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 KONUI - Yard No 362 - Diesel Cargo - Union Steamship Co N.Zealand - Built 1948

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KONUI - Yard No 362 - Diesel Cargo - Union Steamship Co N.Zealand - Built 1948



 The Collier M.V.KONUI Ship No 362  
Owners    Union Steamship Co of New Zealand 
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Diesel Cargo Launched    25/05/1948
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall    305 4" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    290' 0" Weather    
Beam      43' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld       19' 6"      
Draught      17' 6"      
G.R.T.    2485      
DWT    3069      
Engines    British Polar Engines      
Props    2      
Speed    9.5 knots      
Other known names   1969-BONATRADE, 1974 TUNG LEE, 1977 BERJAYA    
Current Status   She was broken up in Bangkok 1983    
as content on the M.V.KONUI becomes available it will be added here.


This photograph from the G.Ferguson collection shows her off to her best, the M.V.KONUI fully loaded on her way from the port of Greymouth in New Zealand.


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 KONUI Was the second of the A/C Colliers built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb for the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand.

A sister ship to the Kaitangata she was launched by the then Miss New Zealand, a departure from the owners wife or some other random lady. She was built at a time when the shipyards of Britain were all working at full capacity to try and replace some of the many ships that had been lost during World War II.

The Union Steamship Company of New Zealand was just one company rebuilding.


With her twin British Polar engines giving her a service speed of around 9.5 knots, she was well suited for the coastal trade around New Zealand.

These fine ships would eventually lose out to the advent of the container ship, but while they traded the coast line of New Zealand they were a well loved sight. They were a very familiar sight to all, in the ports around this seafaring country.

 She spent 20 unblemished years with the Union Company and was sold to Singapore in 1969 and she was renamed Bonatrade.
After several more sales and renaming, she was eventually broken up in Bangkok in 1983.

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.



A view of her sailing out from Greymouth on another journey

(Photo from G.Ferguson collection)


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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