Friday, 17 November 2017 13:48

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While on a flight from Athens to London with Aegean Airways a couple of weeks ago, I could not fail to notice a distinguished looking gentleman sitting just ahead of us examining a Tsakos Shipping Group fleet brochure. I eventually realised that this was no other than Captain Panagiotis Tsakos, the founder of the Tsakos Group who was flying in the company of his wife Dr. Irene Saroglou-Tsakos and supporting staff members. Following a career at sea and land based management, Captain Tsakos established Tsakos Shipping and Trading SA in 1970, the embryo of what has grown to become the “Tsakos Group of Companies” comprising a number of affiliated and associated companies around the globe. Today, with a fleet of 90 vessels, the company is a leader in several sectors of shipping including tankers, LNG carriers, bulk carriers, container and ro-ro vessels, all of which are committed to long term charters, some with provisions for profit sharing.

A typical example of this modern and well maintained fleet is the Suezmax tanker Spyros K.

Built by Sungdong Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Tongyoung, South Korea
Owned and operated by Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement, Athens
Delivered in 2011
LOA 274.2m
Beam 48.0m
GRT 81314 tons
DWT 157,648 MT
Summer draft 17.05m
Main engine HHI 6S70MC-C7, 18,660 kW
Class ABS


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Above left is Spyros K in the Strait of Canso, Nova Scotia approaching the Nustar oil terminal. With two mooring locations servicing vessels up to 400,000 DWT, Nustar is the deepest independent ice-free marine terminal in Atlantic North America. TEN on the ship’s hull denotes “Tsakos Energy Navigation” one of the world’s largest movers of oil and gas. Further to the shipping core business, the Group has diversified into other investment areas from shipbuilding, ship repair and ferry services to oil exploration, real estate, agriculture, forestry and renewable energy projects along with cultural, educational, philanthropic and charity activities. The company’s base remains on the Aegean archipelago island of Chios.  

The “Maria Tsakos Public Benefit Foundation, International Centre for Maritime Research and Tradition” was founded in 2008, also in Chios, by Capt. Tsakos and his son Mr. Nikolas P. Tsakos with the aim of promoting research, the study of Greek and international shipping, maritime tradition and education, as well as protection of the marine environment. The Foundation carries the name of Capt. Tsakos’ daughter, the late Maria Tsakos, a legendary promoter of the Hellenic culture and supporter of seafarers. Maria Tsakos died suddenly in 2010 in her hotel in New York City, after suffering a heart attack at the age of 44.

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Captain Tsakos, seen above left with his young family in the 1970’s, was elected the Connecticut Maritime Association Commodore for the Year in 2015. His son, Mr. Nikolas P. Tsakos, President and CEO of TEN, is the current Chairman of INTERTANKO, the voice of independent tanker owners and representing some 80% of the world’s tanker fleet. The picture above right was taken in the Presidential Hall in Athens in 2014 when Captain Tsakos was honored by the President of the Hellenic Republic Mr. Karolos Papoulias, with The Grand Commander of the “Order of the Phoenix”. The Greek Government confers the medal of “The Order of the Phoenix” to Greek personalities for their exceptional deeds, which enhance and promote the country’s international image.

Captain Tsakos provides a simple message: “The sea is our life breeder and seamanship, but more than anything else, is a combination of art and science, built on tradition and requiring, full dedication, devotion and commitment”.

Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd


Friday, 10 November 2017 11:41

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On this Remembrance Weekend it is perhaps appropriate to give thought to the Royal Canadian Navy. Following a six month deployment to Asia, a visitor to the Pier in North Vancouver in August was HMCS Ottawa, a Halifax Class Patrol Frigate and the fourth to be named after Canada’s capital city. While in Asia, Ottawa and her sister ship HMCS Winnipeg visited the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, China, South Korea, and Japan and participated along with Allied Navies in exercise Poseidon Cutlass 17. Home ported in Esquimalt, Ottawa is assigned to Maritime Forces Pacific.


Built by Saint John Shipbuilding, Saint John NB
Commissioned in 1996
LOA 134.2m
Beam 16.5m
Displacement 4795 MT in operational condition
Propulsion 2 x LM 2500 gas turbines generating 47,500 shaft HP + 1 x SEMT Pielstick diesel engine generating 8,800 HP
Speed 30 knots
Complement 225 including air detachment
Helicopter: Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone
Sister ships: HMCS St. John's, Halifax, Charlottetown, Fredericton, Montreal, Québec City, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and Vancouver

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More than one million Canadians served in World War II spread over the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army but often also integrated with other Commonwealth forces. More than 44,000 Canadian lives were lost and 54,000 wounded. After starting the war with a handful of aircraft and ships, Canada ended the war with the world's third largest navy and fourth largest air force while the Canadian merchant fleet completed over 25,000 voyages across the Atlantic under the harshest of conditions. The picture above right shows a previous HMCS Ottawa commissioned in 1938 but sunk in 1942 by U Boat torpedoes with the loss of her Captain, 115 crew members and 16 shipwrecked men rescued earlier from another vessel. There were 69 survivors.

The current HMCS Ottawa was ordered in December 1987 as part of the second batch of Halifax-class frigates, designed as a general purpose warship with focus on anti-submarine warfare. Ottawa was the final vessel to be built in the series of 12 vessels. The entire class has since undergone the Halifax Class Modernization (HCM) program and Frigate Equipment Life Extension Project (FELEX) which involved upgrades to command and control, radar, communications, electronic warfare and armament systems plus modifying the vessel to accommodate the Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopter. The construction phase of the program was completed in November 2016 and the modernization program is scheduled to complete by 2018.

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The Canadian Surface Combatant Project is the procurement project to eventually replace the Iroquis and Halifax class vessels with up to 15 new ships beginning in the early 2020s as part of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS). The design of these ships is currently underway but both the total number of ships and their capability will be dependent on budget allocation. One of the front-runners is said to be the Danish FREMM Class multi-purpose frigate (pictures above). Whatever the new design, the vessels will be built at the Irving Shipyard in Halifax N.S. The original plans call for a 10 year design and 20 year construction period at a cost of C$26 billion but there is little doubt that the actual cost will be substantially higher.

Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd

Friday, 03 November 2017 12:34

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It is not too often that we feature a ship which has yet to be built but given the significance, this week is an exception. The final design of the world’s first autonomous and zero emission container feeder ship, to be named YARA Birkeland, was released last month in Norway. When she enters service, the vessel will replace 40,000 trucking legs per year between Yara’s Porsgrunn fertilizer plant and the Norwegian ports of Brevik and Larvik when she enters service in 2019. Initial sailings will be manned operations with a steady transition to autonomous and fully unmanned operations by 2020.


To be built by Project owners
LOA 79.5mBeam 14.8m
Deadweight 3,200 MT
Capacity 120 TEU
Service speed 6 knots, maximim 10 knots
Propulsion: fully electric with 2 Azimuth Pods
Battery pack 7,5 – 9 MWh

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Partnering in the project, KONGSBERG will be responsible for development and delivery of all key enabling technologies including the sensors and integration required for remote and autonomous ship operations to allow the vessel to sail within 12 nautical miles of the coast. Loading and discharging will be facilitated automatically using electric cranes and equipment and the vessel herself will dispense with ballast tanks, instead using the battery pack as permanent ballast. To solve the problem of a mooring crew, the vessel will be fitted with an automatic mooring system.

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To provide full oversight of the voyage, three centres (picture above left) will be established to provide condition and operational monitoring in addition to decision support and surveillance. With design and final tank testing of a 6m long and 2.4 tons model now complete, a construction contract is expected to be signed shortly with delivery expected in Q1 of 2019, Never far away from low emission projects with its wallet, the Norwegian government has provided a grant of almost $17 million to Yara towards the construction of the vessel which is expected to cover about one third of the total estimated development and construction cost.

In a further related development, Rolls-Royce recently entered an agreement with Google to gain access to that company’s intelligent awareness systems to help make existing vessels safer but also with a view to the wider development of autonomous, unmanned ships.

Originally established as Norsk Hydro in 1905, the company demerged as Yara International ASA in 2004. Yara's core business of nitrogen fertilizer production is related to efficient agricultural productivity and food production. YARA Birkeland will be named after Yaras’ founder, the physicist, Mr. Kristian Birkeland (1867-1917), who in 1905 discovered how to produce fertilizer by using electricity to extract nitrogen from the air. The company this year celebrated the 150th anniversary of his birth. Picture above right.

See the video

Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd. 

Friday, 27 October 2017 12:05

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A recent visitor to Vancouver was Diana Shipping’s Panamax bulk carrier Coronis which I spied at anchorage while using the Seabus to cross into the city for a sunny afternoon at the Vancouver Whitecaps. Registered on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and specializing in the ownership of drybulk tonnage, Diana Shipping currently operates a fleet of 51 vessels including 4 Newcastlemax, 14 Capesize, 5 post-Panamax, 5 Kamsarmax and 23 Panamax. The company also owns Diana Containerships Inc. comprising 6 post-Panamax and 5 Panamax container ships.

Built by Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group, Shanghai, PRC    
Owned and Operated by Diana Shipping, Athens      
LOA 225.0m
Beam 32.3m
GRT 40,485 tons
DWT 74,381 MT
Registered in Majuro, Marshall Islands

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Mr. Symeon Palios (picture below right ) serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of both companies. Having served as an ensign in the Greek Navy and qualifying as a naval architect and marine engineer, Mr. Palios purchased his first ship in 1969 and then served as the Managing Director of Diana Shipping Agencies S.A. from 1972 onwards. Mr. Palios was honoured at the 23rd Annual International Maritime Hall of Fame reception and awards dinner held in New York in May 2016. Since 2011, he has been a Board Member of the “Maria Tsakos” Public Benefit Foundation which is closely involved in the development of maritime technology and protection of the marine environment.

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Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.

Friday, 20 October 2017 10:45

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When recently checking the visitor log at the Mission to Seafarers, I was amused by the name of a ship from which we hosted a large group of seafarers. The name of the ship was Mongoose Hunter and curiosity so got the better of me that I had to dig deeper. After all, who would call a ship Mongoose Hunter or Mongoose anything for that matter. On research, I was able to identify that within the Delphis Fleet, owned since 2015 by Compagnie Maritime Belge, there also exists the imaginatively named mid-size container ships named Cuckoo Hunter, Duck Hunter, Grouse Hunter, Harrier Hunter, Hawk Hunter and Moose Hunter.


Built by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan
Delivered in 2005
Owned and managed by Delphis Shipping, a subsidiary of Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB)
Chartered by 2M Alliance
LOA 294.1m
Beam 32.3m
GRT 58,289 tons
DWT 64,519 MT
Capacity 4,922
Registered in Monrovia
Previous names: Built as P&O Nedlloyd Heemskerck, MOL Cullinan, 2005-14, Santa Regina 2014-15

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Mongoose Hunter
is currently operating within the 2M Alliance of Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company which formally began operations in January 2015. Under the negotiated terms, the world’s two largest container carriers signed a 10 year Vessel Sharing Agreement on the Asia-Europe, Transatlantic and Transpacific trades. The Alliance also has a strategic cooperation Agreement with Hyundai Merchant Marine signed in March this year.

CMB was founded in 1895 under the name 'Compagnie Belge Maritime du Congo (CBMC) when a maritime trading link was opened with the Congo Free State. In 1930 CBMC acquired Lloyd Royal Belge, another Belgian shipowner, and the name of the new company was amended to CMB ahead of forging new trading links with North America and the Far East. The company entered the dry bulk trade in 1962 and continues to be a major dry bulk operator under its Bocimar name. In 1995, 50% of CMB Transport was sold to Safmarine but today the company focuses on the bulk sector. Since 1997, CMB has also owned Euronav, one of the world’s largest owner/operators of large tankers with 46 vessels currently under ownership.

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Mongoose Hunter seen here in her previous colours (left to right) as P&O Nedlloyd Heemskerck, MOL Cullinan and Santa Regina.

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The current consolidation of container shipping lines into three primary alliances is illustrated by the above graphic.

Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd

Friday, 13 October 2017 10:58

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Having been named in May this year and put to work in September, the LNG bunker supply vessel Coralius is making a name for herself as the first of her type to be built in Europe and specifically designed for the conditions of the Baltic and North Seas. As such she is built to 1A ice-class and is fitted with state of the art LNG-transfer and mooring equipment. She also has a noticeably flat working deck to support ship-to-ship transfers.

Built by Royal Bodewes Shipyard, Eemshaven, The Netherlands
Owned and operated by Anthony Veder and Sirius Shipping
Chartered by Skangas, Norway
Delivered in July 2017
LOA 99.6m
Beam 18.0m
GRT 5,600 tons
Capacity 5,800 cbm of LNG
Service speed 13 knots

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The first ship to ship transfer by Coralius (picture above left) recently took place in international waters in the Northern Kattegat between Frederikshavn, Denmark, and Gothenburg, Sweden. The receiving vessel was the LOA 144m oil and chemical tanker Fure West. In 2015, its managers, Furetank Rederi, retroffited her from conventional heavy oil bunkers to LNG on account of her dedicated trading pattern in the Emissions Control Area (ECA) of the Baltic Sea and Kattegat. Coralius was built as part of a Pilot LNG umbrella project co-funded by the EU under Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) whose aim is to develop a pan-EU LNG bunkering infrastructure.

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Coralius also recently bunkered her first vessel while alongside (picture above) when, on behalf of Skangas, LNG was supplied to the tanker Ternsund in the Port of Gothenburg. By way of context, in 2016 Skangas was involved in 4,300 LNG truck loading operations and over 600 vessel bunkering operations, numbers which are rapidly multiplying year on year.

As a pioneer in offering small to midscale LNG shipping and bunkering solutions, Anthony Veder is well known for development of innovative concepts to corner emerging markets. Coralius is therefore seen as a vessel combining the best of two worlds, namely direct service to terminals, particularly in remote ports, and to provide LNG bunkers direct to a vessel. Given her bow and stern thrusters, hose handling cranes and re-liquefaction plant, Coralius has all the maneuverability required of a vessel designed for such ship-to ship transfers.

Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd

Friday, 06 October 2017 10:35

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Islands across the Caribbean are continuing to struggle following the unprecedented levels of damage wreaked by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and most recently Maria which entirely devastated the infrastructure of the US territory of Puerto Rico. Much has been made of the slow Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) speed of response to the situation in Puerto Rico by comparison to the response to Hurricanes Harvey across Texas and Irma across Florida but the pace is now picking up. Even so, the majority of the island’s 3.4 million people are without power, communications, gas or drinking water and is likely to remain so for quite some time.

Against this background, many are desperate to leave but with limited flights and no suitable US flag vessel capability capable of moving thousands of people, it has fallen to the goodwill of foreign flagged cruise lines to make capacity available. One such vessel is Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s (RCL) Adventure of the Seas which last week undertook a humanitarian mission to evacuate almost 4,000 people from Puerto Rico. The lead picture above shows the line-up  to evacuate in San Juan, the major port and capital city of Puerto Rico. Evacuees were not charged for their passage and food and entertainment were provided free – the exception being alcohol which was sold at a discount.

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Adventure of the Seas also made humanitarian calls in the US Virgin Islands to drop off urgently needed supplies before heading to Fort Lauderdale where she arrived on October 3. In addition, RCL has made it’s travel network available to coordinate onward travel with airlines since as US citizens, Puerto Ricans can readily relocate to the US mainland. As a consequence of this freedom to travel the population of Puerto Rico dropped by more than 8% in the last seven years, the largest percentage drop of any US state or territory with nearly one-third of those born in Puerto Rico now living on the US mainland. This was, at least in part, why Puerto Rico filed for the biggest bankruptcy in US municipal history earlier this year with a $72 billion debt burden and near-insolvent public health and pension systems.

The Carnival Group, too, has utilized 11 ships to deliver much needed supplies during regular cruises while Norwegian Cruise Line is working with the group “All Hands Volunteers” to rebuild schools and infrastructure. It is also donating $600,000 to rebuilding efforts and will match up to $1.25 million in donations to “All Hands Volunteers” and “Happy Heart Fund” relief efforts.

The response to the devastation across the Caribbean has served to further light a fire under the Merchant Marine Act in 1920 (Jones Act) debate. Congress passed the Jones Act in 1920 after World War I amidst concern that the U.S. shipping industry was too weak to survive following the loss of hundreds of ships. However, to this day, vested interests have managed to hang on to the protection from competition that the Act provides to the U.S. Merchant Marine. Puerto Rican and Hawaiian officials have long campaigned against the law on the grounds that it makes their food and other imports far more expensive than on the mainland. Each year for the past ten years, Senator John McCain has introduced a bill to repeal the Act but to no avail.

Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd

Thursday, 28 September 2017 16:30

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Here in Vancouver to load coal at Westshore Terminals, Roberts Bank, this week was the post-Panama bulk carrier W-Sky, managed by W Marine Inc based in Athens.

Built by Catic Shipbuilding, Taizhou, Jiangsu, PRC
Owned and managed by W Marine, Athens
Delivered in 2011
LOA 229.2m
Beam 38.0m
GRT 51,239 tons
DWT 92,929 MT
Main engine : MAN-B&W 6S60MC-C, BHP 18.436, Kw 13.560,
Service Speed : 14 knots

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Established in 2003, W Marine Inc. manages a fleet of six bulk carriers in the Panamax, Kamsarmax and Post-Panamax sectors. By way of interest, the evolution of the “Kamsarmax" with a deadweight of around 82,000 MT and LOA 229m is on account of being the largest size of vessel that can be accommodated at the world’s largest bauxite port, namely Port Kamsar in Equatorial Guinea.

Export coal volumes through the Port of Vancouver (Westshore and Neptune Terminals) staged something of a recovery in the first half of 2017 with a 7% increase over the same period of 2016. Metallurgical coal volumes were slightly down at 12.3 million tonnes but still representing the fifth consecutive year of metallurgical coal export volumes reaching more than 12 million tonnes at the mid-year point. On the other hand, thermal coal volumes were up by 43% over the same period of 2016 due to a partial recovery in demand but volumes were still down by 18% when compared with the previous record. While still a very long way from the record volumes of 2012, year to date export coal through Prince Rupert’s Ridley Terminals International have more than doubled over those of 2016 with 4.7 million tonnes having been shipped including over a million tonnes of petroleum coke.

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Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter employing 58,000 people and accounting for 35% of all global coal exports. However, despite being the world’s largest exporter, coal is still only Australia’s second largest export, after iron ore.

Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.

Friday, 22 September 2017 11:40

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The Teekay owned tanker Scott Spirit is a prime example of a modern shuttle tanker designed to load from offshore installations as an alternative to building undersea pipelines to connect offshore oil fields to storage and refinery capacity. Being designed to work in such challenging environments as the North Sea, Brazil or off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, shuttle tankers are arguably among the hardest working vessels in the tanker sector.

Built by Samsung Shipbuilding & Heavy Industries, Geoje, South Korea
Delivered in 2011
Owned and operated by Teekay Shipping, Stavanger, Norway
LOA 248m
Beam 42m
GRT 66,563 tons
DWT 109,334 MT
Registry Bahamas

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Teekay Offshore Partners, is a major player in this intensively competitive business and in June 2015 the company announced the signing of a 15 year shuttle contract with Canada Hibernia Holding Corporation (CHHS), Chevron Canada, ExxonMobil Canada, Husky Energy, Mosbacher Operating Ltd, Murphy Oil, Nalcor Energy, Statoil, and Suncor Energy. Teekay Offshore is to provide shuttle tankers for loading crude oil at Hibernia, Terra Nova, White Rose and Hebron oil fields located off Newfoundland. These 15-year contracts, plus extension options, is initially being serviced by one of Teekay Offshore’s existing shuttle tankers, the Navion Hispania, and two to three third party-owned shuttle tankers currently operating in East Coast Canada. Teekay Offshore also committed to enter newbuild contracts to construct three Suezmax-size, DP2 shuttle tankers for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2017 through the first half of 2018 with an option for one more should it become necessary.

These new long-term Canadian flag shuttle tanker contracts mark Teekay Offshore’s expansion into Eastern Canada’s growing offshore oil production market and have resulted in Teekay Offshore establishing permanent offices and ship operations, Teekay (Atlantic) Management Ulc., in St. John’s Newfoundland. Canship Ugland has previously been the dominant player in the Canadian offshore market since production began at the Hibernia field in 1997.

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In September 2016, Teekay Offshore also entered into conditional contracts with Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) to construct two 154,000 DWT Suezmax-size DP2 shuttle tankers for delivery in 2019 and 2020 with options to order up to two additional vessels to provide shuttle tanker services in the North Sea under Teekay Offshore’s existing master agreement with Statoil ASA. The new vessels will be constructed based on Teekay Offshore’s newly developed Shuttle Spirit design (picture above left with credit to which incorporates technologies aimed at increasing fuel efficiency, reducing emissions and improved LNG propulsion. Teekay Offshore has also transferred its shuttle tanker business into a new subsidiary, Teekay Shuttle Tankers following a contract signed between Teekay Corporation, Teekay Offshore and Brookfield Business Partners as well as its institutional partners to enter into a strategic partnership. The deal includes a USD 640 million investment in Teekay Offshore, following which Brookfield will own approximately 60% of the company.

The picture above right shows Teekay’s Falcon Spirit loading at sea from a single buoy mooring (SBM).


Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd.

Friday, 15 September 2017 11:29

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Seen here alongside in Coal Harbour, but more usually found lying at the Seaspan Dock at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver, is the converted yacht St. Eval which began life in the UK having been built at the Bowling Shipyard on the River Clyde in Scotland, as a pre-war Warrior Class tug.

Shipbuilding at the Bowling Shipyard began around 1800 when the McGill brothers established their yard at the Forth and Clyde Canal basin. By the late 1840's the McGill's had joined forces with James Scott to form Scott & McGill, which became Scott and Sons in 1851. Between 1851 and 1979 Scott's built in excess of 450 vessels and was incorporated in 1958 being traded for the first time as Scott & Sons (Bowling) Ltd . In 1965, the company was taken over by Scott's Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd of Greenock and became part of the Scott Lithgow Group. The yard closed in 1979.

Designed and built by Scott and Sons at the Bowling Shipyard, Scotland
Delivered in 1930, served in WWII, refitted in 1993
Length 35m (115 feet)
Beam 7.4m
Displacement 382 tonnes
Main engine single screw 660HP (486kW)
Cruising speed 10 knots
Accommodation for up to four guests
Registered in Falmouth, UK
Previous name: Chieftain

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During the Second World War, when based in Falmouth, Cornwall, in the far south west of the UK, Chieftain was  repeatedly tasked to come to the aid of torpedoed freighters and warships in the English Channel and, when possible, to tow them to port. In 1968, her new owner “Falmouth Towing Company” changed her name to St. Eval after a well known church and north Cornwall hamlet. In 1980 she was purchased by British businessman Peter De Savary and converted into a support vessel for the America's Cup.

In the early 1990's St. Eval was converted into a luxury yacht for Mr. Dennis Washington, however she remains British flagged and the 1992 America's Cup Challenge Port Pendennis emblem is still proudly displayed on her black funnel even though the UK team was forced to eventually withdraw from the event for lack of funding, This was the first time that a UK team had failed to compete for the America's Cup since the UK launched the competition in 1851.

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St. Eval is often featured in Christmas cards and other memorabilia and as the pictures reveal, she is tastefully fitted out with much of her original character preserved.  See the video

Ship of the Week contributed by Capt. Stephen Brown, West Pacific Marine Ltd