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 THV.PATRICIA - Yard No 530 - Light house Supply Ship - Trinity House - Built 1981

Leith Shipyards

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THV.PATRICIA - Yard No 530 - Light house Supply Ship - Trinity House - Built 1981



THV PATRICIA built as Ship No 530 in the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon (Henry Robb)

 The THV PATRICIA at a review of the fleet

(photo credit unknown for now)


Owners    Trinity House 
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Lighthouse supply Ship Launched    30/09/1981
      Handed Over    May 1982
Ship Details          
Length Overall    86.315 metres Launch Details    
Length B.P.    77.8 metres Weather    
Beam    13.8 metres Time to Water    
Depth Mld      6.9 metres      
Draught     4.3 metres      
G.R.T.    2,541 tonnes      
DWT    1,194 tonnes      
Props    2      
Speed    14 knots      
Other known names   N/A    
Current Status   Working around the coasts of England and Wales.    
Content on THV PATRICIA will be added as and when available. 

The Trinity House Vessel PATRICIA on her way out to sea trials in the Firth of Forth

(photo by B.Booth - Shipwright)




THV PATRICIA seen here on the River Tyne in June 2002 (photo from Reg Mordecai)


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 next ship on the stocks was the Twin Screw THV PATRICIA officially designated as a Bouy/Lighthouse Tender, but this ship ordered by the ancient authority which is Trinity House who are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all the many safety devices around the coast of England and Wales. (Scotland has her own equivalent in the Northern Light House commission)

By definition they are looking after the men and ships that sail around the coast and rely on light houses and buoy's etc to help them navigate safely. 

She is a fair size ship and of course the order was very welcome at the yard during tough times for shipbuilders in the United Kingdom.

THV PATRICIA was built to the highest standards and more when you took a look around inside her, never have I seen carpet with such a thick pile on them and along with gold plated taps for the water runs she was a real ship of luxury for the time considering that she is in fact a hard working ship, doing a tough job at sea.

The story we heard at the time was that her outfitting was to such a high standard as there was the very likely possibility that the THV PATRICIA was going to stand in for the Royal Yacht Britannia as there was a lot of speculation as to what was going to happen to the Queens own personal ship.



THV PATRICIA is seen here in this photograph by Barry Booth a shipwright who worked on her at the time, edging away from the quayside on the way to do more sea trails.


Her wood teak decks were a credit to the shipwrights of the Leith yard and they just seemed to invite bare feet to walk over them.



The Trinity House Vessel PATRICIA is still working away around the coast of England, Wales and the Channel Islands and in fact such is the level of accommodation on her the ship also offers cruises for up to 12 passengers who can join her at one of her many ports and cruise around while the ship carries out her many duties.

As the Flag ship of Trinity House she also carries out a lot of official functions as well, so she is a busy ship and we hope she will continue as such for a few years to come.

(The website has tried to contact The Honourable Company but has had no reply as we would like to feature more photographs of her which could very easily be produced by Trinity House, perhaps they are just slow in reply.)



The magnificent wood deck of the after deck on THV PATRICIA (photo by B.Booth)

Note the small cradle to take a signal cannon on the aft Stbd side of the deck. 


The following is from an advert produced by Trinity House to show just how adaptable and the buzz word nowadays is Multi-Functional.

Trinity House's Multi Functional Tender (MFT) PATRICIA works around

the coast of England, Wales and the Channel Islands undertaking aid

to navigation maintenance work, towing, wreck location and marking

amongst other projects. At 86m long, PATRICIA has accommodation for

an- additional 12 people and benefits from a helicopter-landing pad.

With a 20 tonne main crane capacity and 28 tonne bollard pull and towing

winch, she is also survey capable. 


As can be seen from above she is a very adaptable ship and is very well equipped now to cater for fare paying passengers who can stay in anyone of 6 luxury staterooms (cabins) and they can be looked after by there own steward and chef.

Story will continue.

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.



At Anchor (photo credit unknown)
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.



THV PATRICIA seen above in this photograph sent in by Reg.M


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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0 #4 graeme mccormack 2017-03-30 13:38
THV Patrica As the keel was in part asembly sections, the first of the fitting trades started put fuel lines in, something in me now says they were 3". This size is rare on onland work. The first lenghts were into the double bottoms. The fitters were john whitecross, john [jock] gold, fitters mate peter johnston and myself graeme mccormack aprentice aka junior.
0 #3 graeme mccormack 2017-03-14 15:58
Jock Gold, john whitecross pipefitters Peter Johnston fitters mate And myself Graeme McCormack aka Junior threw the first pipes, on the Trinity House Patrica, 4" fuel lines in the double bottoms.
0 #2 Richard Woodman 2016-06-18 15:32
Tin Leggett is not quite right. The name he wants is Ton Woodfield. I served in the ship as captain and having the name Woodman probably caused the confusion. I also went on to be an Elder Brother of Trinity House. She is a fine ship and was a delight to handle. She was very well able to cope with extreme weather and her practical ability as a multifunctional tender was impressive. I was very sad when I left her to swallow the anchor, always having an excellent ship's company.
0 #1 TIM LEGGETT 2012-06-09 15:07
I used to be a Seaman in THV Patricia as well as being Second Steward in RRS Bransfield, both built by Robb Caledon.. The first Master of Bransfield was a Tommy Woodman who went on to being an Elder Brother of Trinity House.. He was instrumental in the building of both these ships and he told me that when they desigined Patricia they took the plans of Bransfield as a starting point as they needed a similar size ship also as a supply and working ship as well as partially a passenger ship. Although a lot different as they were built for different purposes and years apart, I think the likeness shows.. I loved working aboard both these ships.

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