Yarrow Shipbuilders

Yarrow Shipbuilders

Yarrow (Shipbuilders), Limited (YSL), often styled as simply Yarrows, was a major shipyard, now part of BVT Surface Fleet, a joint venture between BAE Systems and VT Group, which also includes the nearby Govan shipyard. The shipyard is located in the Scotstoun district of Glasgow, Scotland on the River Clyde.


The company was founded by Alfred Yarrow, later Sir Alfred Yarrow, 1st Baronet, in the 1870s as Yarrow & Company, Limited. Originally it was based on the Isle of Dogs in London, where hundreds of steam launches, lake and river vessels, and eventually the Royal Navy's first destroyers were built between 1869 and 1908. Yarrow was also a builder of boilers, and a type of water-tube boiler developed by the company was known as the "Yarrow type boiler", first used in a torpedo boat in 1887. [Barnes, Eleanor C.,"Alfred Yarrow: His Life and Work", P126, Kessinger Publishing, 2005, ISBN 1417952636]

Despite a move of yards, Yarrows outgrew its Poplar site and this and the cost of land and labour in London led to a second move to Scotstoun, Glasgow beginning in 1906. Between 4,000 and 5,000 tons of material had to be transported, from models to heavy machine tools. A train-load of from forty to fifty wagons left the works at Poplar every day. The first destroyer was launched from the new works at Scotstoun on July 14, 1908. [Bridges, T.C, "Kings of commerce", P286, Ayer Publishing, 1928, ISBN 0836901029]

The Yarrow company was one of the world's leading builders of destroyers from its inception until after World War 2, building ships for both the Royal Navy and export customers. For many years until the 1960s Yarrow also built merchant ships, specialising particularly on vessels for the rivers and lakes of Burma, India, Africa and South America. In total Yarrow built approximately 400 ships on the Clyde - these can be traced in detail in the Clyde-built Ship Database.

In 1977 the Labour government of James Callaghan passed the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977 which nationalised the company, by now known as Yarrow (Shipbuilders), Limited, and grouped it with other major British shipyards as British Shipbuilders. The succeeding government of Margaret Thatcher began a privatisation programme and Yarrow was one of British Shipbuilder's early divestitures. It was sold in 1985 to GEC's GEC-Marconi division, becoming Marconi Marine (YSL). In 1999 Marconi Electronic Systems was sold to British Aerospace, creating BAE Systems. Marconi Marine (YSL) became BAE Systems Marine (YSL). As of 2008, YSL is now part of BVT Surface Fleet, a BAE Systems/VT Group joint venture.

hips built by Yarrow

Built in London

*Japanese torpedo boat "Kotaka" 1885

*Havock class destroyers
**HMS "Havock" 1893
**HMS "Hornet" 1893

*Ikazuchi class destroyers
**"Ikazuchi" 1898
**"Inazuma" 1899
**"Niji" 1899
**"Akebono" 1899
**"Oboro" 1899
**"Sazanami" 1899

*PS "Aotea" (later renamed PS "Waimarie") 1899 - preserved in Wanganui, New Zealand

* River class destroyers
**HMS "Teviot" 1903
**HMS "Usk" 1903
**HMS "Ribble" 1904
**HMS "Welland" 1904
**HMS "Gala" 1905
**HMS "Garry" 1905

*Thyella class destroyers (Royal Hellenic Navy)
**"Nafkratousa" 1906
**"Thyella" 1907
**"Lonchi" 1907
**"Sfendoni" 1907

Built in Glasgow

*Weapon class destroyers
**HMS "Battleaxe"
**HMS "Broadsword"
*Daring class destroyer (1949)
**HMS "Decoy"
**HMS Diana

*Black Swan class sloop
**HMS Wild Goose (U45)
*Tribal class frigate
**HMS "Ashanti"
*Leander class frigate
**HMNZS Canterbury (F421)
**Almirante Lynch 3
**Almirante Condell 3 (1973)
*Type 21 frigates
**HMS "Ambuscade"
**HMS "Arrow"
**HMS "Alacrity"
**HMS "Ardent"
**HMS "Avenger"
*Type 22 frigates
**HMS "Broadsword"
**HMS "Battleaxe"
**HMS "Brilliant"
**HMS "Brazen"
**HMS "Boxer"
**HMS "Beaver"
**HMS "Brave"
**HMS "London"
**HMS "Cornwall"
**HMS "Cumberland"
*Type 23 frigates
**HMS "Norfolk"
**HMS "Argyll"
**HMS "Lancaster"
**HMS "Iron Duke"
**HMS "Monmouth"
**HMS "Montrose"
**HMS "Somerset"
**HMS "Grafton"
**HMS "Sutherland"
**HMS "Kent"
**HMS "Portland"
**HMS "St Albans"
* Type 45 destroyers
** HMS "Daring": Launched 1 February 2006
*Converted Civilian Vessels
**HMCS "Tuna" originally built as "Tarantula"


Note: Ships without hull numbers were built for another company before BC Ferries.

* Hull Unknown Pender Queen - 1923 Built as MV Motor Princess and served the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.
* Hull Unknown Salt Spring Queen - 1949 Built as the MV Delta Princess and crossed the fraser river where the George Massey Tunnel is now.
* Hull Unknown MV Kwuna - 1975
* Hull 371 Queen of Cowichan - 1976
* Hull 550 Queen of Oak Bay - 1981

*Clyde-class RNLI lifeboats
** "Charles H Barrett" (70-001)
** "Grace Paterson Ritchie" (70-002)

*Royal Malaysian Navy
** KD "Hand Tuah" (F76) ex-"Black Star", ex-HMS "Mermaid"
** KD "Rahmat" (F24)
** "Lekiu"-class frigates
*** "Jebat" (F29)
*** "Lekiu" (F30)

External links

* [http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/search.asp The Clyde-built ships data base - lists over 22,000 ships built on the Clyde]

ee also


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