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During the late 60s - early 70s, China sometimes purchased ships, nominally for scrap, but were later discovered to have been used for trading. Because of the secretive nature of the regime at the time and photography being largely banned at Chinese ports, these ships were frequently only brought to light through a few individuals prepared to take risky photographs (notably Markus Berger and Karsten Petersen). Some of these have become fairly do***ented, eg Clan Sutherland as Zhan Dou 3 and Salaga (Elder Dempster) as Bei Hai 5. Occasionally, ships have come to light through being in the background of other photos. I've posted a couple in the Need a Ship to be Identified section of the Gallery. One is of the ex RIALTO of Ellerman's Wilson and the other of an ex British India ship (almost certainly the CHANDPARA) with an ex Ellerman (almost certainly CITY OF LIVERPOOL) behind her. The name on the ex RIALTO is very hard to read whilst no name is visible on the distant ex BI and the bow of the Ellerman is completely hidden.

Clearly the histories of some British (and other European) ships are incomplete. What is needed are the Chinese names of the ships I've mentioned and also evidence of any other ships that were supposed to have been scrapped in China but were in fact traded. Maybe someone has photographs showing such vessels, possibly in the background and not well shown. These would be very much of interest.

Howard Dick and Stephen Kentwell have created a very interesting site that deals with many facets of the Chinese coastal shipping trade
Illustrated Fleet lists of Steamship Companies of the China Coast, and the Pearl and Yangtze Rivers

The pdf featuring PRC ships based in Guangzhou is the first one under the Sample pdf heading near the top of the first page.

Hopefully some members will find this to be of interest and, hopefully, be able to provide new information
 

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Most interesting thread, It certainly is a different world since those days. I think that China also owned ships that they ran under convenience flags.
In 1968 I sailed with a Chinese crew who were shipped from Hong Kong but it seemed that at least some came from "accross the line"
In the mid 1970's Sugar Line sent the" Sugar Crystal" to China with a grain and according to those on her it was like going into another world.!
 

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Most interesting thread, It certainly is a different world since those days. I think that China also owned ships that they ran under convenience flags.
In 1968 I sailed with a Chinese crew who were shipped from Hong Kong but it seemed that at least some came from "accross the line"
In the mid 1970's Sugar Line sent the" Sugar Crystal" to China with a grain and according to those on her it was like going into another world.!
The main company used by China was Yick Fung of HK, the ships being flagged in Somalia. I remember crews from the mainland on Silver Line ships and some Dutch companies, in the US a guard had to be hired by the agent to make sure they didn't jump ship or communize the longshoremen.
 

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The main company used by China was Yick Fung of HK, the ships being flagged in Somalia. I remember crews from the mainland on Silver Line ships and some Dutch companies, in the US a guard had to be hired by the agent to make sure they didn't jump ship or communize the longshoremen.
The main company used by China was Yick Fung of HK, the ships being flagged in Somalia. I remember crews from the mainland on Silver Line ships and some Dutch companies, in the US a guard had to be hired by the agent to make sure they didn't jump ship or communize the longshoremen.
I seem to remember the ship was fined $1000 for anyone who jumped ship in the USA but I never heard about danger to the longshoremen!
One of the ships I was on with Sugar Line, the "Sugar Carrier", built in 1974, sold in 1979 was in 1994 purchased by the Shangdong Province Marine Shipping Co. Chin
The main company used by China was Yick Fung of HK, the ships being flagged in Somalia. I remember crews from the mainland on Silver Line ships and some Dutch companies, in the US a guard had to be hired by the agent to make sure they didn't jump ship or communize the longshoremen.
Most interesting. One of my old ships, the Sugar Carrier was sold in 1979 and after a verity of owners was purchased by the Shangdong Province Marine Shipping Co. China and operated under the Panama flag She was with them until 2000
The USA used to have a rule that if anyone jumped ship the ship was fined $1000 I have never heard of the rule regarding crew from China. Learn something every day!
 

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According to Helderline, the Shell tanker "Gari" (1) was scrapped in China in 1965, but when I was a Deck Apprentice on the Shell tanker "Vertagus" during the period 20-8-1970 to 31-1-1971, we were in the Sunda Strait bound for Fremantle when the "Gari" steamed past, heading NW towards Singapore. I was standing on deck next to the 2/E, who had sailed on "Gari" earlier in his career, and he confirmed that it was the same ship! So "Gari" sailed on for approximately 5 years after her "official" demise!
 

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Yick Fung ships often got sold/transferred to the Chinese flag and given names such as HONG QI xxx. Some of these renamings were recorded in Lloyds and Miramar whilst others were reported (sometimes erroneously) as having been scrapped.
 

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Yick Fung was one “Hong Kong front company”. The other was Ocean Tramping. They both were pretty well out of the closet by 1980 and in 1997 when they merged to form Cosco Hong Kong nobody was surprised!

The Chinese cabotage trade was innocent of such things as insurance and classification in those days and it was not unknown for Cosco (which was excluded from trading on the coast) to sell a ship for breaking and find her turning up again on the coast.
 

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There was a Story going the rounds in the 60`s. That "Blue Flue", where so paranoid about this practice that on any ship that went to breakers, the Chief Engineer could not leave the vessel until he had witnessed the Shaft(s) cut in at least 2 places?.
 

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There was a Story going the rounds in the 60`s. That "Blue Flue", where so paranoid about this practice that on any ship that went to breakers, the Chief Engineer could not leave the vessel until he had witnessed the Shaft(s) cut in at least 2 places?.
That sounds highly likely. Certainly when Blue Flue sold a Super P to CNCo, whom they had a half share in at the time and whom they had been close to for the previous century, the funnel was repainted three times - to CNCo black, then back to blue, then back to black, before the ship left Liverpool, as the two companies sorted out how the ship was going to get to Hong Kong. All very silly.
 

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There was a Story going the rounds in the 60`s. That "Blue Flue", where so paranoid about this practice that on any ship that went to breakers, the Chief Engineer could not leave the vessel until he had witnessed the Shaft(s) cut in at least 2 places?.
 

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This was quite true, as Holts didn't want their redundant ships used against them, in trade. The drill was to cut the aft web on the main engine crankshaft until the shrink fit cracked! On turbine steamers a steel bar was dropped into the gearcase and the engine turned on steam. Same amount of steel sold, just not in working condition! Scrap yards loved old Blueys because of the widespread cupro-nickel sea water piping systems.
 
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