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You will find this website to be an amalgamation of my old Leith Shipyards website and the brand new website featuring my writing projects.


This website also features a new idea to produce Ship Scrolls for anyone who may have sailed or served on a ship built at Leith.

The new website will also feature a Shipyard Shop for all kind of mementos and memorabilia on ships and the sea. The Shop will be opening soon so keep checking back to see what’s happening with the shipyard shop on theloftsman website.


The website will also feature the many training opportunities that we can now offer through The Loftsman and our trusted training partners.

Be sure to visit the ships Photo pages, here you will find an ongoing library of both old and new ships photographs.


So take your time and have a good look around, if you are interested in ships and the sea, then you are in the right place. Remember this is also your website.

Leith-built Ships Vol 1 Cover.JPG

Leith-Built Ships

Vol. I, They Once Were Shipbuilders


  • The first in a series about the almost - forgotten part played by Leith in our truly great maritime heritage.

  • A history of the ships built at Leith from c. 1850 until the end of World War I.

  • Features the shipyards that eventually became the Henry Robb Shipyard including S & H Morton, Ramage & Ferguson, Cran & Somerville and Hawthorns & Co.

  • Includes famous ships with tales of adventure and new trade routes written by a proud shipbuilder, still active in shipbuilding and well qualified to tell the story.

The Mountbatten Award for Best Book



This website will be about ships and the sea, featuring some of my own books and a short history of the shipyard I started out my working life in.

We shall also feature a new idea which should interest anyone who had someone, perhaps a relative who sailed or served on any of the ships built at Leith. In time this will expand to include anyone who sailed or served on a U.K. built vessel.

With a wealth of maritime experience behind us we can also undertake commissions for research or the design and Lofting of vessels both old or new.

So please take your time to look around as there will be a lot of information to be found in regards to all things about ships and the Sea. 

If you have any stories or photographs of the Leith Shipyards, then please send them into

Comments are most welcome as well.

The wait is over. The first in the series on the Ships Built at Leith is now out and can be found at most good bookshops or from Whittles Publishing

Also from

Leith-built Ships Vol 1 Cover.JPG

The wait is over. The Second in the series on the Ships Built at Leith is now out. Leith Shipyards (1918 to 1939) can be found at most good bookshops or from Whittles Publishing.

Leith-built Ships Vol 2 cover.jpg

The third in the series on Ships Built at Leith, is now scheduled to be published in June 2022. Henry Robb Ltd, (1945 to 1965) Covers a very busy and interesting time for the shipbuilders of Leith, near Edinburgh. The new Volume III can be pre-ordered from Whittles Publishing.


Leith-built Ships Vol 3 .jpg

Out now and can be purchased from Whittles Publishing also from Amazon

Leith-built Ships Vol 4 cover.jpg

Leith Built Ships, Volume - IV

Very pleased to be able to tell you all, that Leith Built Ships, Volume-IV Robb Caledon (Leith Division) 1965 to 1984 Is now in production and we have a brand-new cover for the book.

This is an awesome image of the huge ocean-going salvage tug Wolraad Woltemade seen in dry dock in Singapore, as she was having some work done. Her bulbous bow clearly seen and pleased to say that I produced the templates for the stem bar. This was in the days when the Platers and Shipwrights under the direction of the Loft made stuff like this look easy.

Ship No 516 was launched at Leith in April 1976 she was the largest and most powerful salvage tug of her day. This great image is one of many sent to me by Kit Cooper, 2nd Engineer on her at the time.

Now available to Pre-Order from Whittles Publishing 

We are Sailing.jpg

Sometimes writing a book can seem like the mariner above, swamped at times but always rising back up to continue.

I'm 2/3rds of the way through my exciting maritime adventure trilogy, so please keep checking back to see progress. I shall also keep updating my progress with my writing through the Blog on this website. Very pleased to be able to tell you that the first of my novels Fight or Flight has now been released on Amazon kindle. You can now, also purchase the 2nd book in the series to continue following the adventures of Davy Stuart.


Fight or Flight_Book_COVER.jpg

Happy to say that you can now purchase my novel as a paperback on Amazon.

Happy to say that you can now purchase my novel as a Kindle if you prefer on Amazon.


Pleased to say that you can now purchase my Second novel in the series as a paperback on Amazon.

Happy to say that you can now purchase my novel as a Kindle if you prefer on Amazon.

Happy to say that you can now purchase my novel world-wide on Amazon in all formats.


Scot-II, Ice breaking tug built as ship No 184, launched in 1931. Whatever happened to the project to try and restore her?

Delighted to be able to tell you that the work to try and save Scot II is now back on, they had some difficulties what with covid and everything else that the world is throwing around. We have been told that the work is to resume, lets hope that this is not yet another false dawn! As this famous old vessel should be saved, so far I have had no news on this happening, perhaps someone out there can shed some light on the subject? She should be back on the Caledonian Canal allowing passengers to enjoy her once more.


A fine model of Scott II has now been made and we shall also have some video of her doing trials on the Blog very soon.

Keep checking back to see what progress is happening with Scot II

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