Ulster Star

13th October 2004, 07:55
She was built by Harland & Wolff at Belfast hence the name.This was taken in Glasgow in 1965.

10th March 2005, 00:41
Vesteys Yacht

Bob S
25th May 2005, 18:52
ULSTER STAR seen in the King George V Dock, London.
Built 1959, 10413 tons.

26th May 2005, 07:41
Trying to read the Port of Registry on the stern - doesn't look like London, seems to end in "ST". Belfast??

julian anstis
26th May 2005, 09:06
It certainly looks like Belfast David...........but at sometime in her life she did carry a London registery from the photo's I have seen.

26th May 2005, 10:02
She was built by Harland & Wolff hence the name and carried a Belfast registry I believe for a short while as a Thank You to the yard and people of Belfast.

steve todd
11th June 2005, 23:09
Ulster Star alongside in BA's south dock in the 60's. Note she had a licac hull then.

Steve Todd

steve todd
12th June 2005, 09:20
Wasn't she called Vesteys yacht because the Lord was a passenger on her maiden voyage. I think she was skippered by Captain Houghton in her early days. I'm not sure but I sailed with him many times.

I remember Mad Mike McGuiness, one of the Ulster's notorious bosun's. The story had it that he once fell from her yard arm. Landing on top of a samson post he then rolled on to a lowered derrick topping lift wire. Drapped over it he slid down and rolled off the derrick head block onto the deck. He then got up and walk away unscathed.

A bit exaggerated I'm sure but the man was larger than life. Six foot odd of Hebridian pent up hostility, he was the archetypal 'Punch yer f#####g nose in' bosun. I sailed with him on the Tasmania Star. Everything was done at a hectic pace. He never let up until it was time to go ashore and get drunk - then the pace doubled. Leaving Sydney one time he had us flatten out and batten down for sea inside seventeen minutes. With seven hatches (plus a lazerite) and twenty seven derricks that took some doing. But, from Pearmont to just past the Bridge it was done without injury.

Years later I was told he fell overboard from a west coast boat - either the Columbia Star or Catalina Star, and met his demise.

They used to say that albatross are the souls of dead bosuns, well if so he became one hell of an angry big bird.


12th June 2005, 14:41
Excellent Blue Star Line site @www.bluestarline.org

Rob Randle
20th November 2005, 17:45
This is a great site, I've just discovered it, some excellent photos. I always thought the Dunedin Star was known as Vesty's yacht!I sailed in the following "Star boats" in the sixties, Hobart, Rockhampton, Newcastle, Canberra, Wellington and Caledonia Stars.

neil maclachlan
20th November 2005, 19:34
Hello Folks,
Talking about Blue Star Bosuns,do any of the Blue Star Fraternity remember a bosun by the name of MacNeil,he was a big burly guy who always got after the sailors about leaving holidays on their painting. Half the deck crew where MacNeils and hailed from the same island in the Hebrides (Barra) He seemed a nice guy to me,a lowly junior Engineer,and had a great accent,great memories.
Neil Mac.

Rob Randle
26th November 2005, 13:06
Some of the Bos'ns from the western Isles were certainly characters.I sailed with George Mackinnon for a short time in the Hobart Star.He was from Barra(I think) his son was an OS and out of 14 men in the sailors alleyway only 2 were not from Barra.A lot of them were related.Archie Mcgaskill (mad Mcgaskill) was Bos'n in the Wellington Star when I was in her, I seem to remember he joined the ship for a 5 month trip with all his gear in a couple of carrier bags.I remember him in a bos'ns chair painting down a mast stay using a wad (no brush) with black bitumastic paint.It only took him a few minutes & on reaching the deck he washed his hands in nitromors paint stripper and swilled them off under a deck hydrant.I heard he once insisted on being brought out of a hatch by holding on to the hook of the union purchase rigged on the derricks.Obligingly 2 AB's hoisted him up, swung him clear of the hatch turned the winches off and walked away leaving "Airchie" suspended 10 ft above the deck.The tale may be apocrophal but it conjours up a great image.

23rd December 2005, 04:19
The Ulster Star was my first ship as cadet in 1974. I joined in London and the Rio was my first port, a hell of an introduction to life at sea. The skipper was Tony Cheshire and the Mate was John Mackereth I can't remember any of the crowd, expect the chippy who was a red haired cockney who lived in Santos.

23rd December 2005, 17:29
Welcome igater to the site enjoy it and all it has to offer and a merry christmas to you.

26th January 2006, 17:21
She was definitely registered in London, i done my second trip to sea on her in 1979


26th January 2006, 21:10
She was built by Harland & Wolff hence the name and carried a Belfast registry I believe for a short while as a Thank You to the yard and people of Belfast.
Ahoy Paul,
Indeed your right, she was launched with P.o.R. Belfast, but soon changed into London

Rob Randle
12th February 2006, 16:22
Hi igater, do you know where John Macereth is now ? We were cadets together on the "conway" in the early sixties, his father was master with "Maggie Booths"John Joined Blue Star as cadet shotly after me in 1963 but I never met up with him since.

12th February 2006, 17:15
i remember auckland star 2 being called chunkys yatch he was chief eng

1st March 2006, 04:33
Sorry no idea where John Mackereth is now, after I left the ship I heard he had become master, but I left the company in 1979 and never heard any more.

28th August 2006, 21:38
Hi Ian,
I was the 3rd mate on that first trip of yours.... excellent trip if I remember rightly! I have tried to track down John Mackareth but had no luck.....he seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth!

Cap'n Pete
29th August 2006, 11:10
I also did my first trip on the Ulster Star, then registered in Belfast, with my joining in London in January 1968. Her master was Bill Askew who later went ashore as a ship manager in Liverpool before becoming Blue Star's man in Singapore.

I cannot remember the name of the mate, but I do recall he had huge cauliflower ears. He drank a lot and was a famous bulkhead bouncer - he's stumble along the alleyway bouncing off the bulkhead either side as he progressed. It was no good trying to squeeze past him.

I never returned to the Ulster Star after I signed off in December of the same year. However, I will always regard it as one of the happiest ships I ever sailed on and, not matter what people say about that long focs'le, also the most beautiful.

nick evans
28th February 2007, 13:47
Hi john i was on the ulster from 13.2.79_18.7.79 reg in london did you take her to scrap. nick.

1st May 2007, 17:01
Hi Nick I was only on her for a coastal trip 6/12/78 - 16/12/78

Starboard Light
3rd May 2007, 20:20
Hi john i was on the ulster from 13.2.79_18.7.79 reg in london did you take her to scrap. nick.

Hi Nick I was on the Ulster with you on her last trip and I took her to Kaosiung. I joined her in Southampton in Dec 77 as Blocker and left her Aug 16th 1979. We were stuck in a hotel for a week because there were no places on any flight's out. I have the crew list's for all the trip's I did on her, if you need any info. My email address is wk.greener@talktalk.net
Ginger Greener.

10th May 2007, 10:20
Re. Chunky's Yacht. Auckland Star.
This I believe in reference to Chief Engineer, Chunky Parkhill.
Blue Star reunion next weekend in Brisbane!!
Regards, Blueh.

7th May 2008, 17:29
Good evening ,

did anyone has to deal with its engines ? ...
Thanks !

Best regards.

24th May 2009, 01:31
I was on the Ulster on her last trip to Kaosiuhg. We joined her in Istanbul, sailed to Singapore were we had a collision dragging anchor in a typhoon. I belive 12 ships collided that night. We slowly steamed to Taiwan, It was like she didn't want to go there. It was a very sad moment when we ran her astern aground between two ships. The gangways both sides crunching against them and even a flare going off from one of the lifebuoys on the bridge wing. Very sad indeed. Hi to you Nick, I remember relieving you in Istanbul, we once sailed together on the Buenos Aires Star. A really good trip if I remember especialy in Santos. Those were the days hey.
Dave Sherriff AB

24th May 2009, 01:42
Im still using the crib board I took from her as a souvenir. Still can't believe it was 30 years ago.

Star Boat
9th June 2010, 22:46
Dave Sherriff and Shaggy
Names from the past, I sailed with you on the BA Star
Yes Santos!!!!!
All the best Terry

23rd September 2010, 10:47
Thats got to be Terry Vary.How you doing old shipmate? Yes, remember Santos really well, those were the days ha ha. Hope your keeping well and that life has been good to you. You still in the fire brigade?

2nd June 2013, 18:10
In July 1966 at the height of the Vietnam War the Ulster Star left the UK and sailed light ship to Greece where it picked up a cargo of frozen pork (road freighted down from Bulgaria) and spent 6 weeks unloading it in Saigon. It then returned all the way to the UK ... light ship. Wonder how much per tonne that pork cost to ship?

john blythe
14th January 2014, 23:38
I showed this thread to my father! And his coment was" She was one of happys and hards working ship he sailed on in his 12 years with Blue Star

31st May 2014, 10:23
Looking for pics ulstar star last voyage Ron g c/r/e

16th March 2016, 20:11
Hi, I was a steward on the Ulster Star in 68, joined her in Liverpool for a coastal the deep sea to Kiwi.

Paul Sibellas
16th August 2016, 21:01
I was AB on the Ulster Star 1970, voyage to South America. Strangely enough it never had a radar. It was said that Vesty thought hat a radar spoilt the appearance of the ship.

11th September 2016, 15:58
I was on the Ulster joined her in Southampton in Dec 77 as Blocker and left her Aug 16th 1979. Regards,
Ginger Greener.

Never heard of the term BLOCKER whilst with BSL. What was that?. I have come across the term 'block and block' but that obviously related to another matter. I coasted the Ulster alongside at Southampton and remember going up to the Mecca on the pier one weekday night as it was ' Grab a Granny Night' the ladies would have been in their 30's just recovering from a divorce. As I had learnt a few steps in ballrom dancing before going to sea I could not go wrong. They didn't mind dancing with a toy boy of 23.
Now that we are retired the wife and I are out 3 nights a week ballroom dancing and those 'grannies' are still dancing now.

Yes, as you get older what we used to do all night, takes all night to do.