built by Fleming & Ferguson Paisley,
Yard No 194
Propulsion: steam, quadruple exansion, 196 nhp
Launched: Tuesday, 19/06/1894
Ship Type: Lighthouse Supply Vessel
Tonnage: 674 grt
Length: 180 feet
Breadth: 31 feet
Canadian Government, Ottawa
Status: Wrecked - 13/10/1923
Web site: http://www.ccg-gcc.gc.ca/usque-ad-mare/chapter08-05_e.htm
Another of the Paisley ships, selected as one of many, was the Aberdeen, long remembered on the Atlantic coast. When tenders were invited by the Department in 1893 for a vessel:
". . . for conveying lighthouse supplies and lifting and placing heavy automatic buoys and, when required, to be used in the Fisheries protection service . . ."
The intention was to produce something faster than the Quadra. With commendable economy, but some lack of realism, the original enquiry had envisaged use of the boilers and machinery recently salved from the wreck of the Napoleon. This old compound, it will be remembered, already second hand when placed in the Napoleon, was by now out of date and the Aberdeen was built with watertube boilers and a quadruple expansion engine of the latest type.
The Aberdeen was fitted with good subdivision and double bottoms and was up to date for the period, having electric light, steam steering gear and ash hoists. Nor was the accommodation below the high standards which had by then become traditional in Canadian Government ships. It is recorded that:
". . . the after cabin is handsomely fitted in birds eye maple and mahogany . . ."
Captain McElhinney, who later was to survey the old Druid, was sent to Scotland to take delivery of the new ship, accompanied by a staff of mates and engineers. The Aberdeen achieved her contract speed of thirteen knots, and a photograph of the time shows her belting along in fine style, the ship dressed overall with signal flags; as with all hand fired coal burners, smoke was a fact of life and the ensign at the peak is blotted out with gritty black clouds as she fires up to enter the Skelmorlie measured mile at maximum speed. Like all single screw ships of the period she was fitted with fore and aft canvas for emergency use, a style of rigging which was discarded in the opening years of the present century. The canvas gear looked smart, in an old fashioned sort of way, and great care was expended on having a neat stow but it was difficult to protect the sails from damage caused by red hot cinders.
The Aberdeen commenced her service on the Atlantic coast but was later transferred to the Quebec agency where, under Captain Belanger, she served the light stations and buoys of the Gulf. In 1904 it was decided to fit her with Thorneycroft Marshall boilers and she started for Toronto where the work was to be carried out during the winter months. Caught in the ice at Soulanges, she was forced to winter there before undergoing refit the following spring.
The Aberdeen then returned to the Atlantic coast where, like so many of our earlier ships, she came to an untimely end; on October 13, 1923 the Aberdeen stranded on Seal Island, N.S. and became a total loss.
The Paisley ships had a style of their own and many of them, such as the Lady Laurier, Champlain, Montcalm and the second Druid, became firm favourites, remembered to this day. The Lady Laurier was the last of the Paisley ships to have a clipper style bow, in her case necessitated by the need for cable sheaves.
Rebuilt with new deckhouse and larger holds in 1900.
Wrecked on Black Ledge, Seal Island NB
Previous update by Bruce Biddulph
Previous update by George Robinson
Last updated: by David Asprey from the original records by Stuart Cameron
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