Black Cat ll

MFV built 1943 by Hepburn, James & Son, Aberdeen

Designated ensign Designated house flag



Fighting Vessel




Private use

Private: operating












To be confirmed

15.30 feet (4.75 metres)

49.90 feet (14.26 metres)

5.90 feet (1.95 metres)



BLACK CAT II was constructed by James V Hepburn in Aberdeen and named HMS MFV 943.  James Hepburn constructed three MFVs during the war - numbers 943, 944 and 945 of the 601 class.

She was one of a batch of 16 Admiralty 45ft Class MFVs ordered on 19 January 1943, completed at the end of the same year and fitted with a 60hp Atlantice Diesel giving 7.5 knots. The armament for the vessel was a .303" AA machine gun and was sailed with a crew of four.

Based in Plymouth in 1944, Portsmouth in 1945 and re-engined with a Foden in November 1957, BLACK CAT II was sold out of service at Gosport on 22 May 1958.  She was registered as BLACK CAT II (PoR Southampton) in 1960.  This name is believed to be derived from the naval slang 'Blackcatting' which is a term for one-upmanship, doing or owning something better than someone else.

Since being sold out of service, she has been converted and cruised extensively around the Meditettanean and then back up to Scotland.

in the 1980s, the vessel was used as a live-aboard in Littlehampton and was based on the River Medina above Cowes between 1996 and 1999, apart from 1998 when she was moored in Keyhaven.

Since 2000, BLACK CAT II has been used mostly for summer cruises on the West coast of Scotland and has been berthed in Argyll since 2001.

Previous names

  1. 1943 – 1960HMS MFV 943

Subsequent developments

2007 A bulk of restoratative work was undertaken in 2007 with the boat palced on a cradle and winched up the beach in Tarbert.  All of the vessel's replacement oak and larch for the work was sourced and cut locally. Source: current owner, 2012.

2011 The foredeck planking was replaced to remove some rot and replace the king plank for the anchor winch. Source: current owner, 2012.

2012 Aft part of the superstructure was removed and rebuilt in aluminium plus the framing arrangement wsa modified to enable the engine to be removed.  In addition to this the steering was changed to hydraulic. The vessel was re-engined with a Gardner 6LXB. Source: current owner, Jan 2013.

Key dates

  1. 1943 Built by James Hepburn & Son
  2. 1944

    Based in Plymouth

  3. 1945

    Based in Portsmouth

  4. 1958

    Sold out of service on 22 May

  5. 1960

    Registered as BLACK CAT II (PoR Southampton)

  6. 2007

    Major restoration done

If you are the owner of the vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information please contact

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