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Thanks Ron the strange is that i see two other pics !!! This is a mistery!!!
Gp
 

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I recognize this ship - First Owner

My father, Enrique Luis Fuentes Madriz, was the original owner of this vessel, having purchased it from Kawasaki at their factory. It was purchased to commence trading goods from Venezuela to many parts of the world. However, during her maiden voyage, because of political problems in Venezuela, she could not bear any cargo except Iron Ore to balance her out back from Asia to Venezuela, which greatly affected my father's companies capabilities to financially make the trip. When she arrived in Venezuela, after much negotiation, she was successfully employed in transporting the first metro cars for the Metro de Caracas, the capital's main rail public transport system, from Europe. Once home again, she set sail for Brazil, where she was to pick up Brazilian made battletanks for the Iraqui Army, (passing by the panama canal), on the trip back home, the ship accidentally hit the main power line supplying power to Tobago with her main anchor, (imagine the trouble that got my father in), where she was due to make port.

After the successful delivery to Iraq, the ship went to be inspected in Germany, to procure a new insurance policy for it. However, problems in Venezuela arose with the new government and the shipping lines were not secure. Not wanting to risk the financial burden of maintaining the ship, my father decided to sell it, and after contact with my uncle, Vice-Admiral José Rodríguez Motola of the Venezuelan Navy, who served as liason for the navy at the Pentagon in Washington, the ship was successfully sold to the US Navy, (For a little more than she originally cost), who were seeking a large cargo freight and did not care to wait for the production of a new vessel. I believe it has been one of the few large ships purchased from a second hand by the US Government. After this my father lost track of the ship, and now, through the wonders of the internet it is nice to see it again.

Ventuari is the name of the major affluent river to the Orinoco River in Venezuela, the ship was named for that river particularly because my father held and still holds the rights to a concession of land on the banks of the river, where we go fishing for peacock bass (im talking about the biggest bass in the world, around 16 pounds on a good catch, more on an excellent one), and to bond with nature. The place is beautiful.

An additional note, again, from my father's stories, Kawasaki, to seal the deal, gave my father a free Kawasaki 500cc motorcycle. My father, who disliked motorcycles only used it twice, on the ship's inner and outer decks! The motorcycle was on the ship until it was sold... so probably some young american sailor was pleasantly surprised to find it! :)

My father was very fond of the captain's quarters on the ship, as well as the owner's suite, which had a jacuzzi which he used twice too!

All this story has been told to me by my father, and I have not really had the chance to research the navy records for the purchase of the ship, any information thats proven would be appreciated, for history's sake.

Love the site!

Enrique Luis Fuentes Calcaño.
 

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7705714
VENTUARI
As built: 6,301g. 3,012n. 10,145d. 148.01(BB) x x 8.019 metres.
Post 1994: 15,406g. 9,209n. 10,145d.
Two, 6-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (520 x 550mm) MAN 6L52/55A type oil engines made by the shipbuilder, geared to a single shaft with a controllable pitch propeller. 12,165 BHP. 18 kts Thwartship thrust controllable pitch propeller forward.
Roro cargo / ferry / 556 TEU container carrier, with stern door / ramp.

28.7.1977: Keel laid as VENTUARI by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Kobe (Yard No. 1269), for Langton Maritime Shipping Inc., (Century Greyhound Leasing & Finance, managers), Liberia.

18.10.1977: Launched.

30.6.1978: Completed for Naviera Neptuno Cia., (Maritime Transport Overseas GmbH, managers), Venezuela.

1981: Sold to Lancaster Transport Company Ltd., Liberia, and renamed BALDER CARRIER.

1985: Sold to Chester Transport Company Ltd., (Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., managers), Liberia, and renamed CHESTER.

1987: Purchased by Seaburg Inc., (Northern Marine Management (Cyprus) Ltd., managers), Liberia, and renamed STENA TRAILER.

1988: Northern Marine Inc., appointed as managers.

1990: Transferred to Stena (Bermuda) Line Ltd., (Northern Marine Management Ltd., managers), Bermuda.

1991: Renamed TRAILER.

1991: Renamed STENA TRAILER.

1993: Renamed MEDFERRY EXPRESS.

1999: Sold to Sea Malta Ltd., Marsa, Malta and renamed MALTESE FALCON.

Sistership

7705726
AFRICAN SOUL
As built: 6,280g. 2,992n. 10,065d. 148.01(BB) x x 8.002 metres.
Post 1994: 6,974g. 2,992n. 10,065d.
Post 1996: 15,347g. 4,604n. 10,065d.
Two, 6-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (520 x 550mm) MAN 6L52/55A type oil engines made by the shipbuilder, geared to a single screw shaft with a controllable pitch propeller. 12,000 BHP. 18 kts. Thwartship thrust controllable pitch propeller forward.
RoRo cargo / 544 x 20'container carrier / ferry, with stern door / ramp.

28.9.1977: Keel laid as AFRICAN SOUL by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., Kobe, (Yard No. 1273), for Jacoby Shipping Corp., (Century Greyhound Leasing & Finance, managers), Liberia.

10.2.1978: Launched.

27.7.1979: Completed for Lancaster Transport Company Ltd., Liberia.

1981: Renamed BALDER FREIGHTER.

1985: Sold to Fortlee Transport Company Ltd., (Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., managers), Liberia, and renamed FORTLEE.

1987: Purchased by Vikon Enterprises Ltd., (Northern Marine Management (Cyprus) Ltd., managers), Liberia, and renamed STENA TRADER.

1988: Northern Marine Inc., appointed as managers.

1990: Transferred to Stena America Line Ltd., (Northern Marine Management Ltd., managers), Bermuda, (O.N. 715340).

1991: Sold to Societe Nationale Maritime Corse Mediterrannee (S.N.C.M.), France, and renamed SAINTE BAUME.

1993: Sold to Overseas Freighters Ltd., Bahamas, and renamed SOUTHERN TRADER.

1994: Stim D’Orbigny, appointed as manager.

1997: Managers restyled as Compagnie de Management d’Orbigny (CMO).

2001: Sold to Societe Mediteranneene D’Investissement et de Participations, under the Bahamas flag.

2004: Sold to Fast Line, Alexandria, (Levant Shipping & Technical, Marseilles, managers), and renamed FAST ARROW, under the Maltese flag.
 

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Wow

Thank You so Much BILLH:

This definitely confirms my belief that this was indeed the ship purchased by my father's company. I have a few pictures back from 78 which I will post, including one of her sailing into Newport Harbour for inspection by the US Navy. I am guessing that from 1978 to 1981 it was indeed sailing under the US Navy flag... It is really amazing to find this information online. Thanks again, and look forward to the pictures, which I'll post next week when my mother takes them out of the attic for me.

Enrique Fuentes
 

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Final history of the Ventuari

Maltese Falcon (ex-Medferry Express, ex-Stena Trailer, ex-Chester, ex-Balder
Carrier, ex-Ventuari). IMO 7705714. Ro-Ro. 148 m in length, 6,500 t. Maltese flag.

Classification society Registro Italiano Navale. Built in 1978 in Kobe (Japan) by
Kawasaki. Owned by Valiant Shipping SA (Greece). Detained in 2001 and 2004 in
Genoa (Italy). Sold for demolition to India at 262 $ per ton.

Sources:
http://www.robindesbois.org/english/shipbreaking16.pdf
http://www.cargo-vessels-international.at/MEDFERRY_EXPRESS_IMO7705714.pdf
http://www.ferryphotos.co.uk/pages/medferryexpress.htm
 

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When I was reading in a local shipping newspaper that Ventuari was scrapped, I was searching in the internet to find some more details of the vessel.
Also found this interresting page/forum.
Maybe of interest for you. My father did the supervising for the newbuilding in Japan in 1977/78. Attached I have a picture of the launch.

Torsten Wendt
 

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Hello

I was 2nd. mate on that ship since Ago 79 to May 1980.

The last time that I was onboard, it was in May 1980 at Bremen, Wesser River. Impounded-arrested for debts with suppliers and Kawasaki Heavy Ind.

Regards.

PS Any further questions about RoRo Ventuari, please dont hesitate to contact me. And your fathers name...please
 

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u48, thanks for info. My father's name is Walter Wendt and his assistent at the time in Kobe was Mr. Nikolic.
 

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Nostalgia - Indeed

Well, sadly, my dad passed away yesterday. Purchasing, owning and operating this **** was one of the happiest times of his life. It is true that it was impounded in 1980 - they would not let it sail without insurance because it was still under financing by Kawasaki. When she made port at Germany my dad was able to secure a new policy (My mom says he put a personal collateral which really scared her) and took her straight to Newport to be sold to the US Navy. Thank you guys for all the information you shared, since you were both involved directly or by your fathers then it is most likely that you or, in the case of the german poster, knew my dad.

Thanks for all the info, especially the launch picture. Nostalgia can give hope.
 

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maltese falcon

I am currently searching for a vessel plan of this ship. I was a cadet on this ship in 2005 while named MALTESE FALCON and owned by SEA MALTA, a government owned company which closed off in 2006 meaning also the loss of my career as a 2nd officer. Please any info on this ship would be grateful it just brings tears to my eyes and I am trying to build a model of it. Thanks

Matthew

Hello

I was 2nd. mate on that ship since Ago 79 to May 1980.

The last time that I was onboard, it was in May 1980 at Bremen, Wesser River. Impounded-arrested for debts with suppliers and Kawasaki Heavy Ind.

Regards.

PS Any further questions about RoRo Ventuari, please dont hesitate to contact me. And your fathers name...please
 

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I am currently searching for a vessel plan of this ship. I was a cadet on this ship in 2005 while named MALTESE FALCON and owned by SEA MALTA, a government owned company which closed off in 2006 meaning also the loss of my career as a 2nd officer. Please any info on this ship would be grateful it just brings tears to my eyes and I am trying to build a model of it. Thanks

Matthew
Hey Matthew,

I will try to find any information I have. I don't know if we have any blueprints, but currently I am arranging the files in my office and found a couple of binders from Naviera Neptuno, which will probably have some interesting information. I will post it as soon as I can.

Sorry to hear your sailing days ended with Ventuari / Maltese Falcon... And I wish you good luck with your project.
 

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thanks

That would be great. In fact now I am working as part of the staff of Malta's maritime museum and I will try to have a section dedicated to Sea MALTA ships including of course this beautiful ship. That's why I need blueprints for the model. It was so sad to hear in 2009 it was scrapped and I would like to have a memorial of it. I look forward to hear from you!

Matthew

Hey Matthew,

I will try to find any information I have. I don't know if we have any blueprints, but currently I am arranging the files in my office and found a couple of binders from Naviera Neptuno, which will probably have some interesting information. I will post it as soon as I can.

Sorry to hear your sailing days ended with Ventuari / Maltese Falcon... And I wish you good luck with your project.
 
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