The Loftsman
Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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Home Ramage and Ferguson Shipbuilders 1878 to 1931 MERCATOR Yard No 269 Ramage-Ferguson

Leith Shipyards

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MERCATOR Yard No 269 Ramage-Ferguson
MERCATOR 3 masted Barque
Owners   Belgian Navy
Registered    Ostend Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    3 Masted Sail Trainning Barque Launched    9th Dec 1931
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.     Weather    
Beam     Time to Water    
Depth Moulded            
G.R.T.    770 tons      
Props    1      
Speed    9 knots      
Other known names        
Current Status   Now berthed at Ostende as a Exhibition Ship    

Content on MERCATOR will be added as and when available. 


Ships History
Another classic vessel built at the Leith Shipyards of Ramage & Fergusons Shipbuilders, and she would prove to be the final vessel launched from the yard as Ramage & Ferguson were soon to be taken over by Henry Robb Shipbuilders. 
We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.
Square Rigger Days

Square Rigger Days

There are few books that describe accurately life on board sailing ships in the last days of sail, from the 1860s to the First World War; the romantic image conjured up by many who wrote from a safe distance belies the harsh realities which were a sailorman's lot. Domville-Fife, in collecting together the personal stories of seamen while they were still alive, was able to present a truer picture of the tough last days of sail. Long voyages on board nineteenth-century sailing ships were marked by isolation, boredom, and miserable living conditions that taxed the endurance of men already hard pressed by the gruelling and dangerous nature of shipboard work. While some were attracted to a life of adventure most simply went to sea for a living, and a meagre one at that. They experienced neither the excitement of life on the crack clippers of the earlier decades nor the safety of the steamships; they were caught in the limbo of a dying profession where poor pay, discontinuous employment, prolonged isolation from family and physical hardship were the norm. No wonder that murder, mutiny, starvation and shipwreck appear in the memoirs gathered here. Domville-Fife surely did future generations a great service by piecing together this reality. First published in 1938, these memoirs are now available again in this superbly presented new edition with a new selection of stunning photographs and a fascinating introduction on life at sea in the dying world of sail. A wonderful read for all enthusiasts and historians of the merchant service in the days of sail.

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