puffers & vics




VIC 96


Builder Dunstons Thorne
Official Nr 180442
Yard Nr 578
Launched 24/4./1945
Delivered 7/1945
Length 80.5 ft
Beam 20 ft
Gross 147 tons
Deadweight 165 tons
Engine 2 Cyl Steam Compound

From delivery, VIC96 appears to have served with the Admiralty at Sheerness in Kent carrying a variety of stores for naval vessels. In 1949 she was renamed C.668. After a refit at Lowestoft in 1956 she continued in service at Sheerness until 1959 when the naval dockyard there closed and she was transferred to Chatham.

In 1960 she collided with the SS Durango and was repaired by Harland and Wolff in London. She returned to service at Chatham and remained there until put her up for disaposal in 1972.


In 1972 she was acquired by an M Fielding of Dublin and later re-sold to unknown buyers back in the UK after which she was laid up for several years in areas of London Docks. During that time she remained essentially sound but was badly vandalised .

In 1981 she was sold again and steamed to Newcastle, then north and west through the Caledonian Canal before ariving at the Maryport Steamship Museum in Cumbria.

Twenty five years later she was in a deteriorated condition and in danger of sinking at her moorings when she was saved by the "VIC 96 Trust". After extensive work to restore her to a seaworthy condition, the trust steamed her from Maryport to her new berth in the No 1 basin at  Chatham Dockyard in Kent, England, in the summer of 2009. The voyage, under the command of skipper Derek Gransden, took them north and through the Caledonian Canal before the long haul down the east coast..  VIC96 is now very much a working exhibit at Chatham..

The photograph below shows her in Armiralty service as C.668


photograph by courtesy of George Robinson