Ships Monthly Magazine


May's mystery ship

may mystery ship

Can anyone identify these warships, and where and when the picture was taken? Which navy were they operated by and were they regular visitors to this port? Is this the homeport of a navy, and if so, which one?

April's mystery ship

April mystery ship

Can anyone identify this liner, and where the picture was taken? Where and when was she built? Who was she operated by and what happened to her? Was she a regular visitor to this port?

February’s mystery ship Answer

Mystery Ship reply

The ship is the French government transport Annamite, the prototype of a class of eight similar transports built for the French Government in the 1870s and 1880s. They were designed to carry troops, horses, equipment and stores to and from France’s colonial territories and could also be adapted as hospital ships.

Annamite was built at Cherbourg Dockyard; her hull was of composite wooden and iron construction, and, with a  displacement of 5,630 metric tons, she measured 105.29m by 15.38m. She was powered by a three-cylinder compound engine developing 2,591hp and  driving a single screw.

Laid down in 1872, launched in 1876 and completed in 1877, she was in service between France and the Far East and the Indian Ocean until 1896, when she was decommissioned and became an accommodation ship until sold for breaking in 1911. The location of the photograph, Ismailia, is on the Suez Canal.

Jean Pierre Roche, London

January’s mystery ship Answer

January’s mystery ship Answer

The mystery ship is the motor vessel Captayannis (8,459dwt), which was completed by Nakskov Skibsvaerft A/S in September 1946 as Norden for A/S Dampskilbsselskabet Norden. Measuring 12.41m by 17.18m, the 4,576gt vessel was powered by a 2,300hp B&W oil engine. She was sold to M. & S. J. Paleocrassas Brothers, Piraeus in 1963 and was renamed Captayannis.

On 27 January 1974, while she was waiting at the Tail of the Bank to deliver a cargo of sugar to the James Watt Dock in Greenock, she dragged her anchor In high winds and collided with the BP. tanker British Light. The tanker suffered little damage but Captayannis was holed and began taking on water. Her Captain tried to reach the sheltered waters of the Gareloch, but  the water ingress was too great and she was beached over a sandbank. Although a tug was sent to assist the vessel, she heeled over and by the following morning was lying on her side, where she has remained to this day, though little of her superstructure now remains. All her crew were rescued and taken ashore.

March's mystery ship

March's mystery ship


Can anyone identify this paddler, and where the picture was taken? Where and when was she built? Who was she operated by and what happened to her? And what are the other two ships visible to her stern?

February's mystery ship


Can anyone identify this ship, or provide more information about her? Where and when was she built? The photograph was taken in the Ismailia Canal, according to the caption, but where is that? Who was the ship operated by and what happened to her?

December’s mystery ship Answer

The Mystery Ship is the torpedo gunboat HMS Spanker, which was laid down at Devonport on 12 April 1888 and launched on 27 February 1889.  She was of 735 tons, had a speed of 21 knots and was armed with two 4.7-inch and four three-pounder guns, as well as having three 14-inch torpedo tubes. 
From 1896 she was tender to the Coastguard ship HMS Alexandra and from 1901 to Revenge. She suffered various mechanical failures and had new boilers in 1893. She suffered engine failure in 1908 and a collision in 1908. She later served as a Fishery Protection Vessel. While working from Newlyn in 1903, she arrested three Breton crabbers for poaching at Scilly, one of the first arrests of its kind. She was converted into a minesweeper in 1914 and was involved in operations against Zeebrugge in 1915. In 1920 she was sold for scrap and broken up.
John McWilliams, St Ives, Cornwall

The Mystery Ship January 2013


Can anyone identify this wrecked ship? The photograph was taken on the Tail of the Bank, river Clyde by Scotavia Images, but what happened to the ship? And where and when was she built? Who was she operated by and what has happened to her since the photo was taken?

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