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 TRIBENI - Yard No 493 - Survey Vessel - Commissioners for Port of Calcutta - Built 1965

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TRIBENI - Yard No 493 - Survey Vessel - Commissioners for Port of Calcutta - Built 1965


 SS TRIBENI Ship 493


 The flag of the Commisioners of the Port of Calcutta  
Owners    Commisioners for the Port of Calcutta
Registered    Calcutta Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Survey & Research Vessel Launched    30/06/1965
     Official No 1184 Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    175' 0" Weather    
Beam    35' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     17' 0"      
Draught    11' 11"      
G.R.T.    918      
DWT    307 Tonnes      
Engines    Steam - 2-Christiansen & Meyer Double Compound Engines producing 1450 IHP      
Props    2      
Speed    12 Knots      
Other known names        
Current Status   Broken up in 2003    

Content  on the S.S.TRIBENI will be added as and when available. 



The launch of the SS TRIBENI (Ship No 493)

(Photograph courtesy of the Loftsman collection)

In this photograph she is just about to take a 10 degree list to port which caused all kinds of squeeky bum times with the yard.

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.
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 survey and research vessel TRIBENI was one of the nicest looking ships built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb and she was also the final "Steam" powered Ship to be built and launched from a Leith Shipyard.

She was an order from the Port Commissioners of Calcutta, and although we have many photographs of her build on the stocks at Leith we do not have much information of her working life in and around the huge coastline of India. She was the first of the ships at Leith to be launched with a Coconut due to the religious aspects of her new owners she could not be launched with the traditional bottle of "Bubbly" so it was a coconut that seen her go into the water and it seems that her launch was not the smoothest neither as due to some mis-calculations she took a heavy list to port on entering the water and it was a very relieved engineering dept when she righted herself to around a 5 degree list.


SS TRIBENI would have made a very nice Mega yacht of today as they now call them.

It seems that towards the end of her career with the Port Commission she caused a few headaches with the pompous types to be found in these jobs who haggled over whether it was worth it in money terms to keep her going for another year.

And once it was eventually agreed by some committee or other the work was ordered to be carried out by a local Indian Shipyard and needless to say they well and truly screwed the work up to such an extent that she was only of use for 12 days out of her final year and at great cost of course. (Should have sent her back to Scotland to get fixed)

SS TRIBENI was eventually sent to be broken up in 2003 a sad end for such a beautiful looking ship. 

SS TRIBENI was a cracking looking ship, built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb she would not look out of place today as a large private yacht. She was launched in 1965 and is featured in the shipbuilding in Leith section where we follow her build and launch.



SS TRIBENI in the Forth of Firth

(Photo from the Loftsman collection)

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 #2 Bert Scott 2013-11-05 16:05
They did use a coconut instead of champagne at the Tribeni launch ceremony. I rememner there was a swastika outlined on the ship which was painted in prior to launch. Someboby told us that they used goats blood. Whether theris any truth in that remains to be seen. A strory that went round the yard regarding the list was that two welders had just been payed and were standing together at tyhat side of the ship.
0 #1 rab dignan 2011-03-06 11:39
I spoke to Tony Angelosanto,and he confirmed it was the tribini that was launched with a coconut, and the reason it went over at an alarming angle when launched, was that all the wooden deck planks were stowed on deck and shifted to the port side.Tony olso confirmed the story about the coconut having to be thrown into the water after the ship was launched,Tony also has some photos.Great site.All the best Rab.

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