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Update News:  

In mid-April we have published CNCo’s HUNAN, later Portuguese NACALA of 1966 by Howard Dick & Luis Miguel Correia which examines the full career under two flags of this one-of-a-kind cargo liner built for the Hong Kong-Australia-Japan service of China Navigation Co.  HUNAN was the last ship built by Taikoo Dockyard for this Swire group company, and featured a beautiful if somewhat outdated design as shown in the official photograph below taken in St George’s Channel. This report may be found as the last item on the China Nav. Co. page. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of March 2024 we have added, under the 'New Wave' tab, a study by Howard of the small fleet of George (Chi Chung) Zee (Xu Zhi Zhōng) of Hong Kong which existed from 1955 until 1967.  In 1958 he became one of many Hong Kong shipowners to take advantage of the opportunity to charter ships to Indonesia including his two small but well-known passenger ships. One of these vessels was KOWLOON STAR, photo below at Singapore from the collection of Chris Howell and previously published on Shipspotting. The cargo ship is THETA STAR, probably in the Chao Phra River, Bangkok, depicted in a B&W photograph distributed by Tom Rayner and found in Bill Schell' s collection, here in a bit speculative colourised view.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In mid-March we added a list, in our usual format, of Pre-WWII Chinese owned/chartered shipping from Hong Hong to Kwang Chow Wan, Haiphong and Saigon which is accessible via the 'Chinese' tab. This list complements the Shun Cheong S.N. Co. Ltd and Wo Fat Sing lists also via the “Chinese” tab and the Marty & d'Abbadie list via the “Foreign” tab. Many of these ships had a registered alphabetical name and a  different commerical Cantonese name. Shown below in a late-career photo from the internet is the chartered Hong Kong-built Norwegian PROSPER which was advertised 1937-40 as 大利華 (TAI LEE HWAH).

 

 

 

 

 

 

In February and March 2024 we added substantial illustrated fleetlists of the prewar and postwar Moller & Co./Mollers' Ltd ships (including those of Chris Moller's Red Anchor Line), prepared by Howard and complementing his comprehensive (readable and entertaining) study of the prewar Moller family enterprise in Shanghai and the Mollers Towages Ltd and Hong Kong Towage & Salvage Co. Ltd studies. The pdf files of these reports can be accessed from the 'Foreign' tab. The photograph below taken by Dedge on 1 January 1980 and published on shipspotting.com shows Mollers' MUNCASTER CASTLE of 1977 which with her Red Anchor Line sister MERRY VIKING operated for the Hongkong International Container Line before being sold in 1981, the last two Moller ships. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In January we published for the first time a fleet list of the Hong Kong based Yick Fung Shipping & Enterprises Co. Ltd which was run by PRC-related interests from 1960 until 1996.  This study can be accessed from our 'PRC' tab along with an updated study of the kindred Ocean Tramping Co.  The text introductions to both studies draw on information that has become available on PRC websites.  The lists are detailed and well illustrated for the earlier ships, but owing to the large ship numbers, for the more recent ships we list only the name and period of ownership, with a few illustrations.  We will seek to improve these reports as time allows. One of Yick Fung's ships, shown in their company colours, was the 1950-built CELEBES SEA, depicted below at Yokohama in a photo by Stephen taken on 15 November 1973. Taking advantage of access to official fleet histories, we have also updated our studies of other PRC-related companies including the Shanghai, Dalian and Changjiang (Yangtse) Maritime Bureaus with details of various of the ships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toward the end of December 2023 we published a carefully researched and illustrated history and fleet list of Williamson & Company Ltd., established in Hong Kong by New Zealander Stewart Williamson for worldwide tramping as well as for Chinese coastal trading. The list is accessible via the 'Overseas' tab. Shown below is the smartly painted INCHARRAN, photographed by Alan Travers berthed at Sydney in June 1963 to load wheat for the Persian Gulf. 

During 2023 we established a new 'Philippines' page accessed via the tab below. Our already published Philippines fleet lists were enhanced by the addition of Spanish Philippines Interisland and Near Seas Steamers 1850-1898, and of the venerable fleets of Ynchausti y Cia/Ynchausti S.S. Co./Elizalde S.S. Co./Manila S.S. Co. Inc.Compañia General de Tabacos de Filipinas (La Tabacalera) and M.J. Ossorio. To balance this we have added  lists of Philippine post-World War II interisland passenger ships in three categories: Philippine FS-type Vessels which formed the backbone of the interisland fleet in the years after WWII, Non-FS, Non-RoRo Ships Acquired 1945-70 and Non-FS, Non-RoRo Ships Acquired 1971-2000. Shown below in a painting from a launch brochure is AGUSTINA II, built in 1968 by Rickmers Werft, Bremerhaven for the historic shipowner Hijos de F. Escaño to a new design resembling the FS type as it evolved in the Philippines,

Kowloon Star_Howell edit_edited_edited.j
Agusting II edit_edited_edited.jpg
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