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 KARAMU - Yard No 426 - Diesel Cargo Coaster - Union Steamship Co of N.Zealand - Built 1952

Leith Shipyards

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KARAMU - Yard No 426 - Diesel Cargo Coaster - Union Steamship Co of N.Zealand - Built 1952


Owners    U.S.S. Co of New Zealand
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Single Screw Diesel Cargo Launched    02/12/1952
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    250' 0" Weather    
Beam    41' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     25' 3"      
G.R.T.    1988      
DWT    2091      
Engines   Clarke, Sulzer 5 Cylinder oil engine 1500 bhp, built by George Clarke Sunderland, England      
Props    1      
Speed    11 knots      
Other known names   1972 KING LUCK - 1979 TSIN YUEN    
Current Status   Broken up in 1984    
Content on the MV KARAMU will be added as and when available. 
The MV KARAMU (photo copyright B.McNeil shown here by courtesy of G.Ferguson)
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 M.V. KARAMU was another order from the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand.

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 M.V.KARAMU at Auckland, New Zealand (Photo from L.Butterfield 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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0 #1 John Laing 2016-08-15 04:54
I sailed as 4th Engineer on this ship. I joined her during the Wainui dispute. I was 7th engineer on the Waitaki which went to the Devenport navel base when we returned from Singapore. I the transfered to Karamu to shift ship from the Viaduct to Wynyard wharf. There where two engineers and two deck officers plus some shore staff to do this move with engines.

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