Gas Tankers

28th May 2005, 06:06
Hello everybody !! in the early 60,s much was said about the new gas tankers "METHANE PRINCESS" AND "METHANE PROGRESS"...........but the little one that started the ball rolling was the "METHANE PIONEER" she hardly rates a mention .....I was only on her for a few weeks as the company decided to lay her up as the 1st big one was coming into service we took her to Cardiff where she was tied up till who knows when and then what happened to her is a mystery .....she was a converted tank landing craft of the USN ......perhaps someone can shed light on this and maybe even a photo or 2 ...great site pleasure to be aboard ..."backsplice "

Doug Rogers
28th May 2005, 07:52
Welcome to the site Backsplice, cant help you with your query but keep looking and I am sure you will have an answer shortly.

28th May 2005, 13:35
Operated by British Gas,“Methane Pioneer” was an extensively modified Liberty ship; the 1945 built “Marline Hitch”. The design was by J J Henry Inc, naval architects in New York and design consultants Constock, She was installed with five, 7000 barrel, Prismatic aluminium tanks with balsa wood supports and insulated with plywood and urethane.

Also on the design team was Dennis Rooke, who later became the chairman of British Gas. He also sailed on the first trip apparently to pacify the reluctant crew.

The first cargo, 5,000 m3 of LNG, was on 29 th January 1959, from Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Canvey Island, in the Thames. She took a total of 8 cargoes of LNG cargoes to Canvey Island, the last being in March 1960. She is now an LPG storage barge in Recife

Originally built by Walter Butler Shipbuilders, Inc., Duluth MN, USA.
Marline Hitch, Hull No. 344, Type C1-M-AV1, completed Jul-45, sold 1n 1946

The picture scanned from some, old and tatty, "Tanker Safety Course" notes and is suposed to be of the Methane Pioneer in the Atlantic on the first trip.

p.s. Ron, I did try. Stevecz

28th May 2005, 16:25
Marline Hitch, not designated as a Liberty ship but a C1- M type. She went to Panama flag in 1967 and renamed Aristotle, and a storage barge at Recife as stated above.

29th May 2005, 09:32
Thanks lads I have all the info you mention and I have scoured the web and did see the thumbnail too ....I found and old shipping mag dated early 60,s and there was a photo and summery of her origins but not very good quality ........still one keeps "lookin"...she actually still had all USN signs and stuff everywhere but even though I was only an crew member a couple of weeks she left her mark I think perhaps it was because she was the first of the "species"..........backsplice