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Arbroath in the middle ages did apparently export some fish, wool & hides. After that period the coast around the town was as familiar with boats carrying smuggled goods as legitimate trade. The new harbour of 1725 allowed an increase in trade, flax being an important import, and by 1742 the town boasted twelve vessels.
1750s-1770s David & John Kenny operate next to the harbour.
1779-1813 Wm. Kenny operates next to the harbour.
1799 Around 6 fishing boats are operating out of Auchmithie.
1803 Arbroath Lifeboat Station is established. Henry Greathead builds the first lifeboat.
1807-1813 Two vessels per year (average) are being built in Arbroath.
1808 Thos. Dickie, operating between Signal Tower & Harbour, builds two sloops.
1808-1816 Alex. Fernie, operating between Signal Tower & Harbour, builds at least two schooners - the 'Sir Joseph Banks' (used for the Bell Rock Lighthouse project) & the long lived 'Panmure' which will sail from Arbroath until 1885.
1814-1829 Wm. Stephen Jnr. operates next to the Harbour.
1815 Six vessels are built this year.
1817 A. Philip operates between Signal Tower & Harbour.
1819-1821 Geo. Dickie operates between Signal Tower & Harbour.
1827-1831 Wm. Blair operates between Signal Tower & Harbour.
1829 The last two ships on Wm. Stephen's books are completed.
1830-1840 Alex. Stephen & Sons, operating next to the Harbour, produce 32 vessels.
1835-1842 Arthur Smith operates between Signal Tower & Harbour.
1839 Alex. Stephen builds the first full-rigged ship, the 'John Mitchell', 402 tons.
1840-1843 Alex. Stephen & Sons operate next to Signal Tower.
1841 Alex. Stephen adds 13'0" to the length of the barque 'Leipzig'.
1844-1848 Geo. Dickie Jnr/Thos. Reidman between Signal Tower & Harbour.
1844-1853 Dickie & Reidman operate next to the Harbour.
1844-1853 Wm. Anderson operates between Signal Tower & Harbour.
1845-1857 Wm. Stephen Jnr. operates next to Signal Tower.
1847 An arbroath boatbuilder, Johnston, builds the schooner 'Wave'. It arrives
in Melbourne, Aus. on the 7th July 1854after sailing out of Dundee and spends
the rest of it's days on the SE Australian coastal trade.
1849-1853 Wm. Reid & Thos. Reidman operate between Signal Tower & Harbour.
1851 The number of Arbroath registered vessels reaches it's peak at 118.
1851-1854 Chisholm, Simpson & Peters operate east of Harbour.
1852 The full-rigged 'Elizabeth' is built at Wm. Stephen's yard.
1853 The full-rigged 'Varoon' is built at Wm. Stephen's yard.
1853 The 'Dawstone' is built by Chisholm, Hunter & Peters.
1855-1859 D. Farquar & Co. operate east of Harbour.
1856 The largest vessel ever built in Arbroath, the full-rigged 'Neville', is launched,
800 tons, 200' long.
1856 The huge barque 'Albatross' is built at Wm. Stephen's yard.
1857-1858 Andrew Young operates next to Harbour.
1857-1863 Jas. Drummond operates between Signal Tower & Harbour.
1860 J. & J. Hall operate next to Signal Tower.
1860-1872 The Arbroath Shipbuilding Company operate east of Harbour.
1864 The Arbroath Shipbuilding Co., the town's only remaining boatbuilder, builds
& launches the brigantine 'Scotsman'.
1872 The schooner 'Romala', Arbroath Shipbuilding Company's last vessel, is launched.
1875 There are 154 fishing boats in the town.
1875-1880 3 sailing vessels are built at Arbroath.
1876-1881 J. Rooney builds 6 vessels, including the Abertay Lightship (1877).
1888 Lifeboat 'William Soutar' is launched.
1890 James Weir builds the 'Isabella' (AH153), largest yawl in the Arbroath fleet.
1891 13 sailing vessels & 1 steamer are presently registered in Arbroath.
1899 Auchmithie has 12 white fish boats, 6 large boats & 20 or so small boats for lobster/crab fishing.
1900 Lifeboat 'James Stevens No.13' is launched.
1906 Arbroath schooner 'Renner' is wrecked at Buxey Sand near Burnham on Crouch.
1918 Arbroath fishing boat 'Maggie Smith' hits a mine whilst approaching the fishing
grounds near the Bell Rock. All on board are lost.
1925 Lifeboat 'James Gowland' comes into service.
1928 The yawl 'Isabella' has a new engine installed & is renamed 'Fortuna'.
1932 Lifeboat 'John & William Mudie' is launched.
1950 Lifeboat 'Robert Lindsay' is launched.
1953 The 'Robert Lindsay' capsizes by the harbour in dreadful weather conditions.
6 of 7 crewmen die. The 'Howard D' replaces her.
1955 Shipbuilding returns to Arbroath with the opening of Gerrards Boatyard.
1956 Lifeboat 'The Duke of Montrose' is launched.
1960 Fishing boat 'Endeavour' (AH38) is launched.
1961 Fishing boat 'June Rose' (AH45) is launched.
1966 Mackay Boat Builders are established east of the Harbour.
1968 An inshore Lifeboat Station is established using a 'D Class' Lifeboat.
1973 (Jul) Boats observed using the Harbour include: 'Harvest Moon', 'Family's Pride', 'Bruce's', 'Fortuna', 'Glad Tidings', 'Guiding Star' & 'Endeavour'.
1983 Lifeboat 'Shoreline' is launched.
1984 The 'Sharridale' AH68 seine net fishing boat is built in Arbroath.
1993 Lifeboat 'Inchcape' comes into service.
1997 Fishing boat 'Westhaven' is lost in the North Sea. Four die.
2005 A new 'D Class' inshore Lifeboat is placed in service.
2007 Mackay Boatbuilders win major contract to restore Dundee's 'R.S.S. Discovery'.
An Arbroath Timeline
'D Class' inshore Lifeboat
The harbour mouth
from the Signal Tower
Another pontoon offering
a further 18 berths opened
in this area of the
Marina during 2007
The harbour in 1895
Have you never visited
the Bell Rock ?
Click Here !
T A M H
Visit : Tayside -
A Maritime History :
Aerial view by
east of the harbour
A Lifeboat Station has existed at Arbroath since 1803........these are the life savers of 2008
The entrance to the inner harbour (Marina)
every August welcomes the
old and new