This week’s cover shows the SS Diplomat at Eastham, on the Manchester Ship Canal. Some of the bridges over the canal were too low to allow the Diplomat to pass underneath, and it was necessary to remove her funnels to allow her to clear them. The Diplomat’s gross tonnage is 8,240, her length is 482 ft 1 in, her breadth 58 ft 5 in and her depth 33 ft 5 in.
Since the London Midland and Scottish Railway acquired control of numerous services between Great Britain and Ireland, as well as of certain Firth of Clyde services, many interesting paddle and screw steamers have been replaced by fine modern vessels. Many of the cross-channel packets that ply round the coasts of Great Britain are being replaced by fast motorships and turbine steamers. This chapter gives a brief sketch of the interesting early vessels which formed the cross-channel fleets owned and controlled by various railway companies now forming part of the LMS Railway. In the last fifteen years as many as thirty new steamers have been put on these services by the LMS in the place of the older vessels.
A description of the Chella, built at La Seyne, near Toulon, and claims to be the fastest vessel on her route, with a speed of about 21½ knots. She has a length between perpendiculars of 426 feet, a beam of 62 feet, a depth of 37 feet and a draught of 22 feet. Her gross tonnage is 9,000 and her net tonnage 4,800.
The twentieth century, with its remarkable scientific progress, its desire for speed and its overpowering economic forces, is now seeing the inevitable disappearance of the large sailing vessel. In a few years’ time there will be few sailing ships left on the seas except those used as training ships or, of course, the innumerable yachts and small pleasure craft. This chapter explains why it is economically impracticable for sailing ships to compete with the fast powered vessels which satisfy the requirements of modern business conditions. This chapter is exceptionally well illustrated with a fine photogravure section.
The harbour of Durban is formed by a natural lagoon, the only opening on a long stretch of the eastern coast of South Africa. A deserted wilderness just over a century ago, Durban now handles more cargo tonnage than any other South African port.
The sailing vessels that were used as trap-ships and decoys during the war of 1914-18 were even more exposed to peril than many of the steamers. Sailing ships were frequently at the mercy of winds and tides, and it was more difficult for them to conceal their identity.
A FRENCH BARQUE OF 1,930 TONS GROSS, the Germaine was built at Havre, France, in 1900, as the Ville de Belfort. She had a length of 260 feet and a beam of 39 ft 5 in.
The Irish Minstrel
ONE OF THE SURVIVORS of the British coastal sailing vessels, the Irish Minstrel, a wooden three-masted schooner of 154 tons gross. She was built at Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland, in 1879. Her length is 99 ft 12 in and her beam 25 feet. This photograph was taken at Newlyn, near Penzance, Cornwall.
LAID UP IN OAKLAND CREEK, California, USA, the Daylight is a steel four-masted barque of 3,756 tons gross. She was built at Port Glasgow in 1902, and about thirty years later was converted into a lighter. She has a length of 351 ft 6 in and a beam of 49 ft 1 in.
ONE OF THE AUSTRALIAN GRAIN FLEET, the steel four-masted barque Olivebank, is registered at Mariehamn. A vessel of 2,795 tons gross, she was built at Glasgow in 1892. Her length is 326 feet, her beam 43 ft 1 in and her depth
24 ft 6 in.
The Olivebank also appears on the cover of part 50.