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 BURUTU - Yard No 527 - Tug - Nigerian Ports Authority Built 1980

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BURUTU - Yard No 527 - Tug - Nigerian Ports Authority Built 1980


BURUTU Ship No 527

 The tug BURUTU seen here in 1980 fitting out in the basin at the

Robb shipyard from a photo by Paul (Fairfield) and shown here by

permission, note that you can just see the stern of her sister ship

BAJIMA in the picture. 


Owners    Nigerian Ports Authority 
Registered    Lagos Keel Laid    03/08/1979
Type of Ship    Tug Launched    15/05/1980
      Handed Over    28/10/1980
Ship Details          
Length Overall    38.1 metres Launch Details    
Length B.P.    34.0 metres Weather    
Beam    9.2 metres Time to Water    
Depth Mld     4.5 metres      
Draught    3.98 metres      
G.R.T.    326 tonnes      
DWT    287 tonnes      
Engines    4SA 12 cylinder rushton Paxman

Type 12 RKCM

Props    1      
Speed    14 Knots      
Other known names        
Current Status   Could be rotting away in Nigeria    
as content  on BURUTU become available it will be added here. 
A larger picture of the tug BURUTU seen at the yard in 1980
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 order was a very welcome order for two more tugs very similar to some previous tugs built at the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon (Henry Robb)

The order was from the Nigerian Port Authority and the two harbour tugs were near sister ships of the unfortunate FLYING CHILDERS built a couple of years prior for Clyde Shipping.

The two tugs had the same spec with the stunted tri-mast not going the full fire fighting height as could be seen on the two tugs built for work in the River Forth, DUCHRAY and BOQUHAN.

Nice sized harbour tugs and very versatile they could work and last for many years.

The BURUTU was the first to be built and launched in the first months of the new decade which would become the 1980's and if you wonder what it was like in Scotland around this time then I would suggest a read at one of Irvine Welch's books will give you a decent insight into life in parts of Edinburgh during this decade.

The BURUTU was delivered to Nigeria and as ever with ships that end up there not much is known about what become of her after 1997 as her owners are registered as unknown and she was last heard of in 2009 ALTHOUGH AS YOU WILL SEE FROM THE PICTURE BELOW SHE SEEMED TO HAVE JUST BEEN RUN ONTO A BEACH ON SOME RIVER IN Nigeria and just left to rot there, what a sad end for a ship, and of course unknown then she was in fact the last of a fine pedigree of tugs built at the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon (Henry Robb) it turned out that a tug was built and launched for every year of the shipyards working lifetime.

A grand total of 66 tugs were built to the highest standards at the shipyard, from small ones to the world's largest and most powerful at the time, and all through the dark days of World War II tugs were produced.



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.


The sorry sight of a fine tug wasting away in some back water in Nigeria (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.

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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