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 KAIMAI - Yard No 448 - Diesel Cargo - Union Steamship Co of N.Zealand - Built 1956

Leith Shipyards

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KAIMAI - Yard No 448 - Diesel Cargo - Union Steamship Co of N.Zealand - Built 1956


 The M.V.KAIMAI Ship No 448  
Owners    Union Steamship Company of New Zealand
Registered    Wellington Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Cargo Ship Launched    
      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.    2,007 tons      
DWT    2,114 tons      
Engines   5 Cylinder Sulzer, producing 1500bhp      
Props    1      
Speed    11.5 knots      
Other known names   1972-MELADJU, 1980-KITA, 1985-SANUA, 1987- PAISI    
Current Status   Broken up for scrap 1987    
Content will be added as and when available. 

The KAIMAI (II) was named after a mountain range in New Zealands North Island

See Kaimai Ranges

Kaimai Range forms a backdrop to Tauranga Harbour


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.KAIMAI was another ship ordered from the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand, to be built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb

She was a fine looking sturdy little ship built for trade around the temperamental waters of the beautiful country of New Zealand. She was the second ship of the USSCo of New Zealand to carry the KAIMAI name.

She was similar in design to the M.V.NAVUA the M.V.KAIMAI was another soft nosed coaster. She was built to carry general cargo, timber, and coal and was mainly employed on the East Coast of New Zealand. Later she was fitted with shifting boards to enable her to carry grain on the coastal grain run.

The M.V.KAIMAI was sold on from the company in 1972 and was to continue her working life until she went for scrap at the ship graveyard of Gadani Beach in Pakistan in 1987.

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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