ABERDEEN BUILT SHIPS


Name
SCOTTISH MAID
Construction
WOOD
Type
SCHOONER
Date
1839
Description
Rig: SCHOONER
Yard Number: 101
Total cost of build £1700

In the Aberdeen Directory for 1862-3, the vessel is listed as belonging to George Leslie & Co.

The schooner SCOTTISH MAID, built by the Hall shipyard in 1839, was the first vessel with the raked stem known as the 'Aberdeen bow'. SCOTTISH MAID was intended for the Aberdeen-London trade, where speed was crucial to compete with steamships.

The Hall brothers tested various hulls in a water tank and found the clipper design most effective. The design was influenced by tonnage regulations. Tonnage measured a ship's cargo capacity and was used to calculate tax and harbour dues.

The new 1836 regulations measured depth and breadth with length measured at half midship depth. Extra length above this level was tax-free and became a feature of clippers. SCOTTISH MAID proved swift, regularly making the journey from Aberdeen to London in 49 hours, and reliable and the design was widely copied.

Aberdeen Journal, in 1848, described the construction of the first true Clipper Ship and what was to bcome known around the world as the Aberdeen Bow:

'The Messrs Hall commenced framing the schooner from aft, and continued the frames until they reached the fore end of the keel.
Thus far the work had proceeded, when the builders suggested a deviation from the models, which they belived would proved to be a decided improvement.
They proposed to run the stem out so as to form the cutwater, the effect of which would be to draw the waterlines finer at the bow and, as a natural consequence, the vessel would divide the water easily, be more buoyant forward, and of less register tonnage than if she were built on the old plan.
The idea did not at first meet the views of the owners. A skeleton bow was then erected, and not a few of the curious examined it and were skeptial of the uncommon design. After due consideration, the owners gave consent to proceed with the vessel according to the skeleton model, and in that style she was finished and launched.
The look of the schooner in the water was encouraging. It was evident from the appearance of her waterlines that the idea of a perfect bow was realized, and some of those who were at first opposed to the project were now among the warmest commendators.'

Builder's Certificate transcription from Aberdeen City Archive Harbour Register entry:
These certify that we Alexr. Hall and Coy., Shipbuilders, did build and Launch from our building Yard at Aberdeen in the County of Aberdeen, North Britain upon the fifteenth day of July in this present year the Ship or Vessel called the Scottish Maid of Aberdeen, being a Square Sterned, Carvel Built Schooner Rigged Vessel having one Deck and two Masts, a fixed Bowsprit, a Female Figure Head, no Gallery, that her length from the after part of the Main Stem to the fore part of the Stern Post aloft is ninety two feet and four tenths, that her greatest Breadth Amidships (Inside) is 19.3/10 feet, her Depth of Hold 11.7/10 feet and is of the Burthen or Measurement of 142. 347/3500 Tons, of which Ship or Vessel Messrs Alexander Nicol and George Munro, Shipowners, Aberdeen, holding 12/64 for their share, carrying on business under the Firm of Nicol and Munro, William Hogarth, Esq., Shipowner, Aberdeen holding 8/64 for his share George Davidson, Esq., Shipowner, Aberdeen holding 6/64 for his share, James Nicol, Advocate, Donald Gordon Stewart, Fish Curer and Benjamin Moir, Merchant, all of Aberdeen holding 4/64 each for their share, Charles Brown and Alexander Troup, Corn Merchants, Mill of Sclattie Parish of New Hills holding 4/64 each for their share, James Hall and William Hall, Shipbuilders, James Murray, Advocate and William Milne, Flesher, all of Aberdeen holding 2/64 each for their share, Alexr. Pirrie, Esq., Stoneywood, Frances Pirrie and Alexr. Pirrie, Jnr., Paper Manufacturers, Aberdeen holding 2/64 each for their share, all of the County of Aberdeen, George Nicol, Surgeon in the Island of Jamaica and James C. Crispin, Merchant, London holding 2/64 each for their share—were the first purchasers.
Given under our hands at Aberdeen this 7th day of August 1839.
(signed) Alexander Hall & Co

Owners’ Transactions:

25th July 1843
Alexander Nicol and George Munro, Shipowners in Aberdeen, carrying on business under the firm of Nicol and Munro, have transferred by Bill of Sale, dated 16th Febuary last, 12/64 shares to Alexander Nicol and William Nicol, carrying on business under the firm of Aleander and William Nicol, merchants in Aberdeen.

3rd November 1843
George Gibson of Bassinghall Street, London and Robert Goulding, Corn Factor, Hunsleydrum, Surrey, Trustees on the sequestrated Estate of James Clark Crispin, Merchant, London have transferred by Bill of sale, dated 4th September last, 2/64 shares to Alexander Nicol and William Nicol, carrying on business under the firm of Alexander and William Nicol, Merchants in Aberdeen.

3rd November 1843
The Owners of this vessel have transferred by Bills of Sale dated 30th Aug., 5th, 6th, 9th, and 11th Sept., 10th, Oct., and 2nd Nov., 1843, 64/64shares to George Leslie, Shipowner in Aberdeen.
Source: Aberdeen Register of Shipping. (Aberdeen City Archives)

Masters:

1839/46 A. Watson

Owners:

1839/43 Nicol and Coy.
1844/46 G. Leslie

Route:

1839/43 Abdn -- London
1844/45 Abdn – Coasting
1846 No voyage recorded
1847 Not registered in Lloyds

Notes:
Lloyds Classification 5A1- Oak, Beech and Larch with Fir Planking.
1842 Damage Repairs
1843 Large Repairs

(Source: Lloyds Shipping Registers)

The Standard, London, 9/9/1839:
"The gale yesterday - Scottish Maid, clipper built schooner, Captain Watson, of and from Aberdeen with a general cargo, arrived yesterday with lost of foretopmast."
Shipbuilder
A. HALL & Co., Aberdeen
Dimensions
Length 92'4" x Breadth 19'4" x Depth 11'7"
142 Tons
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