S/S Stavangerfjord

Paul's Previous Transportation to a New Continent

Autumn 1960, New York-Oslo

The "Stavangerfjord" was 12,977 tons gross, 9,814 under deck and 7,527 net. Cammell Laird & Co., Birkenhead built it in 1917 for the Norwegian America Line. Her details were - 532.5 feet long; 64.2 foot beams and holds 29.3 feet deep, poop 21 feet long. Bridge and Forecastle on Shelter deck 464 feet long. Two funnels. Two masts. 2 steel decks & steel shelter deck sheathed in wood, 3rd deck in No. 1, 2 & 3 holds, cruiser stern, 10 cemented bulkheads, cellular double bottom 480 feet long, 1,580 tons, Deep Tank, aft 80 tons, Forward Peak Tank 179 tons, Aft Peak Tank 197 tons, flat keel. She was fitted with electric light & wireless. Propulsion: quadruple expansion engine with 8 cylinders of 26 1/2, 37 1/2, 53 & 76 inches diameter each pair, stroke 54 inches, operating at 220 p.s.i; 1,567 nominal horsepower, 8 single ended boilers, 32 corrugated furnaces, grate surface 630 sq. ft., heating surface 24,640 sq. ft., forced draught. Twin screws and a speed of 16 knots. The same company as the hull built the engine. Master: Captain K.S. Irgens, appointed to the shipping line in 1913 and to the ship in 1918. Call sign: MSJR.

There was accommodation for 88-1st, 318-2nd and 820-3rd class passengers. Launched on 21st May 1917, she sailed from Birkenhead on her maiden voyage to New York on 29th April 1918. She was then laid up in New York until she sailed for Christiania (Oslo) on 11th September 1918. In October 1918 she made her first Christiania - Christiansand - Stavanger - Bergen - New York crossing, arriving 16th October. In 1924 she was converted from coal to oil fuel and her accommodation altered to carry cabin and 3rd class passengers only. In February 1930 she was again refitted to 147-cabin, 207-tourist and 820-3rd class and her tonnage increased to 13,156 tons. She was modernised in 1938 and on 9th December 1939 commenced her last crossing from New York to Bergen and Oslo, where she was laid up. After the German invasion of Norway, she became a depot ship until August 1945, when she was used as a troopship between Norway and New York. In 1946 she was refitted to accommodate 122-1st, 222-cabin and 335-tourist class passengers and on 31st May 1946 resumed Oslo -Bergen - New York sailing’s. On 9th December 1953 her rudder carried away in rough weather in mid-Atlantic and she was escorted to Bergen, firstly by the Norwegian America cargo steamer "Lyngenfjord" which unsuccessfully tried to tow her and then by the British tug "Turmoil". She managed to steer by use of her twin screws. In 1956 she was again refitted to carry 66-1st, 184-cabin and 402-tourist class passengers and her tonnage increased to 14,015 tons. Her last voyage commenced on 18th November 1963 when she left Oslo for Copenhagen, Stavanger, New York (dep 3rd Dec.), Bergen and Oslo and in 1964 she was scrapped at Hong Kong. After 45 years on the sea. During this time it had crossed the Atlantic 768 times which means 2.800.000 miles and had carried 403.618 passengers.

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