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Old 14th August 2014, 16:40
shieldrow shieldrow is offline  
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Self discharging bulker

During the 1960s Huntings managed a few specially modified bulk carriers, these included the Alnfield, the Argyll and the Coral Venture.
The Alnfield was a converted Liberty which carried rice from California to Japan in particular Naha Okinawa, the Argyll which was a bulk salt carrier operating on the Pacific coast between Baja California, the USA and Canada, and the Coral Venture which was a converted T2 which carried bulk cement between Freeport Grand Bahama and various gulf ports with the odd trip to Bermuda and Norfolk Virginia.
I myself had the mis-fortune to sail on the latter vessel.
Although the ship itself was not the best for various reasons she was definately interesting from the technical point of view.
Launched in late 1943 as the TES 'Wagon Box' from the Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company as a standard T2-SE-A1 tanker she served through the war years in that role.

Following her wartime role she was aquired by DK Ludwig's National Bulk Carriers and after a short time as a tanker was converted at NBC's Kure yard in Japan as a self discharging bulk cement carrier in 1962.
She was then registered by the under the British flag as the Coral Venture and owners as the Warwick Shipping Co.
Huntings then took management of the vessel in 1964/5.

Why a self discharging bulk carrier and why the Wagon Box/ Coral Venture? This was no coincidence.
Daniel K Ludwig had plans to establish a large dry docking facility in the Bahamas for the dry docking of his own large fleet of NBC ships and others. To this end he purchased/aquired land on Grand Bahama Island and excavated a huge dock in the limestone of the island. For what ever reason the dry dock did not happen but the large ammount of excavated limestone (ingriedient in cement)was aquired by US Steel who formed Bahamas Cement for the purpose of supplying cement to the building boom of the Bahamas and Florida.
Therefore the Coral Venture and a small fleet of barges was needed to transport the cement from plant to customer.

Now to the vessel itself, being a T2, the main turbo electric propulsion system could be put to good use in supplying the electrical needs of the discharging system as will be seen in my second post along with some diagrams.
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