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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 KAIAPOI - Yard No 376 - Diesel Cargo - Union Steamship Co N.Zealand - Built 1949

Leith Shipyards

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KAIAPOI - Yard No 376 - Diesel Cargo - Union Steamship Co N.Zealand - Built 1949


 The M.V.KAIAPOI Ship No 376  
Owners    Union Steamship Co of New Zealand 
Registered    Wellington Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Diesel Cargo Launched    16/03/1949
      Handed Over    June 1949
Ship Details          
Length Overall    305' 4" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    290' 0" Weather    
Beam     43' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld      19' 6"      
Draught     17' 6"      
G.R.T.    2485      
DWT    2959      
Props    2      
Speed    10 knots      
Other known names   1968-Eddie K.L.    
Current Status   Scrapped 1973    
The M.V.KAIAPOI was named after a town in New Zealand.
as content become available it will be added here. 
The KAIAPOI underway from a photograph by G.Stevens from Oceania shipping forum)
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.

 This fine old ship (although new at the time of course) was an order from the Union S.S.Co of New Zealand Ltd, Wellington.

She was one of a class that had been designed during the war, known as an AC class collier.

 Built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, Scotland. The first of six specialist motor ships for the coastal trades; very strongly built to cope with the bar conditions at Westport and Greymouth.

She was used all around the coasts of New Zealand and was in service with the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand for almost 20 years before being sold on, with the advent of the container ship.

This type of traditional cargo vessel was a very well known and liked ship the kind that were the staple of moving goods around any country in the days before motorways and container ships.

A time now long gone and who is to say that we do things better in the fast paced days we live in now.

Strongly built with transverse framing, and her accomodation and bridge amid-ships, with three cago holds and derricks to lift the cargo, she was a nice little ship.

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.

Another fine shot of the KAIAPOI from a photo by Jan on the forum(credit unknown)
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 #3 Stephen Witheford 2017-01-15 00:25
In June 1949, My grandpa Roland Rogers sailed for
New Zealand as captain of the MV
Kaiapoi after which he left the sea for
0 #2 Graham Wallace 2014-11-03 18:50
I was a bucko on this shipfor while,great ship.
0 #1 Reg Merrill 2013-12-16 06:41
sailed on the M V Kaiapoi 1958 :-)

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