GREAT BRITAIN has always been the home of the tramp steamer, and her shipyards have always been among the most expert builders of this useful class of ship. Tramp ship owners have until recently contended that nothing but steam could be employed for driving their vessels. While this is generally true, there is an opportunity for the diesel-engined tramp, provided she is standardized, inexpensive and economical to operate. The Sunderland firm of Doxford has long specialized in this class of vessel, and the ship illustrated here was completed in 1930.
The Peebles is a shelter-decker, with a deadweight tonnage of 9,200 and a draught of 24 ft 8 in, her dimensions being 422 ft 9 in by 54 ft 3 in by 28 ft 8 in. She is propelled by a two-cycle opposed-piston Doxford diesel engine, developing 1,800 bhp at 115 revolutions, the cylinder diameter being 21·3 in. and the combined stroke of the opposed pistons 83·9 in. The speed of the Peebles is approximately 11 knots.
The compactness of the main engine and its lightness, which are both attributable to a welded construction, have made possible a small machinery space, and only 40 feet out of the total length are required for the machinery. The main engine exhausts into a boiler which supplies steam for running all the auxiliaries necessary for the ship at sea; an oil-fired boiler supplies power required for the deck auxiliaries' use in port.
There are four cargo holds. Nos 1 and 2 are forward of the engine-room and Nos 3 and 4 are aft, but between No 2 and the engine-room is a deep tank. Of the six double bottom tanks, the first and the last - Nos 1 and 6 - are for water ballast only; Nos. 2 and 3, the latter being under the deep tank, and No. 5 are alternatively for water ballast or for fuel.
The use of the other holds for fuel purposes would naturally increase the already satisfactory radius of operation of the ship. Under the engine-room are tanks for fuel oil and also tanks for fresh water. The holds have a total capacity for grain of 402,990 cubic feet.
Other spaces are also available, making a total of 569,600 cubic feet in all. The corresponding bale capacity is 511,150 cubic feet. The total water ballast capacity is 1,733 tons. This also includes the after peak and double bottom tanks. The holds of the ships are pillarless. Officers’ accommodation is amidships; the crew is aft in the ‘tween decks.