Previous names

  • Martello
Certificate no 71
Status Registered


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Tug
Location Rochester
Vessel type TID
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Scarr, Henry Ltd, Hessle
Built in 1946
Hull material Steel
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts
Propulsion Steam
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Steam compound
Boiler type Scotch Return Tube
Boilermaker A Anderson 7 Co, Motherwell
Boiler year 1946
Boiler fuel coal


Breadth: Beam
17.00 feet (5.19 m)
6.00 feet (1.83 m)
Length: Overall
65.00 feet (19.83 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed



TID 172 was built by Henry Scarr Ltd, Hessle, (which had been taken over by Dunston) and completed in 1946. Her oil-fired engine was by J. Dickinson & Sons Ltd, Sunderland. She was allocated to the Nore Command under the Naval Officer in charge at Lowestoft, and given the name MARTELLO. On 11 July 1946, she reverted to the name TID 172 with a civilian crew. On 20 October 1946, she was transferred to the Civil Engineer-in-Chief, Chatham, becoming W92 (which indicates that she was operated by the Ministry of Works). On 1 October 1959, she was allocated to the Port Auxiliary Service at Chatham and was once again renamed TID 172. She was sold to T. W. Ward Ltd, Grays, on 9 July 1973 for demolition, but was reprieved through her onward sale to an owner based in Maldon for preservation. Source: Paul Brown, Historic Ships The Survivors (Amberley, 2010).

Having been located in Essex, undergoing conservation and an overhaul to her boiler, it was reported in December 2020 that the vessel was at Stargate Marine in Hoo, Rochester.

Update, Feb 2021: Vessel up for sale



Waine, P N, British Steam Tugs, Waine Research, 1983
Hannan, Bill, Fifty Years of Naval Tugs
Brouwer, Norman J, International Register of Historic Ships, Anthony Nelson, Edition 2, 1993
Steamboat Register: An illustrated Register of surviving steam vessels in the British Isles, Steam Boat Association of Great Britain, Edition 6, May 1994
Ships Monthly: Still in Steam: Steam Tug Brent, January 1977
Thorne & District Gazette: Wartime Richard Dunston's, 21 December 1995
Warship World:TIDs were a Temporary Measure, Spring 1986

Key dates

  • 1946

    Built by H. Scarr Ltd, Hessle, Yorkshire 

  • 1946-73

    Admiralty service initlally in Lowestoft before transfer to Chatham

  • 1973

    Sold initially to ship breakers and then to Albert Groom for preservation

  • 1973-75

    Used for pleasure and as source of steam power for tug Challenge

  • 1975

    Laid up in Ipswich Wet Dock

  • 1981

    First trip in 5 years after extensive renovation and overhaul of boiler

  • 1982

    Damaged steelwork replaced following onboard explosion

  • 1985

    Boiler had all its plain tubes replaced

  • 1988

    Change of ownership following death of Albert Groom

  • 1989-1997

    Vessel in regular steam including trips across English Channel 

  • 2013

    Restoration programme underway

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