Current / Last Route
David MacBrayne Ltd.
Test engines for lifeboat of No. 534 (RMS QUEEN MARY.)
Hoist & Lifts:
Sorry, Not Compiled Yet.
Little is known of this small craft, though she was the first vessel acquired for the newly created Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd. She was also one of the shortest-serving vessels ever to sail with the fleet, not least due to her venerable age – she had been built in 1904, and was successively ELIZABETH OF BUCKHAVEN and the SHONA. Bought in March 1973 from Mr W R Ritchie of Gourock, SHONA was renamed TIGER (it may have been someone's idea of a joke) and added to the fleet of “red boats” on the short Fionnphort-Iona crossing, Unusually, her new name was painted in Gothic lettering.
Early in 1975 the TIGER was found to be unfit for further service and was put up for sale at Timbacraft's yard at Shandon on the Gareloch. Nothing seems to be recorded of her final fate and her effective replacement at Iona was the STAFFIN (VII), acquired in May 1975.
Graham Langmuir records in West Highland Steamers one detail that grants this humble little launch a hint of majesty; TIGER's machinery was originally the test-engine built for the lifeboats destined for “No 534”, the gargantuan liner built in the mid1930s at John Brown's yard at Clydebank, and whose construction occasioned an entire programme of special short sight-seeing cruises by the LMS/CSP fleet of Clyde steamers. No. 534, of course, finally took to sea as the celebrated QUEEN MARY.