Sulaco

Ian
12th April 2004, 15:30
The TALAMANCA, VERAGUA and QUIRIGUA originated on the express passenger service from New York to Central America and had been built in 1932 at Baltimore and Newport, News. They were oil-fired, 16.5 knot, turbo-electrical powered banana boats of 7,500grt with dimensions of 448ft length and a 60ft beam. Fyffes renamed them SULACO(II), SINALOA and SAMALA(II) respectively with London registration. Although it is doubtful if they were as economic in operation as the more modern CHANGUINOLA(II), it probably made good commercial sense to put them under the British flag and scrap the old coal burners.

A.J.McMahon
21st February 2010, 19:49
The above vessels were layed up at Newport News after their ecconomical life with United Fruit Co. was finished.They were purchased for the grand sum of 10-each (that is the old pound) You could have a good night out and still get a taxi back ! The engineers that manned them, thought Fyffes payed too much for them !!The company thought it was GOOD experience for getting a ticket, if you survived the mental duress. The point of this tread is to tease out any information from a dwindling number of people that are privy to the facts regarding one of the "S" class. My suspiction is the Sulaco. One of the three left either Southampton or Avonmouth late 1960 or early 61, to encounter either boiler problems or engineroom flooding. The vessel returned to the U.K. I believe to Avonmouth where the crew were put on a bus and sent to Liverpool to join the Matina, which sailed as soon as the crew were signed on, I think this took place in the river. A strike had been broken just a few days prior.

Splinter
21st February 2010, 20:39
I was on Sinaloa late '61 and all three were still in service then, Samala, I thought was the one who suffered a few problems.

Ray.

Tony Breach
21st February 2010, 21:23
There were 6 of these vessels which had fairly long lives:

Talamanca (1) 1932 USA Newport News 6963grt
USS Talamanca 1941 USA
Talamanca (1) 1945 USA
Sulaco (2) 1957 GBR. Scrapped Antwerp 1964

Chiriqui (1) 1932 USA Newport News 6963grt
USS Tarazed 1941 USA
Chiriqui (1) 1946 USA
Blexen (1) 1958 FGR. Scrapped Kaohsiung 1969

Segovia 1931 launched. Suffered serious fire while fitting out. Renamed.
Peten 1933 USA Newport News 6963grt
Jamaica 1937 USA
USS Ariel 1941 USA
Jamaica 1946 USA
Blumenthal (1) FGR. Scrapped Kaohsiung 1969

Antigua 1932 USA Bethlehem Steel, Quincy 6982grt
Tortuga 1958 SWE. Scrapped Antwerp 1964

Quirigua 1932 USA Bethlehem Steel, Quincy 6982grt
USS Mizar 1941 USA
Quirigua 1946 USA
Samala 1957 GBR. Scrapped Kaohsiung 1964

Veragua 1932 USA Bethlehem Steel, Quincy 6982grt
USS Merak 1942 USA
Veragua 1946 USA
Sinaloa 1957 GBR. Scrapped Antrwerp 1964.

One of the GBR ships was towed in but presently I can't locate that information in my awful filing system. I would certainly feel that these ships had a long life, particularly by today's standards. I remember going aboard one at Avonmouth, I think Sulaco, when I was an apprentice as I had been at college in Plymouth with the sparks named Channing. Beautiful when built they looked dreadful when UFC gas-axed the passenger accomodation.

Basil
21st February 2010, 21:39
I posted a wee bit of Samala at:
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=17012

(I was Basil then instead of real name)

Splinter
21st February 2010, 22:39
Photos of Sinaloa on the link below when she was USS merak, before her superstructure was cut away, leaving her with accomadation for twelve passengers.


www.navsource.org/archives/09/06/0621.htm

Ray.

A.J.McMahon
22nd February 2010, 20:10
I was on Sinaloa late '61 and all three were still in service then, Samala, I thought was the one who suffered a few problems.

Ray.

Hi Ray, All three suffered problems to greater or lesser degrees, I was on the Matina at this time, having just done over 15 voyages on the Camito, joined the Matina May '60 and left her in Oslo March '62. I recall we were summond back to the Matina in Liverpool, she had been in collision with a tanker inbound, we were just pulling up our anchor at Mersey bar (no not the ale house) We went to Hornby dry dock for repairs. The Matina was still on the blocks when we arrived, no one seemed to know what was happening, the dock was flooded and the riggers took us out to the river, I seemed to remember the crew from one of the "S" boats were then, signed on and off we went on a 4 month run for United Fruit, doing the Panama and up the East coast of the States. I am curious to find out what went wrong with the "S" boat. None of the crew knew anything, that does not surprise me as I know the Sulaco nearly foundered, she had to put into the Azores and Tommy Chambers was sent out to investigate, even the passengers aboard were unaware that anything was amiss. Good days hot work but it kept you fit, give me a chance and wind the clock back a wee bit, I think I would be game for it again, how about you ? Best Regards AJM

Splinter
23rd February 2010, 14:03
AJM.

I'd love to be able to turn the clock back, only this time I'd stay longer.

I remember there were problems, years ago one of the chippys, and old mate,
told me that they were damaged in heavy seas and also had to limp home,
what I can't remember is which one he was on, Samala or Sulaco.

Perhaps Bosun Bill may be able to help.

Regards Ray.

Bosun bill
26th February 2010, 22:45
(A) (A) AJM.

I'd love to be able to turn the clock back, only this time I'd stay longer.

I remember there were problems, years ago one of the chippys, and old mate,
told me that they were damaged in heavy seas and also had to limp home,
what I can't remember is which one he was on, Samala or Sulaco.

Perhaps Bosun Bill may be able to help.

Regards Ray.

I was on the Sulaco from 1959/1962. but can't remmeber any serous problems only hitting rough seas leaving Genova when we damged the windows in the passenger accommodate

Splinter
27th February 2010, 00:41
(A) (A)

I was on the Sulaco from 1959/1962. but can't remmeber any serous problems only hitting rough seas leaving Genova when we damged the windows in the passenger accommodate

Bill.

That was the damage I was on about, Turk was one of the chippies ( a nickname as he came from Gosport ) he told me about this, the other chippy may have been Wally Piper,

Ray.

richard mathieson
21st November 2011, 20:45
I was on Sinaloa late '61 and all three were still in service then, Samala, I thought was the one who suffered a few problems.

Ray.

Hi Ray
I joined Fyffes in April 62 & worked in the e/r on the Samala.
From what I remember the rear end lifted coming into the
channel. The goveners failed & there was an explotion. I believe
one engineer was killed.
regards richard

john martin
26th November 2011, 19:34
hi ajm,
strange how things come about but my mate in bristol and me were comparing our trip on sulaco1960 and his trip lasted a few weeks and mine was a few months on same trip.We pulled into azores as ship was in trouble and salt water was mixing with fresh water[this i finds out 50 yrs later ha ha still nobody tells the cook anything] so we shot back to avonmouth where most of crew went to join matina in liverpool.We done two more 4month trips on yankee coast after that so sulaco must have been ok.I was on baron boat and smith city boats that nearly sank and only found out later.
all the best
john

richard mathieson
26th November 2011, 20:10
AJM.

I'd love to be able to turn the clock back, only this time I'd stay longer.

I remember there were problems, years ago one of the chippys, and old mate,
told me that they were damaged in heavy seas and also had to limp home,
what I can't remember is which one he was on, Samala or Sulaco.

Perhaps Bosun Bill may be able to help.

Regards Ray.

Hi AJM,
I joined Fyffes in April 1962. I worked on the Samala which was laid up in So'ton for repairs, having had an explosion in the engineroom on entering the channel. I believe one engineer was killed. I don't know if she put to sea again. I then joined the CAMITO for 7 trips, my most enjoyable days at sea.
regards richard mathieson J/E

Foca
23rd September 2012, 16:00
Casting my memory back I remember, 2nd Mate on the "Chicanoa" telling me about a gearbox explosion on one of the "S" class, which one I do not remember, but from the previous post it could have been the "Samala". The vessel was in heavy weather in the Western Approaches, must have been in ballast as the propellers kept coming out of the water and racing.The engineer on watch called the second engineer to come down below...what happened next I do not know exactly but there was an explosion and when the second mate went along to the engine room skylight, he said it looked as if a bomb had gone off down there. Result was that the second engineer was badly hurt with shrapnel, do not know if anyone else was injured. Although a tug came out and stood by, the Chief managed to get up enough power to proceed to nearest UK port. The Master requested a doctor from both the passing Queen and United States liners, both declined as the seas were too rough. Second mate also stated that the Second Engineer was nursed 24hrs a day by two Asst Stewards, and I think he made it home to hospital. Hope this helps but it is long time ago. I cannot remember the Second mates name(came from Southport) but we did four trips together, docking in Garston on the 7th August 1962 missing the birth of my first daughter by one day.