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The elegant steam yacht OITHONA, built by Inglis, Glasgow in 1903 was bought c1909 by the European Danube Commission for use as an inspection yacht on the Danube delta as CAROLUS PRIMUS, and after WW2 was renamed NEPTUN. She apparently operated as a coastal passenger cruise vessel between 1959 and 1971.

Builder: A & J Inglis Ltd., Glasgow. Pointhouse Yard.

Oithona launched: 16 April 1903

Oithona Registered: 10 June 1903

Engine: T3cyl 300ihp 10kn, 1-screw

First Owner: Patrick Macnab Inglis, Glasgow

Subsequent Owners: 

c1905 Lt-Col James H Crossman, London & Cannes
1908 ??
c1909 Commission Européenne du Danube (CED), Sulina - Romania flag
8/1938 Administratiei Porturdor si Cailor de Comunicatie pe Apa (PCA) - Directia Dunarii Maritima (DDM)(Romanian government), Sulina
1948 Administratiei Fluviale a Dunarii de Jos (AFDJ), Sulina
1954 General Directorate of Merchant Shipping, Constanta
1955 Navrom, Constanta

Other Names:


Vessel History:

29/3/1908 J H Crossman killed in motor accident at Beaulieu, Nice
c1909 Used by CED as inspection yacht in lower Danube.
310 displ, 45.16 x 7.16 x 4.07 (draught 3.00)m
11/1940 loaned to Luftwaffe General Speidel as command ship under German ensign
1942 returned to Romanian government
1954 maritime technical schoolship at Constanta
1955-1959 under conversion for coastal cruising, 15 passengers
1959 entered passenger service


The initials on the postcard indicate that the writer was Lt. Col. James H. Crossman who purchased Oithona in 1906 and lived at Brightlingsea. On 29/3/1908 Crossman was killed in a motor accident at Beaulieu, Nice. 

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GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Tuesday 9 June 1903. “LAUNCH ON THE CLYDE. A handsome steel screw schooner-rigged steam yacht was yesterday launched from the yard of Messrs. A. & J. Inglis, Pointhouse, Glasgow. The vessel has been built for Mr. P.M. Inglis, a partner of the firm, and is named Oithona. She has a length between perpendiculars of 147 feet, a beam of 23 feet 6 in., and a depth, moulded, of 11 feet 9 in., the tonnage being 366 tons. Her machinery consists of a set of triple expansion engines, having cylinders 10 in., 16 in., and 27 in. in diameter, with a stroke of 22 in., and will be supplied by the builders. The new yacht was launched with steam up.”


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Saturday 20 June 1903…. “delivery of the new set of boats built by Mr. Adam for Mr. P. Inglis’ steam yacht Oithona was made yesterday.”


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Tuesday 6 October 1903. “GOUROCK. YACHTING NOTES. Yesterday there arrived in the bay…. Oithona (Mr. P. Inglis).”


THE SCOTSMAN – Monday 23 May 1904. Oithona (Inglis) mentioned as being present at the Royal Northern Opening Cruise at Hunter’s Quay on 19 May.


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Thursday 30 June 1904. Oithona noted as an arrival in Gourock Bay the previous day.


FIELD – Saturday 9 July 1904. “CLYDE. Mr. P. Inglis’s s.y. Oithona arrived in the Clyde at the end of last week, after a cruise of three weeks in Norwegian waters.”


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Monday 25 July 1904. “YACHTING NOTES. To-day’s arrivals in the [Gourock] bay included the steam yachts Oithona, Merlin, and Lobelia.”


THE SCOTSMAN – Monday 1 August 1904. “YACHTING. CLYDE CORINTHIAN RACES TO TARBERT…. Saturday night. Accompanying the racers in addition to the commodore ship ….. Oithona…. On Monday the yachts will race back to Hunter’s Quay in their various classes.”


FIELD – Saturday 27 August 1904. “KINGSTOWN [now Dún Laoghaire, Ireland]. Horse show week has brought the usual big gathering of steam yachts, and with the local fleet at full strength the harbour is well filled. Amongst the visiting yachts are… Oithona.”


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Tuesday 25 October 1904. “GOUROCK. YACHTING NOTES. The steam launch and boats of the steam yacht Oithona are being overhauled in Mr. James Adams’s yard.”


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Wednesday 22 March 1905. “LOCAL SHIPPING NOTES. …. This week the Oithona, belonging to Mr. P. Inglis, Glasgow, is expected from the Gareloch to go into Caird & Company’s dock.”

The same article notes that “Captain Wringe, of Shamrock fame, and a crew are expected to arrive in Greenock in a few days’ time. They will join the schooner Susanne, belonging to Herr Huldelesky, Bremen, which is at present lying in the Gareloch. The Susanne will fit out at Sandbank, and proceed to Kiel for the regatta there.”

Captain Wring of Brightlingsea.


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Saturday 25 March 1905. “On Monday Mr. P. Inglis’s steam yacht Oithona (Captain Chalmers) leaves the Gareloch to go up the river for docking at Pointhouse.”


FIELD – Saturday 15 April 1905. “CLYDE.- The list of yachts now busy fitting out include … Mr. P. Inglis’s s.y. Oithona….“


FIELD – Saturday 27 May 1905. “CLYDE. A general muster was made in Rothesay Bay on the evening of May 24, for the opening cruise of the Royal Northern Yacht Club. Amongst those at anchor were:… Mr. P.M. Inglis’s s.y. Oithona … On May 25 the fleet cruised out beyond Garroch Head, and on May 26 there was a series of handicap races.”


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Monday 11 September 1905…. This morning Mr. Inglis’s Oithona passed up the river to Pointhouse…”


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Thursday 28 September 1905. The majority of the Clyde steam yachts have now sought winter quarters. In the Gareloch there are laid up Mr. P.M. Inglis’s Oithona…”


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Thursday 22 March 1906. “LOCAL YACHTING NEWS…. The Oithona, belonging to Mr. P.M. Inglis, is at present lying at Row. She will not go into commission this season unless bought or sold.”


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Friday 30 March 1906. “LOCAL SHIPPING NOTES. The steam yacht Oithona, belonging to Mr. P.M. Inglis, Glasgow, has been chartered by Sir Hugh H. Smiley, late owner of the Fire Fay. Captain Fleming and the crew, who were formerly on the Fire Fay, will take charge of the Oithona.”


THE SCOTSMAN – Saturday 26 May 1906. “YACHTING. ROYAL CLYDE OPENING CRUISE. Rothesay, Friday. Storm-stayed in the Holy Loch yesterday, the Royal Clyde fleet to-day had the contrast of ideal sailing conditions…. Sir Hugh H. Smiley, commodore of the Royal Clyde Club was in charge of the races, and started and finished them from the steam yacht Oithona.”


NORTHERN WHIG – Tuesday 5 June 1906. “THE CLYDE FORTNIGHT. Sir Hugh H. Smiley, Bart., was again the acting officer, and his steam yacht Oithona the flagship yesterday, on the occasion of the second day’s racing under the Royal Clyde burgee, in continuation of the Clyde yachting festival.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Saturday 23 June 1906.

OITHONA (steam yacht) – Belfast, June 22, 4. 18 p.m. – Steam yacht Oithona ashore near Larne; is lying on flat rock making no water. Sea calm. Expected to float to-night’s tide. Have arranged for assistance of tug if required.

OITHONA (steam yacht) – Belfast, June 22, 2. 16 p.m. – Report from coast says steam yacht Oithona, belonging to Sir Hugh H. Smiley, Larne, when returning from a cruise this morning, ran on the rocks at Skernaghan Point, Island Magee, during a fog, but is expected to get off next tide.”

OITHONA (steam yacht) – Larne, June 23, 7. 50 a.m. – Steam yacht Oithona ashore at entrance to Larne Lough was floated last night, making no water and apparently not damaged.”


NORTHERN WHIG – Friday 31 August 1906. “STEAM YACHTS AT KINGSTOWN. A special feature of this year’s Horse Show has been the number of steam yachts that have arrived from various quarters, and are lying in Kingstown Harbour….. inc. Oithona, s.y., 369 tons, Sir Hugh Smiley, from Larne.”

Also: Of Rowhedge/Wivenhoe interest: Venetia, s.y., 664 tons, F.W. Sykes, from Falmouth.


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Thursday 11 October 1906. The well-known steam yacht Oithona, recently sold by Mr. P. Inglis to Colonel Crossman, left the Clyde to-day for Brightlingsea, where the house of her new owner is.”


MORNING POST – Monday 19 November 1906. “From Lloyd’s. Nov. 18. YACHT MOVEMENTS. OITHONA arrived Gibraltar Nov. 16-17.”


FIELD – Saturday 8 December 1906. “NICE – Dec 3, arrived Oithona, s.y., from Villefranche.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Saturday 15 December 1906. “SAN REMO – arrived Dec. 12, Oithona (st yt).”


FIELD – Saturday 22 December 1906. “GENOA – Dec. 16, Oithona, s.y., from San Remo, to coal.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Monday 14 January 1907. “MESSINA – arrived Jan. 12, Oithona, (st yt), from Naples.”


MORNING POST – Wednesday 23 January 1907. “YACHT MOVEMENT. OITHONA arrived Malta Jan. 21-22.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Tuesday 29 January 1907. MALTA – sailed, Oithona (st yt) Jan. 27 for Marsala.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Friday 15 February 1907. PALERMO – sailed Feb. 13, Oithona (st yt) for Civita Vecchia.”


FIELD – Saturday 23 February 1907. PALERMO – sailed; Oithona, s.y., from Civita Vecchia.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Tuesday 26 February 1907. BASTIA – arrived Feb. 23, Oithona (st yt) from Porto Ferrajo.”


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Wednesday 17 April 1907. “On Tuesday of last week Mr. P.M. Inglis’s Oithona left Cannes for Gibraltar.”

Seems like they were not up to date on the ownership.


LLOYD’S LIST – Wednesday 24 April 1907. “USHANT [signalled off] April 23, 7 a.m., Oithona (yt).”


LLOYD’S LIST – Thursday 25 April 1907. “DARTMOUTH – arrived Oithona (st yt) [Apr.24] from Gibraltar.”


DARTMOUTH & SOUTH HAMS CHRONICLE – Friday 26 April 1907. “LATEST STEAMSHIP ARRIVALS. 24th – Steam yacht Oithona from Gibraltar for Wivenhoe – R.W. & Co.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Tuesday 18 June 1907. “IN DRY DOCK AND UNDER REPAIR… TILBURY. Oithona (st yt). Dry dock


LLOYD’S LIST – Tuesday 23 July 1907. ”GIBRALTAR – arrived Oithona (yt) July 18, from Falmouth.”


EVENING STAR – Wednesday 24 July 1907. “S.y. Oithona (Capt. W. Hadley) arrived at Gibraltar on the 18th from Brightlingsea, bound for Constantinople.”

This would likely be Capt. William Hadley of Wivenhoe.


LLOYD’S LIST – Saturday 28 September 1907. “SOUTHAMPTON – arrived Sept. 26 Oithona (st yt).”


DARTMOUTH & SOUTH HAMS CHRONICLE – Friday 10 January 1908. “YACHTING. The steam yachts Lady Evelyn and Oithona arrived at Dartmouth this (Friday) morning.”


MORNING POST – Friday 17 January 1908. “YACHT MOVEMENTS (From Lloyd’s, Jan 16.) – OITHONA arrived Gibraltar Jan. 16.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Friday 24 January 1908. “CANNES – arrived Jan. 23 Oithona (st yt) from Gibraltar.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Tuesday 11 February 1908. “NAPLES – arrived Feb. 8 Oithona (st yt) from Civita Vecchia.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Thursday 13 February 1908. “NAPLES – sailed Feb. 10 Oithona (st yt) for Leghorn.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Saturday 15 February 1908. “CATANIA – arrived Feb. 12 Oithona (st yt).”


LLOYD’S LIST – Friday 28 February 1908. “CORFU – Feb. 25, sailed Oithona (st yt) for Brindisi.”


FIELD – Saturday 7 March 1908. “CORFU – Feb. 29, arrived Oithona s.y.”


GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Saturday 14 March 1908. “The steam yacht Oithona cleared Piraeus for Patras on March 10.”


FIELD – Saturday 21 March 1908. “CATANIA – March 14, arrived, Oithona s.y., from Corfu.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Friday 20 March 1908. “MALTA – arrived 2 p.m. to 6. 5 p.m. Mar. 19, V.C.M.F. Oithona (st yt).”


LLOYD’S LIST – Saturday 28 March 1908. “MALTA – Mar. 26, sailed, Oithona (st yt) for England.”

MORNING POST – Tuesday 31 March 1908. “The following telegram was received from Cannes yesterday: “Mr. Crossman, aged forty-nine, described as a brewer, of London, who has been staying here [at the Hotel du Parc], died this morning as the result of a motor accident at Beaulieu yesterday evening. Death was due to internal injuries. The body will be conveyed to London to-morrow.”


BERWICK ADVERTISER – Friday 3 April 1908. “Fatal Motor Car Accident. Colonel James Hiscutt Crossman, of Hamilton Terrace, Regent’s Park, London, died at the Hotel du Parc, Cannes, on Monday, from terrible injuries received in a motor car collision near Beaulieu on Sunday night, when on his way to Cannes from Monte Carlo. At the place where the collision took place Colonel Crossman’s chauffeur, believing that another car approaching was on the wrong side of the road, turned aside to be clear. At the same instant the chauffeur of the other car did likewise. Seeing that an accident was unavoidable, Col. Crossman sprang out, falling on his head and fracturing the base of his skull. His chauffeur was able to bring him to Cannes by train in a half-conscious condition. He roused himself, and was able to walk to a cab, but he lost consciousness on arriving at the hotel, and died twelve hours later. The body has been embalmed, and was taken to England on Wednesday. No one else was injured in the collision. It is believed that had Colonel Crossman sat still he would not have met with injury.

Colonel Crossman is a son of Mr. James Hiscutt Crossman, London, and grandson of Mr. Robt. Crossman of Cheswick House, one of the original founders of the brewery. It may be remembered that the deceased gentleman paid a visit to Berwick in his handsome yacht some summers ago. He was one of the partners in the brewing firm of Mann, Crossman, and Paulin, of Albion Brewery, Mile End, London.”


CROYDON GUARDIAN -  Saturday 4 April 1908 adds… “His uncle, Mr. Alexander Crossman, is the chairman of the board of directors of the firm. Mr. Crossman left London about two months ago for the Continent, accompanied by his wife and daughter [only child], who, we understand, were with him when the accident happened, but escaped unhurt.”


ESSEX NEWSMAN – Saturday 4 April 1908 adds… “Mr. Crossman, who lived at Wood-end, Bucks, was formerly Major and Lieut.-Colonel in the 4th Batt. Essex Regiment, retiring in 1903.”


Other newspapers reported that Crossman was thrown from the car rather than having jumped from it. Crossman had been ordered abroad for his health by his medical adviser.


LLOYD’S LIST – Wednesday 1 April 1908. “NAPLES – Mar. 30, Oithona (st yt) from Palermo. NAPLES – sailed Mar. 30.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Tuesday 7 April 1908. “NAPLES – sailed Apr. 4, Oithona (st yt) for Nice.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Thursday 16 April 1908. “CANNES – arrived Apr. 14 Oithona (st yt) from Monte Carlo.”


LLOYD’S LIST – Tuesday 21 April 1908. “CANNES – sailed Apr. 18 Oithona (st yt) for Monte Carlo.”


MORNING POST – Tuesday 5 May 1908. “YACHT MOVEMENTS. OITHONA arrived Gibraltar May 3-4.”


FIELD – Saturday 16 May 1908. “SOUTHAMPTON – On the station….. Oithona s.y.”


FIELD – Saturday 25 July 1908. “SOUTHAMPTON…. and Oithona s.y., which has come out from the yard of Fay and Co., where she has taken up a mud berth.”


FIELD – Saturday 1 August 1908. “SOUTHAMPTON…. Oithona s.y., which has been chartered, has been dry docked by Fay and Co.”


BOURNEMOUTH GRAPHIC – Thursday 3 September 1908. “The large white steam yacht in the Bay a few days ago was the “Oithona,” owned by Lieut. R.B. Croft, R.N., the father of Mr. H. Page Croft, who put in to pay his son and daughter-in-law a visit.”


SOUTHERN ECHO – Saturday 17 April 1908. “SOUTHAMPTON SHIPPING NEWS. Departures: Oithona, Northam, from dry dock.”


MERCANTILE NAVY LIST 1909 – p.364. OITHONA, V.C.M.F., Owner: William T. Paulin, The Albion Brewery, Mile End, Middlesex.


FIELD – Saturday 24 April 1909. “Oithona, s.y., 370 tons, has been dry docked, surveyed, and is now running steam trials, and it is expected she will change hands.”


FIELD – Saturday 22 May 1909. “SOUTHAMPTON – Oithona, s.y., recently sold, has left the yard.” [presumably Fay and Co.]


LLOYD’S LIST – Tuesday 25 May 1909. “GIBRALTAR – 9.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 24, Oithona (yt).”

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