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 M.S.C. PANTHER - Yard No 381 - Tug - Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd - Built 1950

Leith Shipyards

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M.S.C. PANTHER - Yard No 381 - Tug - Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd - Built 1950



The flag of The Manchester Ship Canal Company Ltd

 MSC PANTHER Ship No 381 at work on the canal


Owners    Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Diesel Tug Launched    11/02/1950
     Lloyds class A1 for Towing Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    88' 0" Weather    
Beam    24' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld    12' 0"      
G.R.T.    154 tons      
Engines    2-stroke cycle. Single acting diesel Crossley oil engine producing ihp 1200      
Props    2      
Speed    11.5 knots      
Other known names   1975-Weston Panther, 1977 Sonatram    
Current Status   Fate unknown    

Content on the MSC PANTHER will be added as and when available. 



MSC PANTHER Being launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb

(Photo courtesy of the Manchester Ship Canal Co, Ltd)

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 MSC PANTHER was ANOTHER of the new breed of tug on the canal, a bit more powerful than the previous ships built for the company in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb. 

All part of the Manchester Ship Canal Company expanding and renewing the fleet of tugs at there disposal for the ever growing trade needing to bring there goods right into the heart of Manchester a City with around a million inhabitants 28 miles from the sea.

This tug was to work the canal for 15 years before being sold to Weston Marine in 1975, and she was further sold on two years later to a company in Algeria, after which her fate is unknown.

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.



MSC PANTHER on trials in the Firth of Forth prior to being handed over

(Photo is by courtesy of the Manchester ship Canal Co, Ltd)


The photograph above shows the MSC PANTHER at Moore Lane Swing Bridge Nr Warrington outward bound with the CLAN FRASER in tow, photograph by Ken Smith of Warrinton
Moore Lane Swing Bridge Nr Warrington outward bound with the CLAN FRASER in tow, photograph by Ken Smith of Warrington
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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