puffers & vics


Skylight (3)          Sitka


Builder Ferguson, Port Glasgow
Official Nr 164752
Yard Nr
Launched 14/1/1936
Length 66.8 ft
Beam 18.4 ft
Gross 91 tons
Engine 2 cyl steam compound

Built for the Light Shipping Co. as the third of their vessels to bear this name. Sold on in 1967 to Alex Mair, a timber merchant at Troon and renamed "Sitka". In 1968 she was registered to Thomas Mair and the next year she was re-engined, with one of the two oil engines removed from the "Halcyon" which had just been broken up at Troon. In 1977 she was bought by C & A Mackenzie of Gourock.

She was later moved to Adams slip at Gourock where the hull looks to have been surveyed; there was a suggestion that she be cut up to use as a template for a reconstruction but this clearly never happened. Subsequently she was purchased for 1 by Inverclyde Initiative with the intent of restorsation and she was moved to Lamont's former drydock at Greenock where she lay into the 90s . It is believed that she met her end courtesy of the cutting torch at the old Lithgows Shed at Port Glasgow.  

The upper photograph is of her at Dunoon and is dated 12th September 1957 (Is that the "Duchess of Hamilton's" bow at bottom right and could that be the "Cowal" in the distance on her way to Gourock?). The photograph bottom left is undated but shows her in the Clyde before her reincarnation as "Vital Spark" for her role in the filming of the BBC TV series in 1973-4, This acting role was her swansong and her dilapidated state in the photograph on the right taken at Bowling in 1979 shows "Sitka" clearly visible underneath "Vital Spark".

Photograph courtesy of Bruce McCartney

Photograph courtesy of the Roy Cressey Collection

Photograph courtesy of the Roy Cressey Collection