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Shipping Wonders of the World

Part 22

Part 22 of Shipping Wonders of the World was published on Tuesday 7th July 1936.

It included a centre photogravure supplement featuring the America’s Cup, which formed part of the article on this historic contest.

The Cover

This week’s cover is by Harry Hudson Rodmell, who makes his first association with Shipping Wonders of the World with a splendid impression of the Manhattan.


Rodmell’s signature may be seen in the extreme lower right of the cover.

SS "Manhattan"

Contents of Part 22

The Unlucky K 13

The Manhattan and the Washington

The Kiel Canal

A Special Service Train Ferry

The America’s Cup

The America’s Cup (photogravure supplement)

Trunk Engines

Captain Slocum the Pioneer

The Manhattan and the Washington

America’s most luxurious liners on the North Atlantic service are the sister ships Manhattan and Washington, built for the United States Lines in 1931-33. These are two of the finest liners in the United States Merchant Service and they run between New York and Hamburg. Identical in outward appearance, each ship has a gross tonnage of 24,289 and a length of 668 feet. The Manhattan carries 1,239 passengers and the Washington 1,100 passengers. Three are certain interior differences in the two ships. It was a great event when the Manhattan, the elder ship of the two, was built. She was the first liner for the North Atlantic trade to be built in an American yard for thirty-five years; the launching ceremony was carried out by the widow of President Theodore Roosevelt. Soon after the Manhattan had started on her maiden voyage, the Washington was launched. This chapter is by Sidney Howard and is the sixth article in the series on the World’s Largest Ships.

(pages 678-682)

The Kiel Canal

The opening of the Kiel Canal in June 1895 by the German Emperor Wilhelm II marked an important stage in the growth of Germany as a maritime power. The canal made Kiel one of the greatest naval bases in Europe. The Kiel Canal was originally cut as part of the Emperor Wilhelm II’s scheme for naval development. For hundreds of years men had been considering the possibility of cutting a channel through the isthmus which joins Germany and Denmark thus avoiding the long and dangerous passage through the Skagerrak and the Kattegat. It was not until Germany made a bid for sea-power, however, that the dream became a reality. Although it was designed for strategic purposes, the Kiel canal is of enormous commercial importance, linking, as it does, North Sea and Baltic ports. During 1934 more than 40,000 ships used the canal. This chapter is by Sidney Howard and is the eighth article in the series on World Waterways.

(Pages 683-687)

The America’s Cup

The first of the historic races for the America’s Cup was held off the Isle of Wight in 1851. Since that date the rivalry of the British and American contestants for the valued cup has been the subject of great public enthusiasm on either side of the Atlantic. This chapter is written by Frank Bowen, and is the first of several on yacht racing. The America’s Cup is, at intervals, competed for by yachtsmen from Great Britain and America. This chapter not only gives a comprehensive account of the various races for the cup, but it tells also of the history of the contest and of the yachts which have entered for it since its inception. This absorbing chapter is illustrated with pictures of racing yachts, including four pages in photogravure, illustrated below.

(pages 689-700)

The Unlucky K 13

The story of the salvage of the K 13, concluded from part 20. You can read more about this salvage in chapter X of David Masters’ book The Wonders of Salvage.

(page 677)

(Left) THE PERISCOPES AND CONNING-TOWER of the unlucky K 13 after she had been salved. K 13 had a displacement of 2,600 tons and an overall length of 334 feet. Steam turbines were used for propelling her along the surface at a speed of 26 knots. In the foreground of the photograph can be seen her gun. K 13 was a new type of submarine and was built in conditions of the greatest secrecy.

A Special Service Train Ferry

The drawing below illustrates a type of vessel employed in the carriage of railway goods wagons from Harwich to Zeebrugge. This vessel, known as Train Ferry No 3, was built in 1917, and was armed. She originally ran from the artificial port of Richborough, in Kent, to French ports, loaded with hospital trains, locomotives and wagons for heavy guns. She was taken over by Great Eastern Train Ferries Ltd, after the war of 1914-18, and converted from coal to oil-burning. She is now owned by the LNER.

She differs from the vessels on the Dover to Dunkirk service illustrated on page 62 in that there is no passenger accommodation, and no provision is made for passenger cars. She has an overall length of 363½ feet, a beam of 58½ feet, and a draught of 10 feet. Her gross tonnage is 2,672 and her deadweight tonnage 960. There are four sets of rails on her deck, and propulsion is by means of twin-screw reciprocating engines taking steam from four Scotch boilers and giving the vessel a speed of twelve knots. Above are shown the large water ballast space forward and aft and the arrangement of the boilers on either side of the fuel spaces. The drawing also indicates the ship as she was originally completed with guns, oil fuel tanks, ammunition rooms and cabins for gunners. The widely spaced funnels give the ship a peculiar appearance. Another feature of this vessel is the twin steering gear, one rudder being arranged behind either screw. There are not many twin-ruddered ships, and such an arrangement is usually adopted where quick “manoeuvrability” is needed.

 Train Ferry No 3 has three large cargo holds forward of the machinery space. These were originally intended for the carriage of military stores and ammunition. Her machinery is farther aft than is usual in most train ferries.

Although it is built up forward her structure is not as high as in some train ferries, particularly those on the Great Lakes of North America, where severe winter conditions are encountered. Her bridge structure, too, is abaft a light bridge forward. This light bridge was intended for the carriage of searchlights.

 This is the seventeenth article in the series on Merchant Ship Types.

(page 688)

Racing Through the Seas

RACING THROUGH THE SEAS with every man of her crew braced for the strain. This photograph of the Yankee was taken in the Thames estuary during a race in 1935. The Yankee was one of the candidates fro the defence of the America’s Cup against Shamrock V’s challenge in 1930, but the Enterprise was eventually chosen. The Yankee crossed the Atlantic to race in British waters in 1935.

(pages 692-693)

Trunk Engines

The limitation of space in early steamships led to the introduction of many ingenious arrangements in their machinery. Important among these were the famous trunk engines that once drove Great Britain's warships and were in themselves fine examples of marine engineering.

This chapter is by F E Dean and is the fifth article in the series Marine Engines and Their Story.

(pages 701-705)

A Typical Reach of the Kiel Canal

A TYPICAL REACH of the Kiel Canal between Rendsburg and the entrance at Kiel. This photograph was taken from the deck of the Royal Mail liner Atlantis, employed for cruises to Scandinavia and Baltic ports, as well as to many other places. The vessel approaching is the Persephone, 8,921 tons gross. She was built at Kiel by Krupp in 1925 and is 468 ft 8 in long, with a beam of 63 ft 3 in and a depth of 35 ft 2 in. The Kiel Canal is 333 feet wide at


(page 683)

The Launch of the Manhattan

LAUNCH OF THE MANHATTAN, 24,289 tons gross. She was built by the New York Shipbuilding Co at Camden, New Jersey, on the Delaware River. Her keel was laid on December 6, 1930, and she was launched by Mrs Theodore Roosevelt on December 5 in the following year.

(page 679)

The Great Liner Manhattan

The great liner Manhattan towers above the tug Steinhoft in Hamburg Harbour. The tug is 82 ft 9 in long and the Manhattan 668 ft 5 in long. The Manhattan and her sister ship the Washington are on a regular service between hamburg and New York. These sister ships are identical in every feature except for certain differences in cabin accommodation.

(page 678)

The Decisive Race in the America’s Cup Race of 1934

THE DECISIVE RACE in the America’s Cup race of 1934, off Newport, Rhode Island, USA. The British challenger was T O M Sopwith’s Endeavour, designed by Nicholson. The American defender, Rainbow, was designed by Starling Burgess. This photograph shows the Rainbow pulling away from the Endeavour as the two yachts approach the finishing line.

 Click on the small icon to see a British Pathe newsreel clip of these two yachts in final trials (1934).

The Historic Trophy

THE HISTORIC TROPHY for which British and American yachtsmen have contested since 1851. In that year the Royal Yacht Squadron offered this cup, valued at a hundred guineas, to the winner of a race between seventeen British yachts and the American schooner America. The America came home two miles ahead of her nearest rival and won the cup.

(page 695)

The Geared Engines of the Great Britain

THE GEARED ENGINES of the famous Great Britain, built at Bristol in 1839-43. She was the first large iron ship and the first screw-propelled steamer to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Her engines had four cylinders with a diameter of 7 ft 4 in and a stoke of 6 feet. They had an indicated horse-power of 2,000, and drove the Great Britain at a speed of 12 knots. In the model shown left the screw is place close to the engines for demonstration purposes.

(page 701)

The periscopes and conning tower of the K 13The launch of the "Manhattan"The "Manhattan" towers above a tugA typical reach of the Kiel CanalThe decisive race in the "America's" Cup race of 1934The America's Cup

Two Famous Yachts

TWO FAMOUS YACHTS in an exciting contest. In the foreground is Shamrock V, with which Sir Thomas Lipton challenged the American Enterprise for the America’s Cup in 1930. The British yacht was unsuccessful in her four races against the Enterprise, with her innumerable modern devices. In the background is the famous Britannia with her black-painted hull. She was owned by King George V, who was an enthusiastic yachtsman and often took the wheel himself in races.

(page 691)

Racing through the seaRacing through the sea

The America’s Cup Defender

THE AMERICA’S CUP DEFENDER in the race against Sopwith’s Endeavour in 1934. The Rainbow was designed by Starling Burgess, son of Edward Burgess, the famous naval architect and yachtsman who in 1881 built the Puritan on revolutionary lines. The contest between the Endeavour and the Rainbow was one of the keenest in the history of the America’s Cup. The Rainbow won four races out of the first five; on the last occasion she won by a margin of only fifty-five seconds.

(page 694)

The geared egnines of the "Great Britain"

Captain Slocum the Pioneer

During recent years a number of daring single-handed voyages have been made across the oceans in small boats, but Captain Joshua Slocum in 1895-98 was the first man to sail single-handed round the world. He was a master mariner who had experienced misfortune, and his achievement stands out supreme in the annals of the ocean for efficiency and courage. His experiences were subsequently recorded in his book Sailing Alone Around the World (1900). This chapter is by Sidney Howard and is the fifth article in the series Great Voyages in Little Ships. The article is concluded in part 23.

(pages 701-705)

The Bluff Lighthouse

THE BLUFF LIGHTHOUSE and signal station at Durban, South Africa. From this point Slocum and the Spray were first sighted as they approached South Africa after having crossed the Indian Ocean. The signalmen sighted the little Spray at a distance of fifteen miles.

(page 708)