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Ships and Boats

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Captain Cook
The Titanic
The Mayflower
Miscellaneous
Brunel
Ships and Boats

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Ships and Boats

This page is essentially about merchant ships and pleasure craft.

See also Warships, and Nautical Terms.

Some of the ships described here belong (or belonged) to the Royal Navy (or equivalent); but the purposes for which they were being used as and when referred to here are non–military (for example, exploration – Captain Cook's ships being a case in point).

Captain Cook

First voyage, 1768 Click to show or hide the answer
Ship commanded by Cook on his second and third voyages (1772–5 and 1776) Click to show or hide the answer
Escort ship on Cook's second voyage Click to show or hide the answer
Escort ship on Cook's third voyage Click to show or hide the answer

The Titanic (and its sister ships)

Date of the loss of the Titanic Click to show or hide the answer
First ship to use the SOS distress signal Click to show or hide the answer
Lives lost on the Titanic Click to show or hide the answer
Number of survivors Click to show or hide the answer
Belfast yard at which the Titanic was built Click to show or hide the answer
Number of funnels on the Titanic Click to show or hide the answer
Line that operated the Titanic Click to show or hide the answer
Captain of the Titanic Click to show or hide the answer
The Titanic sailed on her maiden voyage from Click to show or hide the answer
The Titanic's first port of call, after leaving Southampton Click to show or hide the answer
The Titanic's second and last port of call (in Co. Cork, Ireland) Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
First ship to come to the aid of the Titanic – rescued 705 survivors Click to show or hide the answer
Captain of the Carpathia Click to show or hide the answer

Sister Ships

Used in World War I as a troopship; sliced through a U–boat in May 1918; rammed the Nantucket Lightship in 1934 (7 crew killed); made its last Atlantic crossing in 1935 Click to show or hide the answer
Used in World War I as a hospital ship; sunk by a mine in the Aegean, 21 November 1916 Click to show or hide the answer

Note: if asked "What was the Titanic's sister ship?", answer "Olympic". It lasted longer and is the better known of the two; most quiz question setters seem to have forgotten about the Britannic.

The Mayflower

Year in which the Mayflower sailed (left Plymouth on 6 September; made landfall on Cape Cod on 11 November) Click to show or hide the answer
Ship that left Southampton with the Mayflower, but was left in Plymouth because unseaworthy Click to show or hide the answer
People on board the Mayflower Passengers Click to show or hide the answer
Crew (approx) Click to show or hide the answer
Town at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts: site of the Mayflower pilgrims' first landfall in America (they were trying to get to Virginia Colony, but were driven back by stong winds) Click to show or hide the answer
Site (in Massachusetts) of the colony founded in 1620 by passengers from the Mayflower (there is no contemporary evidence that they actually used the famous Rock, named after the colony, to step ashore) Click to show or hide the answer

Miscellaneous

US engineer, developed the first successful steamship and the first successful submarine, around 1800 Click to show or hide the answer
Fulton's first successful submarine (Paris, 1797) Click to show or hide the answer
Fulton's first successful steamship (sailed from New York to Albany on the Hudson, 1807) Click to show or hide the answer

Masts on a sloop Click to show or hide the answer
Masts on a yawl Click to show or hide the answer
Three short blasts Click to show or hide the answer
Clydebank yard at which the Queen Mary and QE2 were built Click to show or hide the answer
Letter that used to identify British sailing boats (now GBR) Click to show or hide the answer
California: Queen Mary was berthed from 1969 at Click to show or hide the answer
Rearmost mast on a three–masted ship Click to show or hide the answer
Officer in charge of finance and passenger welfare, on a cruise ship Click to show or hide the answer
Ann McKim, Thermopylae, Flying Cloud, Cutty Sark, James Baines, Ariel, Taeping Click to show or hide the answer
NS Savannah (US, 1962–72), Mutsu (Japan, 1990–95), Otto Hahn (Germany, 1964–), Sevmorput (Soviet Union / Russia, 1988–): the only four merchant ships that are or were Click to show or hide the answer

Brunel

The first steamship built purposely for the Atlantic crossing; designed by Brunel; built in Bristol, launched July 1837; then the world's largest steamship (length 236ft); engines fitted in London; maiden voyage from Bristol to New York March 1838; served as a troop carrier in the Crimean War; broken up on the Thames 1856 Click to show or hide the answer
The first iron ship; the first propeller–driven ship to cross the Atlantic; designed by Brunel; built in Bristol, launched July 1843; at the time the world's largest ship (length 322ft); grounded off Ireland in 1846, salvage bankrupted its owners (the Great Western Steamship Company); carried 630 emigrants to Melbourne, 1852; served as a troop carrier in the Crimean War and the Indian Mutiny; sold to the Falkland Islands Co. in 1886 after a fire, and used as a storage hulk; scuttled 1930; returned to Bristol from Port Stanley in 1970 and restored as a museum Click to show or hide the answer
Brunel's final great project: built at Millwall, launched Jan 1858; then the world's largest ship (length 690ft); nicknamed "the Great Babe" by Brunel; he died less than 2 years after her launch, and only 4 days after her first sea trials; originally named SS Leviathan; the first ship with a double hull (now compulsory); maiden voyage from Southampton to New York July 1860; struck a rock off Long Island, New York (subsequently named after her), August 1862; later used to lay submarine cables, including the first successful transatlantic telegraph cable in 1866; broken up on the Mersey, 1889–90; topmast bought by Liverpool FC as a flagpole, which still stands outside Anfield Click to show or hide the answer

Ships and Boats

Italian cruise ship hi–jacked by Palestinians off Alexandria in 1985 Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Oil tanker that ran aground in 1978 on Portsall Rocks, near the north–western tip of Brittany (north–east of Ushant), spilling around 225,000 tonnes of oil Click to show or hide the answer
British merchant ship, owned by Cunard, requisitioned during the Falklands War and sunk by an Exocet missile Click to show or hide the answer
Trimaran in which Ellen MacArthur set a new record for a single–handed circumnavigation (2004–5) – named after two Kingfisher companies Click to show or hide the answer
Thames dredger involved in the Marchioness tragedy (1989) Click to show or hide the answer
Oil tanker that ran aground off Shetland in 1993, leaking around 85,000 tonnes of oil Click to show or hide the answer
59–foot ketch in which Chay Blyth completed the first solo non–stop east–to– west circumnavigation (1971) Click to show or hide the answer
Jacques Cousteau's famous research ship (featured in The Undersea World of …) Click to show or hide the answer
The world's largest cruise ship (101,000 tonnes), launched in 1997 Click to show or hide the answer
Italian cruise ship that struck a rock and sank off the island of Giglio, January 2012 (on its launch in 2005, the champagne bottle, released by model Eva Herzigová, had inauspiciously failed to break first time) Click to show or hide the answer
Tea clipper preserved at Greenwich; name is a Scots phrase meaning a short shirt or chemise, taken from Burns's Tam o'Shanter; a brand of whisky was named after the ship Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Captain Scott's ship on his first Antarctic expedition (1901–4) – cf. Terra Nova; also the escort ship on Captain Cook's second and third expeditions Click to show or hide the answer
Racing yacht owned by Simon le Bon of Duran Duran – capsized in the Fastnet race, 1985 Click to show or hide the answer
Troopship used to carry one of the first large groups of Caribbean immigrants to Britain, in 1948 (492 passengers and one stowaway; built in Germany, acquired by the UK as a prize of war; often known by only the second word of its name) Click to show or hide the answer
Shackleton's ship on the Imperial Trans–Antarctic Expedition (1914–16); trapped and crushed in the ice 1915 Click to show or hide the answer
53–foot yacht in which Naomi James became the first woman to sail single–handed around the world Click to show or hide the answer
Spilt over 40 million litres of oil on Bligh Reef, Prince William Sound, Alaska, 1989 Click to show or hide the answer
Legendary phantom ship, of evil omen, that haunts the Cape of Good Hope Click to show or hide the answer
Crew rescued by Grace Darling (1838) Click to show or hide the answer
Commissioned by Fridtjof Nansen for polar exploration; also used by Amundsen Click to show or hide the answer
US–based cruise liner, launched in 2006 – replaced the Queen Mary II as the world's largest passenger ship Click to show or hide the answer
Drake changed the name of the Pelican, during his circumnavigation, to Click to show or hide the answer
Yacht in which Fidel Castro and his band of revolutionaries sailed from Mexico to Cuba, in 1956 Click to show or hide the answer
54–foot ketch in which Francis Chichester circumnavigated the world, 1966–7 Click to show or hide the answer
Townsend Thoresen ferry that sank in 1987, shortly after leaving Zeebrugge with the bow doors open – 193 lives lost (Britain's worst peacetime maritime disaster since 1919) Click to show or hide the answer
Italian cargo ship, foundered in the English Channel in 2000 Click to show or hide the answer
36–foot ketch in which Alec Rose circumnavigated the world, 1967–8 Click to show or hide the answer
P&O flagship, torpedoed off Ireland in 1915 Click to show or hide the answer
Pleasure boat that sank in the Thames near Southwark Bridge after being in collision with the sand carrier Bow Belle, August 1989; 51 people lost their lives, 61 were rescued Click to show or hide the answer
American merchant brigantine, built in Nova Scotia in 1861, and registered as the Amazon; renamed in 1868; left New York on 7 November 1872, under the command of Captain Briggs, with his family as passengers, bound for Genoa with a cargo of alcoholic liquor; found drifting off the Azores on 5 December, with no sign of any passengers or crew; last log entry was 25 November Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Ship on which John Cabot sailed from Bristol in 1497, when he discovered Cape Breton Island (Newfoundland); believed to have been the first European exploration of the North American mainland since the Vikings in the 11th century Click to show or hide the answer
Built in 1906; held the Blue Riband for a record 22 years Click to show or hide the answer
Yacht in which Edward Heath won the Sydney to Hobart race in 1969 – also two later ones Click to show or hide the answer
UK–flagged merchant ship, beached off South Devon after being damaged in a storm, January 2007 Click to show or hide the answer
French ocean liner – the largest and fastest passenger ship of her day: seized by US authorities during World War II, for use as a troop ship, and renamed USS Lafayette; caught fire in 1942 while being converted; salvaged at great expense, but restoration was deemed too costly; scrapped in 1946 Click to show or hide the answer
Launched 2008, maiden voyage 2009: replaced Freedom of the Seas (and its two sister ships) as the world's largest passenger ship Click to show or hide the answer
Launched by Cunard in 1995, as its flagship Click to show or hide the answer
Ship in which Sir Francis Drake set sail on his circumnavigation (cf. Golden Hind) Click to show or hide the answer
Real–life ship whose wreck in 1941 off the island of Eriskay, in the Outer Hebrides, inspired the book and film Whisky Galore! (bound for Kingston, Jamaica and New Orleans, its cargo included 28,000 cases of malt whisky) Click to show or hide the answer
Bahamas–registered oil tanker that sank off the coast of Galicia, Spain, November 2002, spilling 25,000 tonnes of oil Click to show or hide the answer
Flagship of the notorious 18th century pirate Edward Teach (Blackbeard) – a captured French merchant vessel (name given to it by him) Click to show or hide the answer
Launched in 1938, entered service in 1940; then the largest passenger liner ever built (length 1,031ft), not surpassed in her lifetime; retired in 1968, destroyed by fire in 1972 (arson suspected) in Hong Kong harbour where plans were under way to use it as a university; the wreck was used in the Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun (1984) as covert headquarters for MI6 Click to show or hide the answer
Cunard's flagship, 1969–2004; built in Clydebank, launched 1967, the last oil–fired liner (refitted as a diesel 1986); retired 2008 Click to show or hide the answer
Queen Elizabeth's slightly smaller sister ship: launched 1934, entered service 1936, retired 1976, permanently berthed in Long Beach, California as a hotel and museum Click to show or hide the answer
Built in St. Nazaire, France, launched 2004 by HM the Queen; then the world's largest passenger ship (see Freedom of the Seas); still the largest ocean liner. Replaced the QE2 on the transatlantic route 2004, and as Cunard's flagship. Note: an ocean liner, as opposed to a cruise ship, uses regular trans–oceanic routes according to a schedule Click to show or hide the answer
Greenpeace's 'flagship', blown up in Auckland harbour by French agents in 1985 Click to show or hide the answer
Car ferry beached by a storm at Blackpool, 2008 Click to show or hide the answer
The first nuclear–powered merchant ship – launched in 1962, decommissioned in 1972 Click to show or hide the answer
The first steamship to cross the Atlantic (1891) Click to show or hide the answer
Supertanker that ran aground off Milford Haven, in 1996, spilling between 40,000 and 72,000 tonnes of oil Click to show or hide the answer
Name eventually chosen in 2016 for the Antarctic research ship (due to enter service in 2019) for which the popular choice was Boaty McBoatface Click to show or hide the answer
Saudi supertanker, captured by Somali pirates 2008 Click to show or hide the answer
Penlee (Cornwall) lifeboat, lost with all hands 19 Dec 1981 Click to show or hide the answer
Scottish trawler, lost off the Isle of Man in 1999 Click to show or hide the answer
37–foot cutter in which Joshua Slocum became the first man to circumnavigate the world single–handedly (converted to a yawl in the Straits of Magellan) Click to show or hide the answer
32–foot ketch in which Robin Knox–Johnston completed the first non–stop solo navigation (1968–9) – built by himself in India Click to show or hide the answer
Donald Crowhurst's trimaran (in which he competed in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, 1968–9 – but committed suicide having cheated and failed to complete the circumnavigation Click to show or hide the answer
Captain Scott's ship on his second Antarctica expedition (1910–12) – cf. Discovery Click to show or hide the answer
US–built and owned, Liberian–registered oil tanker, chartered to BP: ran aground off Cornwall in 1967; the largest ship ever to be wrecked, at that time; spilled around 100,000 tonnes of oil Click to show or hide the answer
The only ship of Magellan's fleet of five to complete the circumnavigation Click to show or hide the answer
The world's last sea–going passenger–carrying paddle steamer: operated between the Firth of Clyde and Arrochar (on Loch Long) 1946–73; now (after restoration) operates passenger excursions around the British coast Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017