Specification of the fishing boat ‘Duchess of Argyll’
Transcription of a letter of 1860 from Malcolm Liston of Granton regarding the specifications of the fishing boat ‘Duchess of Argyll’.
Courtesy of His Grace the Duke of Argyll
In 1860 the 8th Duke of Argyll commissioned Malcolm Liston, a boat builder in Granton, to build a ‘first class fishing boat’ costing £130. Named the ‘Duchess of Argyll’, the boat was delivered to Tiree and let out to local fisherman.
Much larger than the average Tiree boat of 22 feet, the ‘Duchess’ was the latest in a series of attempts to encourage local fishermen who, since the rich fishing banks offshore were discovered in the 18th century, had been unable to compete with the bigger boats and superior equipment of crews from the north-east and other islands.
The ‘Duchess’ lasted only ten years. Because of her size, she was difficult to pull up on the beach and had to be moored offshore. In 1871, during a gale, the anchor chain tore out the stern, broke the mooring and she drifted ashore among the rocks at Hynish and was smashed.