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Matsonia

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IMO 7334204 , Call Signal KHRS , Flag USA.
Class : American Bureau of Shipping.
Ship Type : RORO Ship.
Build in 1973 by Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Chester Pa USA as " MATSONIA " for Matson Navigation Co Inc Phonix Az USA.

Tonnage : grt / nrt / tdw - 15.257 / 8.850 / 14.082.
Maschinery : GE Steam Turbine (HP+LP) - 30.436 Shp.

1987 Lengthened & Converted to RORO - Container Carrier,New tonnage : grt / nrt / tdw - 19301 / ---- / 13.218.
2004 Remeasured,new tonnage : grt / nrt / tdw - 33.095 / ----- / 22.501.
 

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Interesting container setup, in the last stack ahead of the bridge. A 40 footer at the bottom, with 48 or 53 footers stacked above it. Is it common to have these oversize rail/road containers on a ship? Presumably, only on a voyage between US and/or Canadian ports.
 

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I was assigned as a docking master/pilot for either this vessel or her sister (SS Lurline) around 1978 when she was inbound for Oakland. We met the ship off Alcatraz with the tug to put me aboard and were informed by the master that he'd only ordered the tug, not a pilot, and requested that we make up on the transom. We made fast on the cruciform bit on the stern, and told the captain that the current was ebbing very strong with a minus ebb and we could only handle a half bell and to not use a full bell. He replied in the positive, and we started our approach to Oakland Outer Harbor. As the ship was transiting the Bar Channel into Oakland, she took a strong sheer to starboard, and the captain told us he would have to go full ahead. We brought the boat parallel to the keel for the intitial thrust of the bell, and then again brought the tug around hard right to comply with his previous order of "hard right, full ahead on the tug". About this time, the tug slammed into the stern of the ship, and my mate Bill Hildreth said we'd hit the dock. I looked around, and sure enough, we weren't moving. Bill said, "watch out, he'll back over you," and sure enough, then came the astern bell with no warning from the ship. We slipped the line and backed clear to see about 30' of the ship's bow stuck in the dock. Fortunately for us, he was stuck and didn't come out with the half astern bell or he'd have backed over the tug. The ship them came full astern and backed clear, leaving an 30 foot deep gash in the dock, but remarkably little visible damage to the ship.

When we returned to the office and the resultant inquiries, I was approached by our new port captain who told me it was a good thing I wasn't aboard the ship. I replied that on the contrary, it was a shame I wasn't aboard the ship as she wouldn't have hit had I been aboard. I strongly believe that statement, as the local knowledge of a pilot who is routinely transiting his waters on an everyday basis is an invaluable asset to any vessel.

At the later legal inquiries, Matson's attorney was grilling Bill and myself if there was any way we may have possibly gone hard left on the tug instead of hard right. We both replied, "absolutely not", and the attorney threw his pencil in the air and said, "there goes my dream of a lawsuit against Crowley."
 

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Driver, the ship is on a US West Coast to Hawaii run. I see that they have upgraded the "garage" aft of the deck house.
 

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Hi Driver 8...I don't know the answer to your question, but can tell you that the containers are 45 footers.
 

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Good shot of a true workhorse for Matson.

She was my first job as an AB when I joined the SUP in 1998. "MATSONIA" was up on the drydock in San Francisco and my assignment for the day was to lay fiberglass patching up on the topside of that garage on the stern.

Now, I can't say I am squeamish about heights, but I glanced over the side once or twice and got a case of the nerves. It was a long way down to that drydock floor.

On the lighter side, it was a spectacular view of San Francisco and the SF Bay from way up there.
 

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