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POLAR CHIEF

POLAR CHIEF

A ship with an incredibly varied life, here in her role as whaling factory ship. Full history here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Polar_Chief

According to the photo description she was converted from factory ship to whale oil carrier by the ADM yard.

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IMO / ID 1106869 , Dead.
Ship Type : Emigrant / Cargo Ship (Were designed for emigrant trade westward and returning with cattle).
Dim : Loa / Lpp x Beam - 461’ - 445’ x 52,2.’
Built in 1897 by Palmer’s Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd Jarrow-on-Tyne Great Britain as " MONTCALM " for British-African Steamship Co (Elder, Dempster Shipping Ltd Liverpool as manager) Liverpool Great Britain

Tonnage : grt / nrt / tdw - 7.166 brt, 5.512 nrt
Machinery : Triple Exp.Steam Engine 3-Cyl (30,0”–50,75“–81,5“, stroke: 54,0”) - 3.340 Ihp (664 Nhp).
Main Boilers : Palmer’s Shipbuilding 5 x Boilers Total Heating Area (HS) 15.929 ft². Work Pressure 180 psi.


1897 Maiden voyage was 03/09 from Avonmouth, England to Montreal, QC, Canada.
1900 In service as troopship during the Boer War in South Africa. She did several voyages from New Orleans, LA, USA to Cape Town, South Africa carrying horses and mules.
1903 Sold in April to Canadian Pacific Railway Co., Liverpool, England.
1914 Taken over by the Admirality in Autumn and anchored in Scapa Flow, Shetland as " RFA MONTCALM " disguised as the battleship HMS AUDACIOUS to frighten German raiders. (HMS AUDACIOUS was mined and sunk 27/10 off Donegal, Ireland).
1915 Used as a Naval Store Ship.
1916 Sold in February to Fredrick Leyland & Co. Ltd, Liverpool Great Britain.
Re-sold in October to Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co. Ltd, London, Great Britain. Converted to a tankship. Renamed " CRENELLA ".
1917 Taken over in October by The Shipping Controller.
Torpedoed 26/11 off the south west coast of Ireland but managed to reach port and was repaired.
1919 Reverted to owners in November.
1920 Sold in October to Velefa Steamship Co. Ltd, London Great Britain.
1923 Sold in September to Larvik Hvalfangerselskap A/S (Chr. Nielsen & Co.) Larvik Norway. Converted to a whale process factory at Hølen Mek. Verksted, Larvik. Renamed " REY ALONSO ".
1924 Larvik Hvalfangerselskap A/S sold to H. M. Wrangell & Co Haugesund Norway. Catched with 3 whalers off Gibraltar.
1925 Leased to til hvalfangerselskapet Soc. Espanola Corona Lta (H. M. Wrangell & Co Haugesund Norway) Vigo, Spain. Continued catching off Gibraltar to end of 1926.
1927 Sold to Anglo Norse Co. A/S, (Hans Borge) Tønsberg Norway. Renamed " ANGLO NORSE ". Catced near the Antarctic isles of South Shetlands and in the Weddell Sea.
Cargo capacity said to be 41.800 barrels.
1929 Transferred in August to Falkland Whaling Co. Ltd (Hans Borge) Jersey United Kingdom. Renamed " POLAR CHIEF ". Catched in Antarctic until WWII.
1941 Taken over in July by Ministry of War Transport (MOWT) (Chr. Salvesen & Co., Leith Scotland) London United Kingdom. Renamed in November to " EMPIRE CHIEF ".
1946 Sold in August to Chr. Salvesen & Co Leith Scotland United Kingdom. Renamed " POLAR CHIEF ". Used by Salvesen’s The South Georgia Co. for carrying fuel oil and Leith Harbour crew between Norway, UK and Leith Harbour, South Georgia.

Sir Gerald Elliot gives in his book about Salvesen his own thougths about the ship: -”...leaking oil tanks could not be trusted to carry whale oil…” – ”… on her last voyage from Aruba-home leaving a trail of leaking oil behind her as she crossed the Atlantic …” –
(On full speed:) ” … burning so much oil that most of her cargo would be used up by the time she reached her destination …”.
But the ship also had her good points, Sir Gerald continues: ” … despite, or perhaps because of, her age (she) was a cosy ship …” - ” … the dining saloon had still the originally mahogany panels intact. Several of the officer’s cabins opened directly out into the saloon.” – ”… Polar Chief was a capsule of whaling history…” – ”… a little more than a floating museum…”.

1952 Arrived 29/004 at W. H. Arnott, Young & Co. Ltd, Dalmuir, Scotland for breaking. Moved to West of Scotland Shipbreaking Co., Troon, Scotland for demolition.




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