Papuan Chief I

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Papuan Chief I
IMO /ID No. 5033818.
Type Cargo.
Gross Registered Tonnage 2,436 grt. 1,224 nett.
Builder Langesunds MV, Langesund, Norway. Yard No. 35.
Delivery date Oct. 1954,
Hull Steel.
Decks 1, plus shelter deck.
Length 337 ft. F'c'sle 26 ft.
Width 47 ft.
Depth 19.75 ft.
Engine Builder Barclay Curle, Glasgow.
Engine Type Barclay Curle-Doxford. 2 stroke, single acting, opposed piston.
Engine cylinders 3.
Engine Power 2,600 bhp.
Propulsion mode Single screw.
Speed 14 kts.
Deadweight 3,390 ton
Power Diesel.
Aspiration Natural.
Boiler Composite, exhaust gas/fuel oil.
Fuel Diesel/fuel oil.
Launched July 6th. 1953
Original owner Ludwig Lorentzen, Lysaker, Oslo.
Delivered to owner 1953.


1953. Built as the "Bahia", for Ludwig Lorentzen, as a log carrier, hence the two long holds.

1964. Placed on charter and renamed "Italian".

1966 reverted to "Bahia".

1966. Sold to John Swire & Sons. Converted by Taikoo D.& E.Co for side port loading, and employed on the East Australa - New Guinea service. Renamed "Papuan Chief I". The first vessel owned by CNC0. to have the engines aft.

1969. Placed on charter to Burns Philp, renamed "Marsina".

1970, Returned to CNCo, name reverted to "Papuan Chief I".

Aug 1975. Sold to Maldives Shipping Co.Ltd., Male. Renamed "Maldive Coral".

Nov 12th.1979. Delivered to Akberally & Co. Bombay, for scrapping.


Events / Stories

Due to the increasing cost of loading and discharging cargo at Australian and New Guinea ports, the lack of south bound cargoes and increasing delays on the Australian waterfront which were union initiated, palletised cargo handling, initially introduced by the Norwegian ship owner Fred Olsen, was commenced on the New Guinea service (N.G.A.L.). The "Bahia", having a high ratio of bale capacity to deadweight tonnage and being of a similar size to the "S" boats, made her suitable for this method of cargo handling. The ship was purchased by CNCo. and converted for side-port loading by Taikoo Dockyard, two manually operated side-port openings being installed on the port side only. Along with fork-lifts and pallets, this proved to be successfull as it drastically reduced costs. Subsequently CNCo. converted further vessels to side-port loading for the New Guinea and Island Ports, until they were capable of handling shipping containers.

The ship was named "Papuan Chief" as the original ship of this name was the first ship owned by Steamships Trading Company. The original "Papuan Chief", I.D.No. 1147926, built by Harland & Wolff, Govan, Yard No. 690g, was launched on July 1st. 1924, and completed on September 24th 1924, of 255 tons nett registered, being a well known trading vessel on the Papua and New Guinea coast.