The vessel shown below is a Cargo Liner of the Short Sea Routes. She operates normally on behalf of the Cockerill Line between Ostend and Tilbury on a service which has been maintained between the two ports since June 1896. The cargo is such as to require rapid transit. A certain amount of general cargo is carried from Tilbury to Ostend, but a large amount of raw wool and perishable goods, fruit, vegetables, eggs, rabbits, pigeons, goldfish and the like are carried to Tilbury, which must be reached before midnight so that the cargo can reach the market before 4 am. Much cargo is carried in large wooden containers, and is unpacked at its destination.
The Amethyste is one of two twin-screw motor vessels built for this service. They are raised quarter-deckers of 278 tons deadweight, and 950 tons displacement on a 9 ft 6 in mean draught. The depth to the raised quarterdeck is 19 ft 8 in. The total grain capacity of the holds is 45,400 cubic feet and the gross tonnage is 810. There are three holds, two forward and one abaft the machinery space, and also a small cargo space in the forecastle. The hatch to No. 1 hold is a short square one; those of Nos. 2 and 3 holds are long, occupying about two-thirds of the length of the hold, and making for quick and efficient loading. The Amethyste and her sister, the Turquoise, have each a cruiser stern, a continuous deck raised abaft the long bridge, a forecastle, long bridge, deckhouse and flying bridge.
For cargo-handling there are a 10-tons derrick at the foremast base, operated by an electrically driven winch of 5 tons capacity, and a derrick at the mainmast, operated by an electrical winch of 3 tons capacity. The engines, giving a speed of 13 knots, are of Burmeister and Wain four-cycle single-acting airless injection type, rated at about 600 horse-power at 225 revolutions a minute.