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PS Pioneer (II)

Builders: A & J Inglis 1905

Propulsion type: Paddle compound diagonal

Owners: David MacBrayne Ltd

Service dates: 1905 - 1944

Tonnage: Gross 241


Launched on 2 February 1905, Pioneer was the first addition to the MacBraynes fleet for some time, the previous new tonnage introduced being Gael in 1891. Pioneer was built for the Islay mail service from West Loch Tarbet and commenced duties in April of that year, having achieved a satisfactory 14 knots on her trials. She was of a light design, enabling her to reach West Loch Tarbet pier during the light spring tides. As a result of this her paddle wheels were small and her paddle boxes did not protrude above the promenade deck. In March 1937 she lost the use of her starboard paddle wheel during heavy seas off MacArthur Head and drifted towards rocks. Whilst the Port Askaig lifeboat and two of the company's other steamers stood by, she was able to proceed after running repairs were made. In 1939 she was replaced by MV Lochiel and moved to Oban for the summer. She did not see active service during the Second World War but was laid up at the end of 1943. She was later purchased by the Admiralty for experimental work and was also used as a floating laboratory in Portland Harbour on the South Coast. She was finally scrapped at Rotterdam in 1958.

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