First purpose built steam fishing vessel?

21st September 2007, 18:31
Has anyone any idea what this could be. Am meaning one constructed as a fishing vessel, rather than a converted tug, etc.?

Gavin Gait
21st September 2007, 20:52

I think the info your looking for is in the comments Graham(Thumb)

21st September 2007, 21:10
doen't seem to be any agreement on a decision there!

22nd September 2007, 00:09
Graham, When I was searching through the Scotsman Archives I came across an arcticle on D Allen Shipbuilder, who were being credited with inventing the wooden screw steam trawler the first was launched in 1877 at their Leith yard and named Pioneer. On 29.03.1881 they launched Seaking from their Granton yard for William Gunn & Co Ltd Edinburgh,70ton ON 81694 90ft x 11ft 36hp engines by Hawthorns & Co Ltd Leith.In 1882 they launched a trawler Kingfisher from their Granton yard. ON 84904 92ft x 18ft 30hp engines by Ross & Duncan Glasgow.


22nd September 2007, 22:51
Thanks, Andy, has anyone any more details on Pioneer?

25th September 2007, 10:58
Pioneer - She was built for James sellers and others from Scarborough
regards chris

25th September 2007, 17:11
Yeah, wrong Pioneer unfotunately. That one was built by Shuttleworth of Hull in 1881. Its a wooden hulled one built 1877 at Granton that I'm looking for. Quite a common name in the past, Pioneer! Cheers for your posting!(Thumb) Edit, sorry, built at Leith, not Granton. The firm moved from LH to GN later!

28th September 2007, 22:05
I have come across Restless Wave GN 7 built D Allen Leith 1878 gross 116t net 18t 16 hp 2 cyl with one boiler Sunk 19.10.1889 May Island Firth of Forth

5th October 2007, 15:21
Going back to Pioneer, built by Allan of Granton in 1877, I have been told that was first registered as LH854, then was sold to Lerwick in 1880. Does anyone have any further info? Anyone from the Shetland Islands who can help out?
Thanks for the info on Restless Wave, aavh.(Thumb)

4th November 2007, 00:25
Hi Graham,
Just a few observations for you to ponder.

As you will know there where many of the sailing smacks which where converted to steam also the many carriers of the fleets pre 1875 where steam carriers and at times also commenced fishing. Although circa 1875 it was deemed too expensive to place steam in a fishing trawler, wherby the earnings of a cutter could cover the cost.

I think there are a number of questions and criteria to be asked on the subject and met before a diffinitive answer could be met to which was the first purpose built steam trawler.

If we take the Zodiac as a model, are we trying to find a vessel of similar construction prior to her build in 1881.

For example a vessel of similar size and made of iron , with screw propulsion, purpose built as a fishing trawler ect.

Holdsworth, states in deep-sea fishing and fishing boats 1874:

"It is yet a question wheather it will pay to apply steam to the actual trawlers; (note 1) but we had the opportunity in 1872 of observing in an experimental vessel the practical advatage gained by it`s use, both when fishing , and going to and returning from the fishing ground."

Note 1: A steam-cutter fish-carrying company have just began working from Great Yarmouth. It is intended to use their vessels either for trawling or carrying, as may be from time to time desirable.

So should we class this experimental vessel refered to as been the first steam trawler although we know nothing of her construction or if she was converted or purpose built / did she remain fishing. Again there are questions.

Regards Chris.