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Discover Shipbuilding

Maritime Museum - Shipbuilding

Between 1790 and the 1989 several thousand ships were built in Aberdeen, ranging from coastal schooners to steam trawlers. There were several well known Shipbuilding companies who operated in Aberdeen. They included John Duthie, Sons & Co., John Lewis & Sons Ltd, Alexander Hall & Co. and Hall Russell & Co.

The shipyards built a wide range of vessels including clipper ships, coasters, drifters, steamships and fishing vessels. During the Second World War, they built minesweeper trawlers, steam tugs, frigates and other defence vessels. The city's last shipyard closed in 1992.

Staff Of A. Hall Shipbuilders, In Front Of Two Ships, 1862This photograph, taken in 1862, shows vessels under construction at the Hall shipyard. This yard was established in 1790 by Alexander Hall. Construction is taking place outdoors on wooden stocks. The earliest ships built by the firm were wooden sailing vessels. The Scottish Maid, a schooner of 1839, was the first to have the forward curving Aberdeen bow. This improved speed and sailing performance. The two vessels visible in this photograph are Natal Star and Coulnakyle. Both were sailing ships built for Aberdeen owners. In later years, the yard built steamships including trawlers, coasters, tugs and dredgers. One of its most unusual vessels was a wooden warship Jho Sho Maru built in 1869 for Japanese owners.