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 PORT TUDY - Yard No 506 - Motor Tanker - Soflumar - Built 1970

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PORT TUDY - Yard No 506 - Motor Tanker - Soflumar - Built 1970


PORT TUDY Ship No 506


 PORT TUDY as Ocean Challenger  
Owners    Soflumar
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Tanker Launched    25/01/1970
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall    101.7metres Launch Details    
Length B.P.    94metres Weather    
Beam    15.6metres Time to Water    
Depth Mld     8metres      
G.R.T.    3,060 tonnes      
Engines   Ruston 6A TCM
2 Engines – 600 RPM
Props    1      
Speed    14 Knots      
Other known names   1997-Ocean Challenger, 1994-Possidonia    
Current Status   Could still be in Nigeria somewhere.    
Content  on PORT TUDY will be added as and when available. 

The Tanker PORT TUDY re-named as Ocean Challenger

(photo credit unknown)


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 Tanker PORT TUDY was an order from Soflumar a French shipping company and she was initially to be used to carry wine from France to the British Isles.

The Tanker PORT TUDY was named after a small port on the French Island of Ile de Croix just off the coast of Lorient in the North West Atlantic coast of France.

She was the first ship built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb to the new European Metric system, which had been adopted by the then British Government to try and make us all more European? Perhaps it was the French connection that made them decide that this was a good time to change over the measuring system.

It was a huge change going from the Imperial measurement system of feet and inches to the new millimetres and metres.

It must have caused more than a few headaches' with the work force of the time.

She had 12 cargo tanks and that would be a heck of a lot of wine. In fact that's almost 6,000 cubic metres.

However the ship was built and launched using the new European measurements and she was duly handed over to her new owners.

It has been difficult finding out information on the PORT TUDY since she was sold to Nigerian shipping interests but thanks to our friends at we have been able to find out a little bit more about her.

The following was kindly sent to us from

According to the Equasis database, and its last update from October 19th 2011, the status of the ship Ocean Challenger is always “in service” and owned by Al-Dawood Shipping Lines of Lagos, Nigeria. This company has had in the past, problems with the Nigerian Navy that accused one of its ships, the Mahdi of diversions and illegal oil trafficking: in December 2003, the Mahdi was arrested along with the African Pride, a tanker that she was supposed to have delivered. The Mahdi was released at the beginning of 2005 but African Pride disappeared. There is some confusion in the Nigerian press that wrongfully makes the African Pride and Ocean Challenger the same ship. The Ocean Challenger was photographed in August 2004 in Lagos.  In April 2005, Al-Dawood attempted to sell for demolition 5 ships from its fleet: Ocean Challenger, Sea Pearl, Carolina, Great Atlantic, and Mahdi. According to Equasis, in June 2012, the Sea Pearl and the Ocean Challenger are still properties of the company. 




The photograph above is .  August 6th 2004, Ocean Challenger at Badagri Creek, Lagos (Nigeria) © Bjørn Poulsen



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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