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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 BORTHWICK - Yard No 521- Gas Tanker - Geo. Gibson - Built 1977
 
 

Leith Shipyards

 
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BORTHWICK - Yard No 521- Gas Tanker - Geo. Gibson - Built 1977

Borthwick-sml 

BORTHWICK Ship No 521

 The LPG Tanker BORTHWICK Ship No 521

(Seen here in a photograph sent in by her ex Skipper David Reid and

shown here by kind permission) She is seen of Teesport in 1988

 
Owners   George Gibson & Co Ltd
           
Registered    Leith Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    LPG carrier Launched    23/03/1977
      Handed Over    28/09/1977
Ship Details          
Length Overall    79.2 metres Launch Details    
Length B.P.    73.2 metres Weather    
Beam    12.8 metres Time to Water    
Depth Mld     6.0 metres      
Draught          
G.R.T.    1,569 tonnes      
DWT    2,050 tonnes      
           
Engines          
Props    1      
Speed    12.5 Knots      
           
Other known names        
           
Current Status   Broken up in Alang May 2010    
As info on BORTHWICK becomes available we shall update here. 
 
 
 
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 at the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon (Henry Robb) was an order from the local Leith shipping Company of George Gibson Ltd, one of the many shipping companies based in Leith at the time, it's just a pity that more of the local shipping companies did not order ships from the shipyard just across the road so to speak.

This was a very welcome order just the same and it was for a ship to carry Liquid Gas, so she was of a pretty special design and construction to take into account her intended cargo.

Seem to remember that she had 3 huge gas tanks fitted into her hull and those were made by a specialised outside contractor and arrived at the shipyard to be fitted into the hull as she was being built.

She was named as all the Gibson ships were, after names and characters in the Robert Louise Stevenson novels and this one happened to be a castle which featured in the novel Walter Scott by the author, as Borthwick was a castle in the Scottish Borders not far from Edinburgh, where Mary Queen of Scots hid out in while being persuade by her cousin the English Queen of the time Elisabeth 1st of England.

So this is where she got her name from and no she was not named after the shipwright (Stevie) of the same second name as he always maintained, forever mumping his gums about the fact that we were building a ship named after him. (Sorry Steve)

 She operated and was owned by George Gibson Tankers from her launch till she was sold in 1991 and she operated in the Unigas Consortium.

She was then sold on to Peruvian owners to continue plying her trade with cargo's of Butadiene in South American waters until being sold for scrap in 2010 and being run onto the beach along with so many other ships to be broken up at Alang in 2020

Borthwick-at-Anchor 

 

Seen here July 2007 off Rosario, Rio Parana, Argentina. At anchor for one month due to severe main engine damage and waiting for spares. (in a picture first seen on the shipsnostalgia website by Dar) 


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.

So if you know any of the men or women who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch and we shall add the story here. 

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Comments   

 
+1 #1 Douglas Harvey 2013-01-28 15:20
You need to read my book, Four Times A Scapegoat, re mv Borthwick,as she traded fraudulently for years, and this was covered up, by many companies, which was why after changing owners, her name was never changed.

Kindest regards,

Captain Douglas Harvey.

To think now,after many years, thst I fought that ship through a Hurricane force 12 in the north sea, with no main engine, as one of the two turbo chargers had blown up, and got her in safely to Esbjerg, that someone else should take the credit for this, when we wasn't there is somewhat galling.
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