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 HMS POCHARD - Yard No 514 - Boom Defence Vessel - M.O.D. (Navy) - Built 1973

Leith Shipyards

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HMS POCHARD - Yard No 514 - Boom Defence Vessel - M.O.D. (Navy) - Built 1973




Owners    MoD (Navy)
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Boom Defence Vessel Launched    21/06/1973
      Commissioned    11/12/1973
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    48.8 metres Weather    
Beam    12.2 metres Time to Water    
Depth Mld     5.5 metres      
Draught    3.35 metres      
G.R.T.    923 tonnes      
Compliment     58 Officers and Men      
Engines    English Electric Paxman type16 RPHM  turbocharged diesel producing 660 Bhp      
Props    1 Stack & Parr 3 blade c-p-type      
Speed    10 knots      
Other known names    N/A    
Current Status    Believed to have been broken up for scrap    

Content on RMAS POCHARD 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, in the case of a ship for the Royal Navy, she would also have to go through her commissioning trials before being excepted in to the senior service.

RMAS POCHARD (A165) was part of the same order from the Admiralty which saw HMS HERALD built at the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon (Henry Robb)

She was a Mooring and Salvage/Boom Defence vessel of the "Wild Duck Class" and she was built at the same time as her sister ship "Goosander" with both ships being built on the same slipway. As she was an order for the MoD (Navy) her build was carried out in the Imperial measurement system as the Navy had not changed to the metric system which had came into effect in the U.K. in 1970.

As part of the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service she was to be based in her home port of Portsmouth, this capable little ship was designed and built to fulfil many different roles in peace time and in War a real working ship.

With her two "Bow Horns" she was capable of raising 400 tons from the seabed over her bows.

With a crew of 58 RMAS POCHARD was designed and built to serve a particular purpose and her role was multi layered as she was a Salvage vessel as well as being a Boom Defence vessel and also a Net Layer for anti-submarine work.



RMAS POCHARD was laid up for some time before being sold on by the MoD as surplus to requirements.


The Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service used to form the major part of the Marine Services organisation which existed to support the Royal Navy. It was a branch of the Ministry of Defence (Naval).

It provided a versatile, flexible and cost effective service which included harbour tugs and pilots to assist ships of the Fleet when berthing and un-berthing; delivering fuel, water and victualling stores with purpose built vessels and craft to ships in harbour; transporting ammunition; ferrying personnel to and from ships at anchor or secured to buoys, and providing specially designed vessels for other tasks such as moorings and salvage, torpedo recovery , underwater research and development and degaussing.

All RMAS vessels had a buff coloured superstructure and black hulls with an all round white riband at deck level.

For more on the RMAS


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.



RMAS POCHARD shown her in the above photograph kindly sent into the website from the RMAS Association and shown here with permission


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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+1 #1 HUGH FORSYTHE 2013-03-07 13:38
I spent 12 really good years aboard Pochard, and have many good tales time aboard this hard working ship We all worked hard and also played hard too met some real caracters on the Pochard aye they were the good times:)

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