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 been compiling a history of them and the Puffer section is now more or less complete with a listing of all of the puffers identified so far, although he will be continuing to search for more and to add data to those already listed. The VIC section now lists all that were built with a note of their military and, if appropriate, civillian service to the extent known to him.

Click here to visit the Puffers and Vics website.