ABERDEEN BUILT SHIPS


Name
EARL THORFINN
Construction
STEEL
Type
STEAMER, PASSENGER, CARGO, LS
Date
1928
Description
Yard Number: 694

This vessel made 11 knots on its trial trip and had accommodation for 250 passengers.

Triple expansion engine 3 cylinders 69 RHP.
1 single ended boiler with 3 corrugated furnaces 180LB
Flat keel
5 bulkheads cemented
Cellular double bottom (forward) 46 tons water
Tanks in way of tunnel 17 tons water
Fore peak tank - 35 tons water

In one incident the EARL THORFINN left Stronsay on the morning of 31st January 1953 - the day of the great storm - bound for Sanday, another island not far to the North but was caught in a 100 miles an hour wind from the North West and gave the Master no choice but to run before it and eventually landed in Aberdeen. She suffered much damage on deck which was virtually stripped of all moveable gear and it is creditable to her sturdiness and to the seamanship of her company that she survived, after being given up for lost.

1955 Lloyd's Classification withdrawn at owners request.
1957? Radar fitted - 19565 passenger certificate withdrawn
1959? R/T fitted

Scrapped February 1963 at Bo'Ness.


Orkney Herald, 23/05/1928:
On maiden voyage to Northern Isles 16 May safely negotiated all piers despite high winds and unfavourable tides. Large crowds met her at all the islands and all were impressed by her fine appearance and spacious accommodation, including plenty of room + ample shelter for livestock.

Hull Daily News, 12/05/1932, P+J, 14/05/1932, Orkney Herald, 18/05/1932, Edinburgh Evening Express, 18/06/1932:
On news reaching Kirkwall of stranding of grimsby trawler Athenian on Skea Skerries (Westray Firth), Orkney S. N. manager D. Bertram got in touch with Earl Thorfinn authorising her to go to assistance. She put off her passengers at Eday. ET lay off at distance of 200 yards while trawler was made fast to her with several hundred fathoms steel wire. However, wind + tide prevented her being towed into deep water. ET remained in vicinity until after 12 hour trawler skipper came aboard (joining his crew). Crew of ET were subsequently "financially rewarded" for their assistance. Athenian later refloated by specialist salvage vessel.

Orkney Herald, 21/06/1933:
Sheriff court action by Orkney S. N. Co. v. Orkney Harbour Commissioners for payment of £309.14.6 bill for repair of serious damage to hull + propeller revealed by survey at Hall Russell's Oct. 1932, S. N. Co. alleged that, while E. T. was being sprung off Kettletoft Pier, Sanday, the tide ebbing, on night of 20/07/1932 her hull + propeller came into contact with stone soulders. They alleged commissioners had not carried out any recent inspectaions. Allege commissioners were promptly advised of accumulation of stones at approach to pier and thart there was a similar incident on 27/08/1932. Commissioners denied there was too little water, argued that master neglected to take necessary precautions and that any damage was caused by master trying to leave when ship was resting on bottom.

Aberdeen Evening Express, 20/03/1939:
ET paying annual visit to Aberdeen for overhaul.

Orkney Herald, 28/05/1946:
Earl Thorfinn + Earl Sigurd to sail as follows... Friday "Round of the Islands" with mail + passengers only, fare 12/3. From Kirkwall 6.15 a.m., Westray 8.45, Papa Westray 9.15, Sanday 10.45, Stronsay 11.30, Eday 12.30 p.m. for Kirkwall.

Orkney Herald, 14/01/1947:
ET forced by gales to postpone usual Saturday trip to Kirkwall by 24 hrs. No steamer has been able to call at North Ronaldsay for a forntnight.

Scotsman, 11/12/1948:
ET made a special trip Kirkwall - Papa Westray to take to hospital farmer who had fallen off his cart when horse bolted.
Shipbuilder
Hall, Russell & Company, Limited
Owner
Orkney Steam Navigation Company, Kirkwall
Dimensions
length 150 1/3' x breadth 27 1/12' x depth 12'
Gross Tonnage: 345 ton

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