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Denny Tank, Scottish Maritime Museum, Dumbarton

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Visit the Denny Tank in Dumbarton, watch the world’s first commercial ship model experiment tank in action and discover how William Denny & Brothers' innovative, experimental approach to shipbuilding made waves in the shipbuilding industry from the 1800s to 1963.

Kids go free at the family-friendly, interactive Museum, which was recently awarded a four-star VisitScotland grading.

There’s so much to see and do. You can:

Discover the world’s first commercial ship model experiment tank, the length of a football pitch, and see the ship model carriage running.
Enter the world of the Victorian ship designer, in William Denny’s drawing office, and find out how to design your own ship.
Join us on a guided tour of the building and learn about Denny Brothers, builders of the famous Cutty-Sark and inventors of the Denny helicopter, Denny hovercraft and Denny-Brown stabilisers.
Discover ship models, photographs and historic objects in the Propeller shop.
Experience the working environment of the traditional model makers, clay moulders and carpenters in 1882.
Test different hull designs in our mini experiment tank with its own wave making machine.
Try your hand at smoothing and carving a real wax hull model.
Browse our well stocked retail area for that perfect memento. We have a wide selection of items ranging from pocket money goods to large maritime models.


Adults £3.00; Children free (up to maximum of three children per adult); Concessions £2.00

Castle Street, Dumbarton
G82 1QS
01389 763444

About Denny Tank, Scottish Maritime Museum, Dumbarton

The 300 feet long test tank, which contains some 1.75million litres of water, is the last remaining part of the influential William Denny and Brothers shipyard, which reputedly built more vessels than any other Clyde shipbuilder over its 121 year history, including SS Sir Walter Scott. The yard also completed construction of the Cutty Sark, the last surviving tea clipper.

The world renowned Victorian shipbuilding company, which opened in 1844, is also famed for developing the Denny Helicopter, Denny Hovercraft and Denny-Brown stabilisers, which were designed to reduce ship rolling and fitted on vessels across the world including the QE2.

Following World War Two, William Denny and Brothers also diversified into roll on, roll off ferries. The yard closed in 1963 as the shipbuilding industry went into decline and opened in September 1983 as part of the Scottish Maritime Museum.

The Denny Tank, which is part of the wider Scottish Maritime Museum, offers a fascinating insight into Scottish shipbuilding, naval science and engineering but very much from the perspective of the people behind the inventions.

For local visitors, the Denny Tank is a great place to discover all about this influential shipbuilding family which employed as many as 1,800 people in the yard’s heyday and see some great old photographs showing Dumbarton over the years.


Current weather

Loch Lomond

Broken clouds, light rain
  • Broken clouds, light rain
  • Temperature: 10 °C
  • Wind: West-Southwest, 4.6 mph
  • Pressure: 998 hPa
  • Rel. Humidity: 87 %
  • Visibility: 6.2 mi
Reported on:
Wed, 2020-09-30 20:20

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