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Shipping Wonders of the World

Part 49


Part 49 of Shipping Wonders of the World was published on Tuesday 12th January 1937.


This issue included a colour plate illustrating the Mauretania, as part of the chapter on the Romance of the Mauretania. The plate was attached to page 1549 of this part, and also appeared previously as the cover of part 19.





The Cover


This week’s cover shows a scene on board the Grace Harwar (1,816 tons gross), near Cape Horn, when the hands were on the weather main yard getting the mainsail fast.

A scene on board the Grace Harwar


Contents of Part 49


Safety at Sea

Romance of the Mauretania

The Mauretania (colour plate)

Battle of the Dardanelles

A Portuguese-Owned Grand Banker

The Statendam

Early Steam Warships

Voyage of the Athene

Modern Ocean Raiders







Safety at Sea


The account of the provisions for safety at sea by Frank Bowen concluded from part 48.

 (Pages 1541-1544)


A Line-Throwing Gun

A LINE-THROWING GUN is used in many vessels to enable a line to be got ashore or to another ship when in distress. By the Safety Convention of 1929 it was established that every ship must carry an efficient appliance for throwing a line. The appliance may be a rocket pistol or gun, and is often used for getting a line on board another vessel for towing purposes or on to the quay when berthing.

(Page 1541)







Romance of the “Mauretania”


Holder of the Blue Riband of the Atlantic for over twenty years, the Cunard liner Mauretania was one of the most remarkable ships ever built. When she was broken up after a long and proud career, her loss was felt keenly by thousands of ship lovers all over the world. The Mauretania deserves a place in this work on two counts. First, the devotion she inspired in those who travelled in her, and secondly, the wonderful achievement of creating an Atlantic record that was unbroken by any other ship for over twenty years. The Mauretania seemed to have a charmed life. She came safely through terrible storms and through nearly three years of war service as a transport and as a hospital ship, and continued in regular service for many years after. Her only serious mishap was a fire in 1921. Even that, however, was a blessing in the end, for while effecting the necessary repairs the Cunard Line took the opportunity of converting the Mauretania into an oil-burning vessel, giving her a new lease of life. The news, in 1934, that she was to be scrapped was a cause of sorrow to thousands, and the auction sales of her furniture and fittings were well attended by souvenir hunters. Many readers will welcome F E Dean’s chapter on the Mauretania. The chapter is illustrated by a fine colour plate, a reproduction of the cover of Part 19.

(Pages 1545-1549)


The Mauretania as a Hospital Ship

CONVERTED INTO A HOSPITAL SHIP during the war of 1914-18, the Mauretania made three voyages between Southampton and the island of Lemnos, in the Aegean Sea. Her public rooms were turned into hospital wards and she carried 2,307 medical staff and 6,298 sick and wounded.

(Page 1546)



A “Cow-Catcher” Mine-Raker

A “COW-CATCHER” MINE-RAKER of the type shown above was fitted to the bows of some British battleships to give added protection against unseen mines. During the battle of the Dardanelles an important part was played by mines, especially by the minefield which was laid by the Turkish steamer Nusrat, under the direction of Colonel Geehl, the Turks’ mine expert.

(Page 1551)







A Portuguese-Owned Grand Banker


The Santa Joana, shown below, is unusually interesting because she is the first large diesel-driven Portuguese trawler, and one of the largest fishing craft so far built with the Maierform hull shape; she is, moreover, the first motor trawler to be fitted with two diesels geared to a single shaft. Built for fishing on the Grand Banks, she is almost a cargo ship in size, having a length between perpendiculars of 208 feet, a beam moulded of 34 ft 9½ in, a depth to the main deck of 19 ft 4¾ in, and a maximum draught in fully-laden condition of 17 ft 10¾ in. The deadweight tonnage is 1,430 tons, and the gross tonnage about 1,230 tons. She has provision for a crew of forty-five. The fish space, comprising four holds, has a capacity of about 45,000 cubic feet, each hold being served by a small fish hatch on the deck. There is also a cod-liver oil tank, capable of carrying thirty tons, placed underneath the steering engine compartment. The fuel capacity of this ship is large, the two main fuel oil tanks, separated by a coffer-darn from the fish hold, each having a capacity of 109 tons. Underneath the main motors there are two further fuel tanks with a capacity of 29 tons, and underneath these, at the forward end, are two lubricating oil tanks of 3 tons capacity apiece. Thanks to the arrangement of machinery adopted, there are also further fuel oil tanks above the main shaft at the after end of the machinery space, each having a capacity of 55 tons. This means that the ship can engage in long fishing voyages without refuelling. Propulsion is by means of two Guldner four-cycle single

acting airless injection engines developing a total of 900 indicated horse-power, and driving a single -screw through reduction gear and Vulcan hydraulic couplings. On trials the Santa Joana attained a speed of 13.2 knots. The ability to cut out one engine, should necessity arise, makes for economic running at low speeds. In every way the Santa Joana is a most up-to-date and efficient fishing craft. This is the thirty-ninth article in the series on Merchant Ship Types.

(Page 1556)


Battle of the Dardanelles


No historic naval engagement did so much to prove Admiral Mahan’s contention that “ships are unequally matched against forts” as the action in the Dardanelles on March 18, 1915. The persistence of the Nelson tradition (which, incidentally, was the spirit of the Navy long before the time of Nelson himself, as the story of Sir Richard Grenville shows) is admirably illustrated in this chapter. During the battle Commander Verner, of the Inflexible, was seriously wounded. In spite of his injuries her carried on as if unhurt, giving orders with great coolness, and even when carried below with the other wounded, he continued to inquire about his companions, and ask about the progress of the battle. This is but one of the dramatic episodes related by Lieut.-Commander E Keble Chatterton in this chapter. It is not, however, so much the “human side” that we are concerned with in this series on Decisive Naval Actions as the tactics and strategy, the battle of wits, that lie behind the stories of opposing fleets.

(Pages 1550-1555)



The Statendam

BUILT AT BELFAST and fitted out in Holland, the Statendam has a gross tonnage of 28,291. Her length is 674 ft 3 in, her beam 81 ft 4 in and her depth 49 ft 5 in. She is propelled by twin screws operated by geared turbines taking steam from water tube boilers. She carries 1,670 passengers in addition to a crew of 600. Her speed is 19 knots.

(Page 1557)







Early Steam Warships


The principles and methods of naval construction have altered so radically and quickly in the present century that the important developments in steam warship design during the last century are apt to be forgotten or underestimated. No greater contrast in the world of ships can be imagined than that which is sometimes seen at Portsmouth - the Victory in her concrete dock and, near by, the Hood or some other mighty representative of the modern Navy. The Nelson spirit may remain, but all else about the Navy was altered with the coming of steam. The first British steam warship built to Admiralty orders was HMS Comet, launched at Deptford in 1822. She was a wooden ship, and wooden steamships persisted in the Navy for many years until their doom was sealed by the increased efficiency of naval gunnery. This chapter is by

F E Dean.

(Pages 1560-1564)



The “Statendam”


Flagship of the Holland-America Line, the Statendam is the third vessel to bear the name. Completed in 1929, this popular Dutch steamship is renowned alike for the excellence of her machinery and for the luxury of her passenger accommodation. Though not one of the newest ships of the Dutch merchant navy, the Statendam is a fitting representative of that nation, which has ranked as a power in merchant shipping since the seventeenth century. It was the Half Moon, Henry Hudson’s ship, that brought the first Dutch colonists in 1629 to what is now New York City, and exactly three hundred years later the Statendam arrived in New York at the end of her maiden voyage. She is mainly used on the transatlantic service, but also cruises for months at a time between New York and the Mediterranean and Caribbean. This chapter is by

F E Dean and is the twelfth article in the series on The World’s Largest Ships.

(Pages 1557-1559)


The Mauretania


ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR TRANSATLANTIC LINERS was the Mauretania, shown being painted at Southampton in preparation for one of the cruises on which she was sometimes employed. A quadruple-screw liner of 31,938 tons gross, the Mauretania had an effective life of twenty-seven years. She and her sister ship the Lusitania were, at the time of their completion, the world’s largest ships, and the installation of turbine propelling machinery was a courageous venture. On her trials the Mauretania covered 1,216 miles at an average speed of 26.04 knots. In 1908 she captured the Blue Riband of the Atlantic and held it for over twenty years. As she grew older her speed increased. She was sold for breaking up in 1934.



(Attached to page 1549)



HMS Helicon

DESIGNED AS A DISPATCH VESSEL and built in 1861-65, HMS Helicon became the Admiralty yacht Enchantress in 1885. The Helicon, a sister ship to the Salamis, was given a projecting cutwater, or “plough” bow. The Salamis retained the more usual form of bow, and proved to be more than one knot slower than her sister ship, which attained a speed of 14½ knots. Of 945 tons displacement, HMS Helicon had a length of 220 feet and a beam of 28 ft 3 in.

(Page 1562)







Voyage of the Athene


The advantages of having sail as well as an auxiliary engine upon which to rely during a long ocean cruise are well demonstrated by the 18,000-miles voyage of the auxiliary yawl Athene from Los Angeles to Shoreham, Sussex. The Athene belongs to Tay Garnett, the film director, who made a protracted voyage in her to photograph backgrounds of real scenery for some of his films. When the Athene was at Shoreham, Sussex, Sidney Howard paid her a visit, and the result of that visit is this chapter. The Athene is commanded by Captain Harris, a professional sailor, but the crew is composed mainly of amateurs. The story of her 18,000-miles voyage, from San Francisco to Shoreham, Sussex, in just over seven months, is described here.

(Pages 1565-1568)



The Athene

DESIGNED AS A RACING YACHT by Herreshoff in 1899, the Athene is an auxiliary yawl equipped as a floating film laboratory for Tay Garnett, the American film director. The Athene has an overall length of 105 feet and water-line length of 65 feet. Her 50-horse-power diesel drives a propeller on the starboard quarter.

(Page 1565)







Modern Ocean Raiders


The exploits of armed German merchantmen and certain independent cruisers such as the Dresden during the war of 1914-18 - exploits rife with incidents and coincidence - make the story of these raiders more entertaining than fiction. This chapter covers the story of the Dresden, the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse and other noted German raiders which gave the British ships a good “run for their money”. This article is by Lieut.-Commander E Keble Chatterton and is concluded in part 50.

(Pages 1569-1572)

A Line-Throwing GunThe Mauretania as a Hospital ShipThe Mauretania’s Last Voyage


The Mauretania’s Last Voyage


THE GREAT CUNARDER’S LAST VOYAGE. This striking impression of the Mauretania, passing the Forth Bridge on her way to Rosyth to be broken up, is reproduced from the painting by Charles Pears, ROI. The original painting is in the Queen Mary, the vessel which carries on the fine tradition established by the Mauretania. The well-beloved Mauretania left Southampton on her last voyage on July 1, 1934, for Rosyth.



(Page 1547)

Part 19A "cow-catcher"  mine raker fitted to the bows of some british battleshipsThe "Santa Joana", a Portuguese trawlerThe StatendamHMS HeliconThe AtheneThe German cruiser Dresden


The Dresden

DISCOVERED AT A LONELY PACIFIC ISLAND after having escaped detection for more than three months, the German cruiser Dresden flew the white flag at her foremast in surrender. She was caught on March 14, 1915, at the island of Juan Fernandez, having escaped destruction at the battle of the Falklands. She stood high out of the water because she was extremely light, due to her empty bunkers. Her normal draught was 17 ft 9 in.

(Page 1572)