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 LIGAR BAY - Yard No 488 - Bulk Cement Carrier - Tarakohe shipping Co Ltd - Built 1964

Leith Shipyards

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LIGAR BAY - Yard No 488 - Bulk Cement Carrier - Tarakohe shipping Co Ltd - Built 1964
LIGAR BAY Ship No 488
Owners    Tarakohe Shipping Co Ltd
Registered    London Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Self Dis-Charging Cement Carrier Launched    10/10/1964
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    210' 0" Weather    
Beam    38' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     16' 0"      
G.R.T.    1,330 tonnes      
Engines   Diesel Electric powered by 2 English Electric 8RK Mk1 Engines.      
Props    2      
Speed    11 knots      
Other known names        
Current Status    Deleted 1996    
Content  on The DEV LIGAR BAY will be added as and when available. 
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.
LIGARBAY was the third self discharging cement carrier built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb for the New Zealand market.
She was ordered by the Tarakohe Shipping Co Ltd, for use on the New Zealand coastal service, shipping bulk cement.
This twin screw cement carrier although similar looking to her predecessor vessels GOLDEN BAY and JOHN WILSON, she was by all accounts no where near as good a sea keeping vessel as them.
Her regular ports of call were Wellington, Wanganui, New Plymouth, Raglan and Picton with cement loaded at Tarakohe in GoldenBay.
Transferred back to the parent company of Blue Circle Industries Ltd, of London in 1979 she continued to ship cement around the coast for another 6 years before being replaced by Golden Bay II
LIGAR BAY was sold back to the Blue Circle Cement Company in 1979 and she returned to the U.K.
where she was used to run cement and drill mud on the Coast of the British Isles and she was also used by the North Sea drilling rigs before then being sold on to West Indies Cement Carriers and was to work around the Carribean islands for a couple of years before being sold on again to Seaward Shipping & Dredging Ltd of the Caymen Islands and she traded around from Porto Rico and Venezuela to Antigua.
She was then used as a storage vessel in Antigua until eventually being purchased by an Antiguan owner and she was blown ashore in 1989 by a hurricane and was not re-floated until 1992.
She was to be grounded again in 1995 by another hurricane in ParhamHarbour, Antigua and was deleted from Lloyds register in 1996.
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.
As told by Tony Skilton who sailed on all the cement carriers built in Leith and also on the new GOLDEN BAY II which was built in Dundee at the then sister shipyard of the then titled Robb Caledon Shipbuilders)
DEV LIGAR BAY the rolliest and most violent one of them all.
In the mid 1970's, whilst passing through the Terawiti Rip enroute Tarakohe in ballast, she rolled, then snapped back so fast that the top 8 feet of the foremast snapped off, and with the radio aerial, was never seen again!
In the very early '70's whilst entering Wanganui, a hard-a-port helm order was given but the bosun put her to stbd - she ran upon the rocks of the south mole and opened up No.s 1, 2, 3, and 4 stbd ballast tanks. When eventually she was taken back to Wellington with the stbd bulwarks awash (which they were most of the time at sea anyway, both sides), she was gently nursed into the Jubilee floating dock and stayed there for the next 3 months while her bottom was rebuilt.
One trip south from Raglan in 1977, we headed direct to Wellington empty. Copped a real hiding on the way, and the porcelain hand basins in the 3rd & 4th engineer's cabins were shattered with the continual thumping of the waves on the stbd side of our cabins. We were left with just the pipework sticking up where the basins used to be. The chief steward's (Jack Hasset from the Hutt Valley) cabin, and the 3 engineer's cabins on that side were all soaking wet - the outer bulkhead was deformed from the pounding and the porthole frames let the water in.
Diesel electric propulsion, with two English Electric 8RK Mk1 engines - in nice weather you could shut one engine down and run both props on the remaining generator and still have full manoeuverability, albeit with much less power available. Like the rest of the self-discharging Golden Bay ships, once you reached port, one main engine and generator set was kept running, but the output was reconnected to supply the power for the cargo discharge machinery in the pump room. She also had 2 V4 Paxman generators that were a real pain in the butt!
Funny thing - the ship was all Direct Current electrics (as was the original Golden Bay, and the John Wilson) for the propulsion systems and the domestics. When little 14" B&W portable television sets became all the rage, crew members would bring their new TV down, set it up in their cabin, then plug it in. PPPoooff! Sorry. Alternating current TV's from ashore don't like DC current from ship's systems. The ship had two little motor-generator converter sets on the flat just inside the engine room door - noisy little things - when the ship was on A.C. shore power, these units were driven by Ac power, but the attached generators produced 220V DC for the domestic systems.
I've still got the woven log line from this ship down in my basement - made a very handy and reliable set of rope blocks up, and this log line was perfect for the job.
If we (the engineer's) had had a major breakdown to contend with in the pumproom our overalls would become thick with cement. The trick was to get the log line and put it through one sleeve of your overalls and out the other, tie both ends of the line to something on the poop, then throw the overalls overboard to get washed in the wake. One night, Bill Brodie, the mate, stopped and anchored the ship without giving us a call first - the result was a couple of pairs of lost overalls.
Note the blue band around the funnel in the photo above - the ship was financed by Blue Circle Cement of London, who were the major shareholders in Golden Bay Cement in those days (until 1989), and in the colour photograph at the top of the page, the port of Registry on the stern is London, which shows the photo was taken between 1979 & May 1985.
Another little point - after the ship's specifications were drawn up, very late in the piece someone decided to lop 35 feet off the overall length to allow for more clearance when turning in tight spaces - hence the very blunt bow, which would slam into every wave and virtually stop the ship. She was also a pig to steer (been there, done that), as the horsepower was not great, and the single rudder was NOT very close to the props longitudinally, so therefore did not get much water flow over it.
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.
Please see page 2 for many more photographs of the LIGAR BAY sent in by Emmanuel Makarios who sailed on her as well. 
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0 #2 Tony Watson-Paul 2013-02-23 07:34
Hi Emmanuel Myself and my twin brother both served on the Ligar Bay in the late 60s to early seventies The skipper was George Allen most of the time with Graham Smith as Chief engineer Bob Prouse was 2nd Eng.The unforgettable Jack Hasset was Chief steward. We were both junior engineers not long out of our time and what a great job it was, some hilarious nights playing poker. We only sailed on the ship once at the same time much to the confusion of Jack Hasset What memories I remember the night we hit the Mole in Wanganui I was on watch what a noise
0 #1 Emmanuel Makarios 2012-05-15 05:03
Hi I served on the ship and have photos of the LIGAR BAY in my collection which maybe of interest for the site.Not sure how I go about posting them.

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