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 ARUSHA - Yard No 417 - Steam Tug - British India S.N. Co - Built 1951

Leith Shipyards

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ARUSHA - Yard No 417 - Steam Tug - British India S.N. Co - Built 1951


The classic steam powered tug ARUSHA was an order for the BI line, she was laid down as yard No 417 at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.
 The tug ARUSHA seen here with the classic liner Oriana  
Owners    British India Steam Navigation Co, Ltd (Part of the P&O shipping group)
Registered    London Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Single Screw Steam Tug Launched    18/08/1951
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall    121' 1" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    112' 5" Weather    
Beam    32' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     23' 0"      
Draught    11' 3"      
G.R.T.    346 tons      
Engines   Triple-Expansion steam engine, producing 800 ihp,  built by White's Marine Engines Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne, England      
Props    1      
Speed    10.5 Knots (12.65 knots trials)      
Other known names   St Mawes    
Current Status   1984-broken up for scrap.    
Content on the Steam Tug ARUSHA will be added as and when available. 
The steam powered tug ARUSHA (Kind thanks to the P&O Heritage collection)
Note:- The open bridge and wheelhouse
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.

Yet another in the long line of tugs built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, she was an order from the British India Steam Navigation Company Ltd, a subsidiary company of the huge P&O group.

ARUSHA was ordered for work on the east African coast where she was used to tow barges and lighters up the rivers, where the larger cargo ships where unable to navigate, and along with general tug towing work she was to work on this coast for 5 years before being sold to the Falmouth towing company (another part of the P&O group) and she was renamed St Mawes.

She was to work in U.K.waters for the next 28 years.
To be continued.

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.



 ARUSHA seen here in U.K. waters and renamed St MAWES (photo credit unknown)

This is actually a photo of the later tug called St Mawes ex-Ionia and thanks to Charles for pointing that out to us, but it is a nice picture so it will be left in here on the pages of ARUSHA. 




  Be sure to visit the new E-Book library at Ships and the Sea 



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.


ARUSHA on hand to welcome Robin Knox Johnson back into Falmouth after another of his epic solo journeys around the world.


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