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 PATEENA - Yard No 464 - Diesel Cargo Vessel - Union Steamship Co N.Zealand - Built 1958

Leith Shipyards

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PATEENA - Yard No 464 - Diesel Cargo Vessel - Union Steamship Co N.Zealand - Built 1958


 The M.V.PATEENA (Ship No 464)  
Owners    Union Steamship Company Ltd (Australia) 
Registered    Tasmania Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Cargo Ship Launched    07/11/1958
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall    268' 5" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    250' 0" Weather    
Beam    43' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     17' 6"      
G.R.T.    2099      
DWT    3280      
Engines    5 cylinder Sultzer 1500bhp by G. Clark & N.E. Marine Ltd Sunderland      
Props    1      
Speed    10 knots      
Other known names   1975-Maldive Republic    
Current Status    Broken up at Gadani beach 1983    

M.V.PATEENA named after a town in Tasmania

You can click for more on the town of Pateena and see what the weather is like


Content on will be added as and when available. 


M.V.PATEENA (Ship No 464) Seen here entering Sydney Harbour 1970

(Photograph from L.Butterfields Collection)


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.PATEENA was yet another in the long line of ships built by the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb for one of there most important customers, the Union Steam Ship Co Ltd. She was a sister ship to the M.V.POOLTA (Ship No 465)

The M.V.PATEENA was destined for the Australian branch of the Company and was designed and built for the trans-Tasman route from New South Wales down to Tasmania.

She was a fine looking little ship unpretentious (A working ship) and built very well.

It is by some misfortune that these fine little ships were now very quickly being replaced by the new containerisation revolution which really was to change the world that we live in (at least in the West)

The use on these traditional routes-old and new- was to change to the new Ro-Ro vessels, you know the ones with the long open deck and the box like bridge structure stuck on the aft end.

So it was that within a couple of years of being built this type of ship on this type of run was almost obsolete, such was the pace of change in shipping.

Still the M.V.PATEENA was to serve with the USSCo Ltd for 17 years before being sold on to Maldives Shipping Ltd, in 1976 a company who knew a good ship when they seen one, she was re-named Maldive Republic and was to serve them well for a further 7 years before inevitably ending up at the shipyard graveyard of Gadani Beach.

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.



The M.V.PATEENA dockside

(photo 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.

As told by L.Butterfield,

To emphasis the fact that the skill levels of workmanship in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb were amongst the very best in the industry.

Myself I sailed on later vessels of USSCo., built by Henry Robb and they were all extremely well finished off accommodation wise - a higher finish than Alexander Stephens of Linthouse . The Caledon built 'N' class of Union Company were similarly finished off like henry Robbs vessels. Today 'Golden Bay', visits the Port of Napier where I live and is a fine vessel also from Robb.
As a youngster living in Lyttelton my favourite coaster was the m.v.KOPARA of Richardson and Co., Napier a solid / sturdy little vessel which lasted many years also built by Henry Robb.

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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+1 #1 Kevin Harrison 2013-12-12 08:48
Hi, I also sailed on M.V.Pateena in 1965, we were mostly on the Port Huon (Tasmania)to Sydney (N.S.W.) run with pelletised paper pulp. She was a good ship to sail on as well.Harry Mork was the bosun and the third mate was a good bloke too, had a couple of runs ashore with him but his name escapes me at this time of life. What a great ship, as were all of Union Company ships I sailed on in Australia.

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