Official No: 104119  Port Number and Year:  2nd in Milford, 1894.

                                                                                -   in  Whitby, 1899 (WY ?) 

Description: Iron side / beam trawler; steam twin screw, coal burning.  Long liner. Dandy rigged: fore and aft

Crew:  6 men (1896)

Registered at Milford: 27 Jun 1896

Built: 1896, by William Wolfe, Hakin

Tonnage: 39 grt  14.25 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 51.6 / 14.4 / 7.3

Engine: 3 h.p. > 3 h.p. (1899)



27 Jun 1896: William Wolfe, Hakin, Milford.

Managing owner.


c. Jul 1898: William H. Towers, 11 Cambrian Place, Swansea. (Shipbroker.)

Managing owner.


As WY ?

Dec 1899: Thomas Pinkney, Baltic Chambers, Sunderland.

Managing owner.


[ Not under that name in Olsen's nor MNL 1904. ]

Landed at Milford:  13 Jun - 22 Nov 1896; 3 Dec 1897 - 17 Jun 1898


1896: William Wolfe; James Smith, Griffiths, Wolfe;

1897: Wolfe;

1898:  S. Heather, Hardy, Beckett, McCarthy, Wolfe, Wills


The HIT OR MISS was sold to cover debts in 1898 (see newspaper article below) by William Wolfe, who also owned the steam trawlers NILE and ESSEX, trading under the name of The Essex Steam Trawling Company from its start-up in 1918, with an outlay 7,200, until bankruptcy in 1925, when the firm was sold to Spanish buyers for 1,500.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 2 Dec 1899.  Vessel ceased fishing.   [ But see 1899 owner above. ]

Accidents and Incidents

From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 6th May 1896:


sensational launch.―  Last Wednesday evening thousands of people lined the docks in the neighbourhood of Hakin to witness the launch of a steam-boat which if it were but a mite compared with the great "Hannibal," yet took its baptism under more sensational circumstances. The steamer is named the "Hit or Miss," and was built by Mr Wm. Wolfe in his yard on the Hakin side of the docks. Her length is 561 feet, her beam 14 feet, and her depth of hold 71 feet. She is a twin screw and was designed by Mr Llewellyn as a "Long Liner," the first of the kind that has been built at the Haven.  In fact she is the first iron vessel launched at the docks. This itself would have sufficed to draw a big crowd to the launching ceremony, but the ever-enterprising owner had arranged for a launch, the like of which we have seldom if ever read of.  Mr Wolfe's yard stands at some height above the docks, and at high tide the water is not within several feet of the top of his boundary wall. Over this wall the vessel had to fall ere it gained the water, and as undoubtedly a considerable element of risk attached to so novel a launch, there was naturally much speculation as to the probable result.  With four workmen and a soldier on board, the "Hit or Miss" was slipped from her stays 183 feet distant, and as she rushed forward for her aerial flight the excitement of the multitude was intense.  She flew from the dock wall and landed five and a half feet below as prettily as a duck. The men on board reeled a little and the soldier lost his equilibrium in the exuberance of his cheering, but no accident occurred. The smart little vessel was thereafter moored to the dock wall where she will be fitted for sea.  She will be capable of sailing eight miles an hour.  Mr Wolfe is to be congratulated upon the success of his new venture, and we trust the little "Hit or Miss" will fully justify the hopes entertained of her.



From The South Wales Daily Post of Monday 20th June 1898:


    A steam trawler belonging to Milford Haven, named the "Hit or Miss" was picked up in the Bristol Channel by the "Olivine" on Sunday morning, in a sad condition. Her machinery had broken down, and she was drifting about at the mercy of the sea. 


From The South Wales Daily Post of Tuesday 19th July 1898:



    At Swansea County-court, on Tuesday, a case was heard before His Honour Judge Gwilym Williams, assisted by Captain Paul Smith and Captain Symonds, as nautical assessors, in which the owners, master, and crew of the s.s. Olivine, of Glasgow, sued the owners of the steam trawler Hit or Miss, now lying in the South Dock, Swansea, in respect of a claim for salvage services rendered by the plaintiff's vessel to the Hit or Miss on June 15th last. Mr. L. Batten, London, was for the plaintiffs, but the owners of the Hit or Miss were unrepresented.

    Captain Williamson, master of the Olivene, said his vessel was 176 tons register. At the time of the occurrence in respect to which this action was brought, his vessel was on a voyage between Harrington and Bristol.  Off the Bishop's they sighted the Hit or Miss. The weather was foggy, and when they spoke the Hit or Miss she was a quarter of a mile off Skokholm Island, on a dead lee shore. Witness's vessel bore up, and the captain of the Hit or Miss said his machinery had broken down. Witness said he would tow him into Bristol for 150, and the reply was, "You can take the ship if we get out of this." The Hit or Miss was then towed to the Mumbles Head, and given in charge of a tug. A delay of twelve hours was caused to the Olivene.

    Mr. George Lennard, marine surveyor, Swansea, appraised the value of the Hit or Miss at 550. She was built in 1890. Captains Hammond and Jenkins gave similar evidence.

    Judgment was given for plaintiffs for 110. Mr. Batten asked for an order for the sale of the Hit or Miss, which was granted.



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