Thistle was a 3-masted Iron schooner built by Blackwood & Gordon of Port Glasgow in 1881. She was 186' feet long, had a 25 foot beam and a draught of 14 feet. Her engines produced 112 h.p. Her signal letters were W.D.P.V. She was originally owned by the Duke of Hamilton and was registered in London. In 1896 she was sold to Admiral Sir C.G. Fane, then in 1910 Charles Stewart became the owner. In 1919 the vessel was omitted from the Register of Yachts as she was 'no longer a yacht'.