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 1946 to 1984 SEAFORTH SOVEREIGN - Yard No 531 - Offshore Supply - Seaforth Maritime - Built 1982

Leith Shipyards

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SEAFORTH SOVEREIGN - Yard No 531 - Offshore Supply - Seaforth Maritime - Built 1982



 The Rig Supply Ship SEAFORTH SOVEREIGN Ship No 531

(Photo credit unknown for now)


Owners    Seaforth Maritime Ltd
Registered    Aberdeen Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Rig Supply Ship Launched    20/05/1982
      Handed Over    Oct 1982
Ship Details          
Length Overall    62.49 metres Launch Details    
Length B.P.    55.2 metres Weather    
Beam    13.15 metres Time to Water    
Depth Mld     6.15 metres      
G.R.T.    1,199 tonnes      
DWT    1,540 tonnes      
Engines    2 x Rushton Diesels Type 6RKCM, producing around 3,400 hp      
Props    2      
Speed    10 Knots      
Other known names  

 1989-Far Sovereign, 1993-Far Sun,

 2003-Sis Champ

Current Status   Ongoing    
Content on SEAFORTH SOVEREIGN will be added as and when available. 

SEAFORTH SOVEREIGN sister ship  "FAR SKY" on the River Tyne at the refitting at A&P Shiprepair Yard at Wallsend on Tyne 10/05/2002 in a photograph sent in by Reg Mordecai

Docks and Yard now closed and work transfered to the large dry dock at the former Palmers Shipyard at Hebburn on Tyne


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.


 SEAFORTH SOVEREIGN heading out to do her her sea trials in the Firth of Forth in this photograph supplied by the ex-Henry Robb shipwright Barry Booth and shown here by permission. 

With the start of the new decade which became the 1980's not all was gloom as far as shipbuilding was concerned as we had the new panacea of North Sea oil discovered the previous decade, the oil was now beginning to flow and with every new oil field there was the need for new ships to service and supply all the oil rigs that where formed up in the British sector of the North Sea.

In what should have been even more boom times for shipyards in Scotland in particular turned out be be somewhat less than once believed.

The Leith Shipyards of the then called Robb Caledon (Henry Robb) and a part of the quango which was British Shipbuilders had a capacity to still use three building berths so they could build a min of three ships per year, the oil fields needed ships by the hundred so even with a 10 year plan in place the place could have built around 30 ships for the oil fields.

As it turned out the Leith yard only built two, and the Dundee (Caledon) yard had already been closed down, leaving only 3 yards in Scotland which could rightly claim to be the right size for building such vessels, one being the Hall Russell yard in Aberdeen and Ferguson's yard on the lower Clyde.

The SEAFORTH SOVEREIGN was the first of the Rig supply ships to be built at the Leith Shipyards

of Robb Caledon (Henry Robb) and her design was based on a very tried and tested concept for such ships. She was ordered from the Seaforth Maritime Company, and worked as such until Seaforth sold there ships working in the North Sea to the Norwegian Shipping Company Farstad, which became the largest operator of Rig Supply ships in the North Sea. She was later sold on to United Arab shipping interests in 2003 and re-named Sis Champ where she was converted to a standby, safety/supply ship.

She was a bog standard twin screw Rig supply ship and she should have been the first of very many such ships to be built at the yard.

In fact it was the SEAFORTH SOVERIEGN or the next Rig supply ship BALDERLEITH which was to take part in one of the James Bond films (The details escape me for now)

And as far as we are aware she is still working and earning some 30 years later.

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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