Small Craft

Tugs, Tenders & Launches

Various companies were formed to own and manage the fleet of small craft that served the ships of both major companies.

The African Boating Company

In 1882. Donald Currie and his associates puchased a Durban shipping and loading agency, The Towage and Lighterage Company (Messrs James and Hitchins Bros) and formed a new company, The Natal Shipping Company Ltd. Two years later another company, Morrison & Company, was bought. As a result of this deal the African Boating Company was formed.

After the Union-Castle merger, the African Boating Company took over the local assets of Union Line. In 1912 Union-Castle purchased most of the remaining shares and in 1918 The African Boating Company was formally liquidated.

The Beira Boating Company

In 1894 the Delagoa Bay Railway was completed, linking the Transvaal with Lourenco Marques. Donald Currie had attempted to gain control of the port but his efforts were unsuccesful. He turned his attention to Beira. By 1896 the railway from Rhodesia to Beira was complete and the following year The Beira Boating Company was formed with Currie as a major shareholder. The Beira Boating Company eventually became a wholly owned subsidiary of British & Commonwealth but by 1977 had ceased to exist

Messina Bros, Coles & Searle

Much of the landing activity at Port Elizabeth was undertaken by two brothers, William and Rosario Messina who operated from the North Jetty. The Messina Brother’s company, later known as Messina Brothers, Coles & Searle Ltd was bought by Union-Castle in January 1922.

Ship Register

 The African Boating Co South Africa

Beira Boating Co & East Africa

Messina Bros

The Union Line

The Castle Line

Union-Castle Line

Much of this information was derived and precised from Peter Newall’s book, Union-Castle Line  A Fleet History

From a book published prior to the merger in 1900

This would make this vessel one of the Castle Line small craft but I have no idea of her name

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