puffers & vics


Cretan (1)     Na Kiel


Builder J J Hay Kirkintilloch
Official Nr 129474
Yard Nr
Launched 1910
Length 66.5 ft
Beam 18 ft
Gross 92 tons
Nett 39 tons
Engine 2 cyl steam compound

Built for their own fleet by J & J Hay, Cretan saw wartime service with the Admiralty in the Cromarty Firth.  She sank in 1939 in Loch Na Keal off Mull, as reported by the "Oban Times" of the 14th January that year:

"The steam lighter CRETAN was driven ashore at the rocky headland Rudh na Dobhrain in Loch na Keal to the west of Mull in the early hours of last Saturday morning. The boat was on her way to Inchkenneth, having been specially chartered to proceed from Glasgow to remove the furniture and effects of the late Lady Boulton. Lady Boulton died in Oban in October last, and was the widow of Sir Harold Boulton, the composer of the Skye Boat Song. When the CRETAN had reached Loch na Keal a blizzard was blowing, and as a precaution, the boat was anchored. The weather got worse, however, and she dragged her anchor and was driven on the rocks. Captain Macilwaine and the crew, with difficulty got ashore in their boat and obtained shelter at a farmhouse. The CRETAN is still on the rocks and so badly damaged that it is feared she will become a total wreck. The crew of four arrived at Oban on Tuesday by the Lochinvar on their way back to Glasgow.
The CRETAN is 39 tons register, and the owners are Messrs. Hay & Sons, Glasgow."

That was not to be the end of her though and she was later sold "as is" to Elizabeth Hardie & Daniel McNeil of Greenock who salvaged her and returned her to service re-named "Na Kiel".

She was scrapped in 1951. 

The photograph below left shows her in Loch A Choire at Kingairloch. Although undated, the appearance of the party on the slipway suggests the 1920s or 30s.

The photograph below right is of her in 1950. Note the open helmsman's position. Still no shelter for him even as late as then.

Photograph courtesy of the Graham Lappin collection

The photograph below is from the Dan McDonald collection courtesy of the Ballast Trust and is reproduced under a Creative Commons license