Puffers and Vics

The photograph above of the Texa is from the Dan McDonald collection courtesy of the Ballast Trust and is reproduced under a Creative Commons license

Made famous by Neil Munro’s “Vital Spark” and her crew of skipper Para Handy, engineer Dan MacPhail, Dougie the mate and deckhand Sunny Jim, the “puffer” has become an almost legendary little ship in the folklore of Scotland’s canals and rugged West Coast.

Their real story is just as fascinating: from their origins on Central Scotland’s canal network, their progression to sea, their journey to war, and their eventual return to their spiritual home.

Alasdair MacKenzie has compiled a history of them – the Puffer section contains a listing of all of the puffers identified, and the VIC section lists all that were built with a note of their military and, if appropriate, civillian service to the extent known to him. The site has now been archived and will no longer be updated.

Click here to visit the Puffers and Vics website.