HMS Vivid (1891)

HMS Vivid was an iron screw yacht purchased from civilian service in 1891, where she had been named SS Capercailzie. She became the Devonport base ship and flagship in 1893 and was also used as the yacht for the Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth and was sold in 1912, later being wrecked in 1913.

United Kingdom
Name: HMS Vivid
Namesake: Capercailzie
Builder: Barclay, Curl, and Co., Glasgow
Yard number: 321
Way number: 87699
Launched: 20 June 1883
Completed: 1883
Acquired: 1891
In service: 1891-1913
  • Launched as Capercailzie
  • Renamed HMS Vivid in 1891
Fate: Wrecked on 8 July 1913
General characteristics
Tonnage: 550 tons
Length: 200 ft (61 m)
Beam: 24 ft (7.3 m)
Draft: 12 ft (3.7 m)
Installed power: 450 hp
Propulsion: 1 x 2-cylinder compound engine, single shaft, 1 screw, 2 masts
Speed: 10 knots (19 km/h)
Notes: [1][2][3]

Early civilian service

SS Capercailzie was built by Barclay, Curl, and Co. in 1883 on the Clyde.[1][2][3] She was owned by George Burns, a shipping company owner, who sold her to the Royal Navy in 1891.[2][3]

Military Service

On 26 September 1891, SS Capercailzie was purchased by the Royal Navy for use as tender for the Devonport naval base, Plymouth and as a yacht for the port admiral.[1][4][5] Staff Commander W. Way was in command in early 1900.[6]

Later Civilian Service

In 1912, she was sold to the Royal Technical College, Glasgow for use as a training ship. The purchase was a major investment for the college, spending an estimated £3000 on the ship and refit.[3] On 8 July 1913 she ran aground and was wrecked at Colonsay en route from Rhu (at the time spelt ‘Row’) to Stornoway on her first voyage as a civilian training ship.[4][3][7][8]


  1. "HMS Vivid". Index of 19th Century Naval Vessels and a few of their movements. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  2. "SS Vivid". Wrecksite. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  3. Pritchard, David (17 September 2013), The loss of the Vivid – The biography of a shipwreck (PDF), pp. 1–36
  4. "Capercailzie". Clyde-built ships database. Archived from the original on 23 June 2007. Retrieved 14 January 2014.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  5. Moseley, Brian (4 February 2011). "Royal naval barracks "HMS Vivid" / "HMS Drake"". Plymouth Data – The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  6. "Naval & Military intelligence". The Times (36057). London. 5 February 1900. p. 11.
  7. "Glasgow Training Ship Ashore at Colonsay. Safety of Cadets". Glasgow Herald. Glasgow. 9 July 1913. p. 9.
  8. "Vivid:Colonsay, Atlantic". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
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