The exact date and place of construction are unknown, as are her builder and original owner. However, we do know that the iron-hulled steamship Rifle was bought on the Clyde in the 1860s by the then Cameron of Locheil.

Rifle was in general service on Loch Arkaig, ferrying goods, passengers and mail between isolated dwellings around the loch and linking them with Clunes and Achnacarry. Queen Victoria travelled on-board in 1873, an outing which is recorded in her diary accounts. 

Rifle continued in this service until 1938 or 1939 when she was to be broken up. Her engine was removed but sank before she could be broken up. During WWII her wreck blocked the pier and so she was blasted or pulled into deeper water, which is why she is missing her bow.

In the mid-1980s the surviving section of hull was located and was acquired by the Scottish Maritime Museum in 1990