Since its formation Seagull Trust Cruises has owned and operated 12 canal boats at its four Branches.
St. John Crusader:
This was the first boat owned by the Trust, and was donated in 1979 by The Order of St. John, who also assisted with the crewing and maintenance. She was a narrow boat from the English canals converted to suit the special needs of the Seagull Trust’s disabled passengers. She was based at the Trust’s first branch in Ratho. Today, she is owned by ‘Bridge 19-40 Canal Society’, renamed ‘Bluebell’ and operating mainly from Port Buchan at Broxburn.
Seagull Trust Cruises’ second canal boat, she was designed and built by apprentices at Telford College, Edinburgh and donated to the Trust. She was based at Ratho and assisted the St. John Crusader. Ultimately she became too small for the Trust’s needs and was sold to the Forth & Clyde Canal Society who use her in the Maryhill area of Glasgow.
Built by Cammel Laird Shipyard near Liverpool to the same hull design as the Yarrow and Govan although she has a different cabin layout and the drive system to the propeller is diesel/hydraulic rather than direct shaft drive from the engine. She is based at Ratho and took over from the Janet Telford and still cruises there today. A new heating system was installed during 2015.
St. John Crusader II:
Another very generous donation by the Order of St. John, this canal boat came into service in 1996 and like her predecessor she is based at Ratho. She is of a modern design with a totally enclosed wheelhouse and she continues to give the service and comfort for which Ratho Branch has become renowned. A new engine and a hyrdaulic pod drive was fitted at the start of 2016.
St John Edinburgh:
Yet another very generous donation by the Order of St John (Scotland), a legacy from Peter Turnbull (one of our skippers), and donations from Queensberry House Trust and many of our Ratho Branch passengers enabled us to build another boat for Ratho. In her first full year of service in 2012 she proved very popular with her passengers and has greatly helped our ability to meet our passengers’ increasing requests for cruises.
Built to the same design as the Yarrow Seagull but by the apprentices at the old Fairfields Shipyard at Govan on the Clyde. She has spent her working life with the Falkirk Branch, initially on the Forth & Clyde Canal and when British Waterways completed works on the Union Canal she was moved there and is still there today cruising from the Bantaskine Boathouse.
Named after the Barr Charitable Trust which provided the funding to allow her to be built by Binnie Marine in the workshop of A. L. Gordon at Bankside, Falkirk. She is a similar boat to the Govan Seagull and was launched on the 12th May 2006 at Lock 16 on the Forth & Clyde Canal. She was then taken up on the Falkirk Wheel to the Bankaskine Boathouse where she entered service on the 1st June. Her naming ceremony was carried out using a bottle of Bars Irn Bru.
This was the first of a series of boats built for the Trust. She was designed at the Yarrow Shipyard on the River Clyde to the Seagull Trust’s specific requirements and was built by the apprentices at Yarrow Shipyard. When she came into service she was based at Kirkintilloch and still cruises successfully from there today. In 2009 the Yarrow Seagull was refurbished by apprentices from Yarrow’s, bringing the ‘old lady’ up to date once more.
This boat was built by Stenson Marine in Derby and was named in honour of the late Mrs. Marjorie Brown, from Edinburgh, whose very generous bequest to the Trust enabled this boat to be built. She is based at the Kirkintilloch Branch and cruises from the Southbank Marina.
Named in honour of the late Mrs. M.H. Salvesen whose Charitable Trust agreed to provide the funding for the building of a residential canal boat designed specifically to suit the needs of a family with a disabled member. Renovation work and a new cover over the wheel to protect the helmsman was fitted during 2015. For many reasons, bookings for the Holiday Boat had declined, so in August 2019 the STC Executive decided to end the Holiday Boat Service. The boat was therefore transferred to Kirkintilloch for its conversion into a Cruise boat to be used as the required 3rd boat for the Kirkintilloch Branch.
This boat was built in 1975 for Jacobite Cruises in Inverness. Initially it was called Jacobite Princess but was called Abby Princess when it was bought by the Seagull Trust in 1988 for the newly formed Highland Branch. It was converted by Jim Hogan of Caley Marina and was renamed Highland Seagull by the Duke and Douches of York on 30th June 1989. She remained with Highland Branch until 2011 and, after conversion, became Wooden Spoon Seagull in 2012.
Highland Cross Seagull:
Through donations from the Highland Cross, Inverness Common Good Fund and many other supporters this boat was built by Buckie Shipyard Ltd., Buckie and was delivered to Highland Branch in April 2012. Unlike her predecessor she has an open bow deck which passengers can access on fine days. She was named by The Princess Royal on the 7th June 2012 at Seaport Marina in Inverness. Her naming ceremony was carried out using a bottle of water which had been carried across from Kintail during the 2010 Highland Cross Duathlon.