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Sailing barge Kinghorn

The following are some provisional notes concerning the sailing barge Kinghorn, now a dive site off Rockport, in 90 ft. (28m) of water.

Her iron frame was built on the Clyde by London and Glasgow Engineering and Iron Ship Building Co Ltd., at their Middleton Yard, Govan, as Yard No. 152 and was assembled in 1871 by J.B. Auger in MontrĂ©al for owners Montreal Transportation Company. She was registered as No. 12 in 1871 at Montréal. The date of her loss off Rockport Ontario, is variously reported as between 1897 and 1910, but it is most probable that she sank on 26 April 1897, see press cuttings. Despite some suggestions to the contrary, her registry was not closed until 9th February 1915. See extract from Transport Canada's database. It has also been suggested that she was raised and put back into service after sinking in 1897 (this would explain her continuing registry, see below), but raises the conundrum of why the reported 1897 site and that of the present dive site are, to all extents and purposes identical as "close off Rockport."

As to her Official Number (O/N), it is given as 9016558 in our ships database (this was the Canadian Heritageship information database.) However, no O/N is given either in her registry closure (see above) or in either the Register ("List of Ships") for 1877 (where the year built is incorrectly given as 1853) or for 1914, the year before it was closed. To explain the 9016558 there is a possibility that Canada at some point added a prefix "9" to regular British O/Ns for cases where there was confusion or overlap between the "old country" and Canadian registries - hence seven digits but we have no documentary evidence for this; nor has any entry been found (yet) for 016558, which could correspond to a Glasgow register for the iron frame.

Re: 9016558. Canadian Heritage have now confirmed:

Official registration numbers have been entered for those vessels which were registered by government agencies. For those ships that were built before an official registration system was put into effect 1850, an artificial number has been created to allow tracking and updating of the records. The artificial numbering system begins with 900000. Registration numbers greater than 900000 should only be used as a reference within the context of this database. They do not have any validity outside of the database.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

Interest in this subject was "piqued" by a thread on MarHst-l.



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Revised: 16 May 2015