SINCE Japan took with such enthusiasm to the diesel-engined vessel she has produced many unusual-looking craft. The Hyogo Maru, which is illustrated above, is one of the strangest in appearance, for her high ‘midship superstructure is streamlined not only at the forward end but also at the after end. She is easily in the front rank of unorthodox motor ships. Her sister ship is named the Osaka Maru.
The principal points of design are the long, clear holds and decks with machinery aft and superstructure reduced to a minimum in the fore-and-aft direction. The Hyogo Maru is 251 ft. 8 in. in length between perpendiculars, with a beam of 37 ft. 11 in., and a depth of 18 ft. 8 in. Her deadweight tonnage is 2,400 and her gross tonnage 1,472. When fully loaded the vessel has a speed of about 12½ knots, given by a semi-diesel engine with six cylinders, developing a total of 900 bhp.
The Hyogo Maru and her sister ship are single-deckers, with forecastle, structure amidships and poop. The forecastle is devoted to a bosun’s store and the cargo space, and there is a clear well deck for No. 1 Cargo Hatch, which is 67 ft. 4½ in. long and 16 feet wide. After this is a house stretching from side to side of the ship, with dining saloon and pantry amidships, spare room for the quartermasters on the port side, and bathroom and lavatories on the starboard side.
The poop is occupied by crew accommodation at the forward end round the engine casing and a large Scotch donkey boiler at the after end. This has its own special funnel. The exhaust from the main diesel goes into a slightly larger funnel forward of the steam funnel. The stern is of normal counter type and the singles crew is in front of a semi-balanced rudder.
The derrick-supporting structures amidships - common in Japanese ships - are of lattice type; they are joined together by horizontal thwartship girders, above which is a topmast. There are eight derricks most of three tons capacity, and served by steam winches. Such a ship is capable of quick cargo handling and she is also ideally suited to lumber carrying or for any bulk cargo. Her hatches are of a length to make it possible easily to transport heavy material such as railway rolling stock. The Hyogo Maru and her sister ship are excellent examples of the efficiency of the modern Japanese mercantile marine.