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 MV REDSTART - Yard No 352 - Diesel Cargo Vessel - General Steam Nav. Co Ltd - Built 1946

Leith Shipyards

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MV REDSTART - Yard No 352 - Diesel Cargo Vessel - General Steam Nav. Co Ltd - Built 1946



 M.V.REDSTART Ship No 352

(Photo copyright of P&O heritage)


Owners    General Steam Navigation Company (Later to become part of the huge P&O shipping group)
Registered    London Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Coaster/Diesel Cargo Launched    05/03/1946
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    180' 0" Weather    
Beam    32' 10" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     20' 5"      
Draught    12' 3"      
G.R.T.    629 tons      
DWT    797 tons      
Engines   5-cylinder diesel engine, built by 
Newbury Diesel Co Ltd, Newbury, U.K.
Props    1      
Speed    10 knots service speed.      
Other known names   1967-Kapta Mathios, 1969-Spyros G    
Current Status   Sank off Malta 1977    

Content on REDSTART will be added as and when available. 




The coaster M.V.REDSTART at sea from a copyright photograph from P&O Heritage shown here by kind permission. 



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 General Steam Navigation Company was another shipping company trying to replace war losses and to the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb they placed an order for two modern small "Coasters" of which REDSTART was the second ship to be built. (Not to be confused with HMS REDSTART)

 She was another small classic coaster being sister ship to CORNCRAKE ordered by the General Steam Navigation Company, Ltd.

Shipping companies were only now trying to recover from the horrendous merchant shipping losses of world war II and the GSN Co, Ltd was no different and they needed to rebuild there fleet. From her launch into the waters of the River Forth in 1946 and after completion and trials her new owners put her straight to work with her cargo capacity of around 62,200 cubic feet, and she served the GSN Co, Ltd for 21 years before being sold on in 1967 to Themis General Steam Company, Cyprus, and renamed Kapta Mathios.

Then in 1969 she was Renamed Spyros G without a change of ownership. While on a voyage from Piraeus to Tripoli carrying a full cargo of bagged cement she sprang a leak east of the Island of Malta where she sank on the 2nd of August 1977

So ended the career of another fine small coaster built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb after a working log of around 31 years plying the coasts of Britain and Europe.

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.

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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