puffers & vics




VIC 62


Builder I Pimblott  Northwich
Official Nr 168897
Yard Nr 660
Launched 15/5/1945
Delivered 6/1945
Length 80.5 ft
Beam 20 ft
Gross 147 tons
Deadweight 165 tons
Engine 2 Cyl Steam Compound (oil)

One of the new "Improved VICs", she was with the Navy at Plymouth and Milford Haven until 1947


Acquired by the Department of Industry's National Maritime Institute for use on research work. Their first worry on getting her was to establish that her fixed ballast of 44 rounds of 15 inch naval shells were in fact inert practice rounds!  In NMI's ownership she was re-engined* with a Kelvin diesel unit by Marine Services Ltd at Hythe and after further extensive refitting she was a regular sight around Southampton Water for many years. Her test instrumentation and data-recording equipment was housed in a standard 20ft shipping container which was lowered into her hold. One test she was engaged on was of a rudder fitted with a rotating cylinder on its leading edge. This allowed her rudder to be turned to a full 90 degres.and she was as a result able to turn in her own length at full-ahead. Paul Baker, who served on board VIC62 at this time, recalls that this tended to cause some confusion among other vessels and on one occasion led to a minor collision. The photo on the left below shows her in 1973 at Hythe during her time with the NMI.  

In June 1979 she was sold to Calcified Seaweed Company of Cornwall and used as a seaweed carrier and sand dredger. While she was in this role she was photographed below right at Truro in 1980.

In August 1986 she left the River Fal for the last time, on a voyage to the breakers yard at Millom in Cumbria. 

*her original 2 cylinder steam compound engine was estimated to date back to the 1920s and so is assumed to have been 2nd hand when fitted to her when she was built. It was donated to the Science Museum and as of December 2015 is believed to still be in their store at Wroughton, Swindon.


Photographs courtesy of the Roy Cressey Collection