No 319 at work on the Manchester Ship Canal.

(Photograph by kind permission of the Manchester Ship canal Co, Ltd)

Owners    Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd
Registered    Manchester Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Diesel Tug Launched    1941
     Lloyds Class 1 for towing services 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   Crossley Diesel 2 stroke,single acting reciprocating internal combustion engine producing 770h.p.      
Props    2      
Speed    10.25 knots      
Other known names        
Current Status   Scrapped in 1981    
Content on will be added as and when available. 
MSC NEPTUNE (photograph courtesy of the Manchester Ship Canal Co, Ltd)
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.

MSC NEPTUNE was the third of another four ship order for Diesel-engine tugs from the Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd. This order had been put back a little due to the outbreak of World War II. The order was still required, despite the war and the tug was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.

She was launched late 1941.

They were superior it was said at the time to the steam powered tugs previously built for the company. The tug NEPTUNE was scrapped in 1981 after a working life of 40 years service on the canal.

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.


 "MSC NEPTUNE" Certificate of British Registry (Reproduced with the kind permission of the Manchester Ship Canal Co, Ltd)




MSC NEPTUNE working on the Canal, where she was hard at work for 40 years.
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.

 Cross Section of Tug

 Cross section of the tug "NEPTUNE" (By kind permission the M.S.C.Co, Ltd)



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