Friday, January 18, 2019
Devonia

The article on Scillonian III bought back many memories to me. Indentured at Thornycrofts, Woolston Works, between 1950 and 1955, I helped build Scillonian I.

Some decades later, I took my family down to Torquay for a holiday. On walking around the waterfront, I spotted a large vessel with a patent Thornycroft funnel (invented by an apprentice boiler-maker). As we drew alongside, I could see the name Devonia painted on the stern. I asked a crew-man how his ship performed, he was full of praise and said they were having a disco on-board tonight as they cruise Torbay and why don’t we come along. To a chorus of “can we go dad!?” from my three children, I agreed.

It was a balmy evening as we set sail, but I was more interested in the ship than what was going on around me. Looking at the davits and lifeboats, I noticed a build-up of paint. Suddenly a voice at my elbow said “Can I help you sir?” I said it doesn’t look as if this gear has been used lately! He replied; “I can assure you it has, I am the owner of this ship.” I said “Well I helped build her!”

His eyes lit up, and he asked me to tell him about her as she is so well built. He said she must have had a subsidy to afford things like two-inch thick solid teak doors and many other fine features. I explained that Thornycrofts had three admiralty surveyors based in their yard and they made sure everything was done to as near to perfection as possible. This meant that when merchant were constricted, the same skills applied. The owner stated that due to taking the ground at Penzance, one plate had to be renewed, but otherwise she was in excellent condition.

I was invited up onto the bridge to meet the skipper and then down to the engine room to meet the chief. From memory, she still had her original Lister Blackstone main engines and Gardner auxiliaries, all running smoothly. Sometime later, I believe the owner had a dispute with the local authorities and moved Devonia up to Scotland. I then lost track of her.

COLIN WILKINS
11 Vespasian Road,
Bitterne Manor
Southampton, SO18 1AY

For more letters, see the latest edition of Sea Breezes Magazine
Click here to subscribe

Subscribe Graphic
Stad Amsterdam

Most Popular

  • New Builds for Stena +

  • Steady as a Rock +

  • Wreck of Argentine Submarine San Juan Discovered +

  • Container Lines Unite to Develop Digital Co-Operation +

  • Port Urged to Review Opertations +

  • 1
  • 2

Top Ten Books and DVDs of 2018

Latest Products

Maritime Log

  • Rolls-Royce in Fully Autonomous Ferry Trials +

    Falco Control Room The world's first fully automated ferry has been demonstrated by the UK technology giant Rolls-Royce and the Finnish state-owned ferry Read More
  • New Teeside Port Handles Fertiliser +

    Teeside Port The contract for the design and build of the port handling facilities on Teesside for Sirius Minerals Plc, owners of Read More
  • RNLI Helps Family Pay Special Tribute to a Relative and Shipmates +

    RNLI Seahouses On the afternoon of Nov 10 last year, a special ceremony took place off Sunderland to mark the sinking of Read More
  • End of Shipbuilding at Historic Appledore Yard +

    Appledore Yard The Appledore shipyard in Devon is to be closed in March by its owners, the UK-based engineering company Babcock International. Read More
  • Container Lines Unite to Develop Digital Co-Operation +

    Mayview Maersk Five of the world’s major container lines are planning to set up an association aimed at digitalisation, standardisation and interoperability Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

North America

  • All Crew Rescued as Liftboat Takes on Water +

    RAM XV111 All fifteen people were rescued from a listing self-propelled self-elevating jackup platform, known in the US offshore industry as a Read More
  • Imports Up but Exports Fall in China Trade War +

    Port of Long Beach For the second year running, the Port of Long Beach, California, has broken its record for the volume of cargo Read More
  • $500m Drugs Seized By Eight Cutters +

    USCGC James Drugs with a street value of $500mn were unloaded at Port Everglades, Florida, on Nov 15 by the US Coast Read More
  • Crude Oil Exports Help Boost Tonnage +

    Corpus Christi The major US oil exporting port of Corpus Christi, in Texas, set a new tonnage record during the first nine Read More
  • Four LNG Tankers in One Day +

    Ribera del Duero Knutsen In a major first on Oct 1, four liquefied gas carriers transited the Panama Canal in one day through the Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Asia-Pacific

  • Tabletop Drill Checks Staff's Response +

    MOL Emergency Control Headquarters A simulated collision - known as a tabletop drill - involving a LNG carrier and a fishing boat in Japanese waters has Read More
  • The Future of Ships to Come +

    NYK Ship The major Japanese shipping group Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) has come up with a new concept of how a ship Read More
  • Port Urged to Review Opertations +

    CMA CGM Centaurus The UK registered container ship CMA CGM Centaurus, 131,322gt, crashed into the quay at the United Arab port of Jebel Read More
  • New Welsh Memorial to Japanese U-Boat Victims +

    Hirano Maru A special memorial has been unveiled in a churchyard in Wales to the almost 300 crew and passengers of a Read More
  • Waste Water Spilled Into Great Barrier Reef +

    Pacific Explorer The P&O Cruises Australia cruise ship Pacific Explorer, 77,499gt, was detailed by the Australian authorities after spilling waste water in Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Naval Focus

  • Navy And NASA Complete Recovery Test +

    USS Anchorage American News In what might be seen as a return to the heady days of NASA’s Apollo moon program, the Read More
  • F-35s Touch Down on HMS Queen Elizabeth +

    HMS Queen Elizabeth British News Many people never thought they’d see it happen, but F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters have finally flown Read More
  • Sea Trials Recall for Zumwalt-Class Destroyer +

    USS Michael Monsoor American News The Zumult class destroyer USS Michael Monsoor was in dockyard hands at Bath in Maine for the removal Read More
  • HMS Albion Proves Big in Japan +

    HMS Albion British News The assault ship HMS Albion, at time of writing, had just completed a five day visit to Tokyo Read More
  • Royal Navy Commissions New Survey Ship +

    HMS Magpie British News The latest survey vessel to join the Royal Navy was commissioned into service at her homeport of Devonport Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ferry World

  • Appledore's Legacy +

    Clansman The impending closure of the Appledore Yard is another loss of merchant ship-building capacity even though its bread and butter, Read More
  • New Builds for Stena +

    E-Flexer RoPax The first three of the large ro-ros on order by Stena, from the Avic Co’s Weihai yard in China, are Read More
  • Tragedy in Tanzania +

    Nyerere A country well used to tragedy, saw another, on Lake Victoria in September. Read More
  • Seatruck Irish Sea Expansion +

    Seatruck Power Seatruck Pace At this time, when all cross-border ferry operators ex UK must be extremely apprehensive as leaving the EU approaches, Seatruck Read More
  • Worse Things Happen at Sea +

    Ulysse and CSL Virginia I would have liked to have seen the face or hear the language of the OOW when he realised he Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Sail Review/Coastal Comment

  • All Change at Sea-Change +

    Cambria Since she was rebuilt in 2011, the mulie barge Cambria has been based in Kent, but in September, after her Read More
  • Kaskelot Becomes Le Francais +

    Kaskelot At the end of the Southampton Boat Show in September, the barque Kaskelot, which had been on display, was sold Read More
  • Brexit Impact on Ports and Cars +

    CIty of Amsterdam I am amazed the port industry has not made more thorough and timely comments about the potentially negative impact of Read More
  • Barge Race Review +

    Edme Apart from the Whitstable Harbour Barge Race, all the other barge races have a yearly points system that counts up Read More
  • The Temps Fête Maritime Festival +

    La Recouvrance During World War II, most of France’s traditional sailing vessels were destroyed and after the war, the emphasis was on Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

From the Lookout

  • The Fjords Targets Oslo With New Zero Emission Vessel +

    Future of the Fjords The Fjords DA has announced it plans to add another all electric passenger vessel to its award winning fleet, with Read More
  • New Film Celebrates Public Access to River and Docks Archive +

    Elephants Public access to documents charting the history of the River Thames and London’s Docks over nearly 250 years has been Read More
  • Wreck of Argentine Submarine San Juan Discovered +

    San Juan In November 2017, I was greatly saddened by the disappearance and assumed loss of the Argentine submarine San Juan. Read More
  • M Squared and Imperial College Reveal Quantum Compass +

    Quantum Compass Prototype Over the years at Sea Breezes, we have highlighted the inherent weakness of some of our electronic navigation systems to Read More
  • Jobs Boost for the Clyde? +

    Old Kilpatrick John MacSween An ambitious plan to bring marine manufacturing and support industries back to the Upper Clyde, if fully realised, will result Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Cruise News/Superyacht News

  • New Turquoise Yachts 77m Unveiled +

    Project Quantum Turquoise Yachts, the Turkish based shipyard under the same ownership as the Dutch Oceanco shipyard, has commissioned Ken Freivokh Design Read More
  • Steady as a Rock +

    Rock When Ali Sayakci, the Turkish businessman, set out to build his new yacht Rock, his primary concern was how to Read More
  • Le Ponant on the Move +

    Ponant Icebreaker Following the example of the Lindblad Cruise Line and National Graphic in the USA, Ponant, the French cruise line which Read More
  • The Bridge Story Updated +

    Queen Mary 2 Recent readers of these Cruise News pages will possibly be familiar with the coverage given to “Bridge 2017”, a transatlantic Read More
  • Dropping an Anchor in Glasgow +

    Anchor Line The history of former shipping lines are frequently well chronicled in various museums. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Ships, Ports and Places

Kelvinbank

First Voyage on the SS Kelvinbank

Readers may recall the account of life on the Liverpool-crewed Liberty ship, Maplebank, by Alan Rawlinson (Sea Breezes July 2017), Read More
Glenlee

The Last Voyage of the Islamount (Part 4)

As Islamount, the 1896 three-masted barque Glenlee completed four circumnavigations of the globe and rounded Cape Horn 15 times before Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Companies, Events and Other Features

Sinclair Petrolore

Centenary Feature - Disaster at Sea

The following article was originally published in the April, 1961 issue of Sea Breezes and will be the first of Read More
Bobato Ship Models

Mauritian Model Makers

Few would expect to find a flourishing ship modelling industry located in a far-flung corner of the southern Indian Ocean. Read More
  • 1
  • 2