Previous names

  • 1949 C668
Certificate no 78
Status National Historic Fleet


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Victualling
Location Chatham
Vessel type Victualling Inshore Craft
Current use Ongoing conservation
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required Yes


Builder Dunston, Richard, Thorne
Built in 1945
Hull material Steel
Rig None
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 1
Propulsion Steam
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Steam compound
Boiler type Vertical Fire Tube
Boilermaker Cochran & Co, Annan
Boiler year 1945
Boiler fuel coal


Breadth: Beam
18.00 feet (5.49 m)
8.59 feet (2.62 m)
Length: Overall
84.95 feet (25.91 m)
Tonnage: Gross
Air Draft
To be confirmed


VIC 96 was part of the second series of 80ft VICs and still has her original Crabtree engine. Based at Sheerness, she was employed in general store carrying duties, and often sailed between Sheerness and Harwich. On 11 April 1949 she was re-named C668. In 1956 she underwent a refit at Lowestoft, after which the Victualling Department considered disposing of her. Nevertheless, she survived as a naval vessel at Sheerness until 1959 when the dockyard closed. VIC 96 was then transferred to Chatham, where a survey estimated her hull life at 20 years.

In 1960, she was involved in a collision with the SS DURANGO, the damage being repaired by Harland & Wolff, London. In 1972, the boat was referred for disposal and towed from Chatham by R. W. Fielding of Dublin, who also owned VIC 1. She was kept in various London docks, and maintained but also vandalised. In 1981, the vessel was purchased to become one of the steam vessels at Maryport Docks. She was steamed from London's Limehouse to Newcastle, where she put in for coal at Bridlington, and then on through the Caledonian Canal to Maryport. In 1986, she was purchased by Allerdale District Council with FLYING BUZZARD. The vessels were considered for disposal in 1995 as the Council could no longer afford to maintain them. Early in 1996, the vessels were transferred to a charitable trust, which continues to maintain them.

We are lacking information on this particular vessel. If you have any information, past or present, please contact us.


Brouwer, Norman J, International Register of Historic Ships, Anthony Nelson, Edition 2, 1993
Maryport Steamships: A Souvenir Guide, Allerdale District Council
Steamboat Register: An illustrated Register of surviving steam vessels in the British Isles, Steam Boat Association of Great Britain, Edition 6, May 1994 
Classic Boat: 1,000 Boat Pageant - Steamers and Workboats, June 2012  
Ships Monthly:
The Story of the VICs, July 1981
Ships Monthly: Clyde 'Puffers' - a review of their rise and decline (continued), June 1981
Ships Monthly: The Story of the VICs - Part 2: Post War Service, August 1981
Ships Monthly: Clyde 'Puffers' - a review of their rise and decline, May 1981

Key dates

  • 1945

    Built by Richard Dunston of Thorne for the Admiralty

  • 1949

    Renamed C668

  • 1956

    Refitted at Lowestoft

  • 1959

    Transferred to Chatham and surveyed

  • 1972

    Referred for disposal and based in London Docks

  • 1981

    Sold to Maryport Docks

  • 1986

    Sold to Allerdale District Council

  • 1996

    Transferred to a charitable trust

  • 2009

    Returned to her home port of Chatham after renovation and restoration at Maryport

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