T H Watermeyer

13th October 2004, 10:23
Another piece of artwork,too big for the scanner unfortunately.
TH WATERMEYER was built by Lobnitz at Renfrew in 1939 and was one of many Clyde built tugs for the South African Railways.As far as I know she worked all her life at Cape Town except for some War Service.She lasted until 1982 and was scrapped at Cape Town.

Ken Malcolm
13th October 2004, 19:37
Your details of Watermeyer are absolutely correct, she was one of the largest class of steam tugs built for SAR&H in the period 1943-54.

The class were all of around 2 600shp, with a free running speed of 11-13kn, all were originally coal-fired, due to the abundace of good quality local coal.

I shall dig into my books and provide the complete class history, but sadly, not one was preserved! The only two remaining examples are W H Fuller (1934) sunk off PE, and Otto Siedle (1938) sunk off False Bay, I don't think getting to them is half the fun !

Magic tugs, I recall many a day spent on board CF Kayser and T Eriksen in the seventies in Port Elizabeth.

13th October 2004, 22:10
Have a great liking for these tugs and was lucky enough to see FC STURROCK and JR MORE fitting out.

Ken Malcolm
16th October 2004, 12:16
Hello Fairfield,

Must have been great to be at Ferguson's back then. A friend of my father's, Bill Jackson, worked for Ferguson when the Bates and Campbell were built ('50-51), perhaps you know him?

16th October 2004, 20:59
No,afraid not.Just saw them on trips on QM II from Glasgow and from Gourock bound trains!

Ken Malcolm
23rd October 2004, 15:43
Hello Fairfield,

I spent many a weekend on QMll and Waverley back in the 60's!

23rd October 2004, 19:59
Both are still going strong-WAVERLEY sailing still and QM II is a pub/restaurant on the Thames Embankment.

Robin Stobbs
17th October 2005, 05:30
Hi Malcolm,

I also spent many hours on CF Kayser and am making a large (1/32 scale) model of her. I have dozens of B&W pics of most details - do you perhaps have any detail photographs? Regards, Robin Stobbs

Robin Stobbs
21st October 2005, 18:34
35 years ago I made a 1/32 scale radio-controlled working model of Sct. Knud (St. Canute in her Anglophile form!). In all this time all I have had to replace are the odd 6v battery, rebuild the gearbox and replace all her lights with up-to-date LED circuits! This tug has a fascinating history (which I won’t go into here) and, it seems, has become quite a popular radio-controlled scale working model, especially since Graupner turned out a kit which, incidentally, lacks scale in many aspects. I am most anxious to obtain the drawings published in (I think) ‘Ships Monthly’ and about 1966 to 1969. These drawings showed Sct. Knud as she probably was configured when acquired by the Fowey Harbour Commission in the mid-60s. Any readers have this or have any ideas?? Failing that – any readers have authentic general arrangements drawings of her?

Next query: I am busy on a 1/32 scale model of C.F. Kayser, one of the twin screw harbour tugs based in Port Elizabeth (South Africa) and built by Lobnitz in Renfrew. This is a huge model with a displacement of around 42kg! Back in the ‘60s I took a number of photographs of CFK with the idea of using these detail pics to make a super-scale model. Now I realise that I really need many more pics and wonder if any readers have some they would care to share. CFK as I knew her in the 60s differs considerably from the original drawings – more so than her sister ship ‘Eriksen’.

Last query! My next project – simply because I have her drawings ex South African Railways and Harbours – is to be the ‘William Weller’ which I intend making to 1/32 scale as well and as per her configuration when she left Italy. This is not because Weller was anything special (she was soooo underpowered that on one occasion when detailed to go to Mossel Bay in the face of a strong south-wester, she had to turn back to PE having made no headway in some hours ‘flat-out’ steaming!) but simply because she looks attractive and will be a darn sight more portable than CFK! Anyone have pics of her, or her sister ships?

Regards and thanks for a great website, Robin

29th November 2005, 18:34
I have a 1/48 radio controlled model of the J.R.More the original of which is preserved in our local Maritime Museum.Iwill post pictures shortly.
For what it's worth I also have a complete set of plans (1/48 scale)fo these fine ships if anyone locally is interested.
Roy Lorentz

29th November 2005, 20:15
I have a complete set of model plans of above.

17th February 2006, 13:50
Hello Robin, I would like to build radio controlled models of F Schermbrucker and Cecil G White. I was wondering where I could get copies of the lines drawings and general arrangements? I don´t live in SA anymore so it is proving to be quite difficult.

15th June 2006, 12:52
The attached pic of E S Steytler taken in East London on 30th August 1978 may help some of you modelmakers !



the yard
15th July 2006, 22:44
According to my records the TH Watermeyer was built by Pointhouse Yard, Glasgow, of A.&J. Inglis with a Harland and Wolff ship number 1021.

Yard No. 1021
Vessel Type Tug
Built Pointhouse Yard, Glasgow, of A.&J. Inglis
Launch Date Thursday 6 July 1939
Slip Number 2
Handover Date Wednesday 1 November 1939
Owner South African Government
Weight 620 grt
BP Length 145 Feet
OA Length 155 Feet
Breath 33 Feet
No. of Screws Twin
Speed (Approx.) 12 Knots
Propulsion Lobnitz & Company Ltd. Renfrew - Triple Expansion 6 cylinders

Robin Stobbs
24th December 2006, 04:26
Hello Robin, I would like to build radio controlled models of F Schermbrucker and Cecil G White. I was wondering where I could get copies of the lines drawings and general arrangements? I don´t live in SA anymore so it is proving to be quite difficult.

I obtained my drawings of C.F. Kayser and William Weller from the SAR&H headquarters back in the mid-60s. I'll see if I can track down where similar drawings can be obtained from Portnet though, as I'm sure you understand, "Fings aint wot they used to be!"

29th December 2006, 02:32
That would be fantastic, Robin any help with this is greatly appreciated.

I have made a small website with my pictures of the S A steam tugs if you are interested it is at:

27th August 2007, 16:24
Hi Roy,Ballito here,
I understand you have drawings of the JR More,would be interested to see them Thanks

10th September 2007, 19:02
Have sent a direct email in this regard.You a welcome to view the plans and then decide if they are suitable for your purpose.

5th May 2014, 13:44
To anyone interested in building these steam tugs, I have almost all the builders' drawings of each one of them. And don't believe all the details you read about them, especially in David Reynolds's book: he can't tell length overall from length between perpendiculars. Even Lloyds always quotes them at 6 cylinder triple expansion when what they really mean is twin 3 cylinder triple expansion engines.
All of them, except the White, and the big ones - McEwen & Hoy - had exactly the same engines, a pair, 17", 29" & 48" by 30" stroke. The horsepowers from the trial diagrams are: LW 2377 iHp, SDH 2318 iHp, TSMcE 3300 iHp, SWH 3577 iHp, CFK 3193 iHp, TE 3285 iHp, FS 3393 iHp, JXM 3250 iHp, OS 3259 iHp, ESS 3220 iHp, THW 3251 iHp, JDW 2960 iHp, FTB 3066 iHp, AMC 3246 iHp, RBW 2796 iHp, DH 3096 iHp, FCS 3269 iHp & JRM 3110 iHp.
Hope this is of help.