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Friday, 10 September 2010


(Photo courtesy of Tony Skilton)
Ship No 478

M.V. John Wilson

"John Wilson" Official No. 315702. Built for Wilson's Portland Cement, of Whangarei, NZ. This company was owned by Golden Bay Cement, so, in 1974, "The John" became part of the Wellington-based fleet. Scrapped 1985.

She was the second Bulk Cement Carrier ordered for New Zealand, and she was marginally larger at 1679 Grt than the first one the  M.V. Golden Bay

She had a length between perpendiculars of 246 feet with a beam of 42 feet and a design draught of 18 feet and 6 inches.

She was launched from the Leith Shipyards on 15th of April 1961

The John Wilson and her engines from Tony Skilton ex-chief engineer..

Regarding the John Wilson - she had unusual engines - most engineers I talk to have never heard of them. She had 3 x 5 cylinder Bellis & Morcombe diesel generating sets (used during WWII for powering searchlights I believe, but were first developed as bloody steam engines! And they looked it too!), and was single screw, with the propulsion motor being a double-wound set of windings all in the one motor casing (effectively, she had two propulsion motors, one behind the other, but on the same shaft). She was a very well-built and comfortable ship - definitely the most gentle in a seaway of all the cement ships I have sailed on.

There will be a lot more about the John Wilson and the men who sailed on her, on the new website, going online soon.

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