The Linnet was launched in June 1866 from the yard of J & G Thomson of Govan in Glasgow (Yard No.92). She was designed to operate on part of the lucrative route to the Highlands by sea, to work between Ardrishaig and Crinan on the Crinan Canal as a passenger and general cargo vessel. A shallow draft iron screw steamship, the Linnet measured 80.0’ x 16.2’ x 2.8’ and weighed 34 gross and 27 net tons. She was powered by a small steam engine of 15 nhp also supplied by the builder. Her official number was 53410.
Originally built to the order of Hutcheson & Company of Glasgow she remained under the same managing company based in Hope Street, Glasgow throughout her working life on the canal until 1929. In 1929 she was taken off the register by her then owner David MacBrayne and she was put up for sale. She was sold in 1930 to The Glasgow Motor Boat Racing Club who converted her into a new clubhouse and landing stage and was moored off Shandon on the east shore of the Gareloch.
The Linnet barely saw more than one year in her new role when, on Friday 15 January 1932, she was sunk during a full gale that blew across Scotland that night into the following day. A number of large steamships were at anchor in the loch, mothballed by the worldwide slump of the Great Depression. It appears that one of these vessels dragged her mooring and collided with the Linnet, that “smashed her to smithereens” in the prevailing conditions. The Linnet sank at her mooring and was never recovered by her owners.
A wreck is located around 300 metres south of Carnban Point off Shandon in position 56° 03.019’N, 04° 49.156’W. The wreck is oriented 045°/225° with seabed depths around 20 metres rising around 2.5 metres above seabed. Survey details also record wreckage size as 18 x 4.9 x 2.5 metres which is reasonably close to the size of the Linnet. This is further supported by CCTV images of metal superstructure and square window frames. Based on this evidence we believe that the wreckage is indeed the wreck of the Linnet.
Please note, the remains lie within the busy and restricted area of the Faslane Naval Dockyard and is therefore off limits without permission from the Queen’s Harbourmaster.