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Pulp Tramp Motorship

Page history last edited by Michael 7 months, 2 weeks ago

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     After the Great War, shippers discovered the usefulness and economy of motor-propelled vessels. "Motor" in this case means internal combustion engines - usually diesel. A traditional tramp steamer, with a triple-expansion steam engine, could average 10 knots speed, and used 30 to 40 tons of coal per day. A motorship of the same size could average 11 knots, and use only 9 tons of oil. Fewer engineroom crew were needed, as well; and the ship could go from "cold" to "under way" in an hour or so.


     This particular example was built between the World Wars by William Doxford & Sons (Engineers) Ltd.; but other shipyards in Europe and America were building similar vessels from the mid-Twenties.


Tonnage:  7381 gross register tons; 9150 tons deadweight capacity

Length:  420 feet on the waterline

Beam:  56' 6"

Depth:  35 feet

Draft:  28' 8"

Engine:  3 cylinder, 2500 HP opposed-piston diesel; top speed 12 knots

Fuel usage:  6.5 tons oil per day at 11 knots

Range:  30,000 nautical miles

Cost:  £89,000 to £102,000


     The crew consists of a captain, 3 officers, radio operator, 3 engineers, 3 assistant engineers, 3 wipers, machinist, donkeyman/storekeeper, carpenter, boatswain, 6 seamen, ship's boy, cook, steward, mess boy:  28 total. 


     As you might guess from the crew list, when underway there's an officer on watch, a seaman acting as helmsman, a seaman acting as lookout, an engineer (at the engine controls), an assistant engineer (messing with other engine-room stuff), a wiper (repairing and cleaning engine-room stuff) all on duty.


     Four lifeboats are carried, each able to hold 12 men. Probably one or two of them will have motors, for use in going ashore when it's not an emergency.



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