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ID /IMO No. 1086981.
Type Cargo/Passenger
Gross Registered Tonnage 1,734 grt. 1,109 nett.
Builder Scott & Co CD. Yard No.219.
Delivery date Oct 13th. 1882
Hull Steel, clincher construction.
Decks 1
Length 270.0 ft.
Width 34.0 ft.
Depth 24.75 ft.
Passengers Deck.
Engine Builder Greenock Foundry Co.
Engine Type Steam compound, inverted
Engine cylinders 30 ins. dia, 60 ins dia.
Engine stroke 3.5 ft.
Engine Power 185 nhp. 833 ihp.
Engine RPM 70
Propulsion mode Single screw
Speed 10 kts.
Rigged Schooner.
Displacement 3,720 tons.
Deadweight 2.604 tons
Bale capacity 118,364 cu.ft.
Block coefficient (Cb) 0.72
Power Steam
Condenser cooling surface 1,800 sq.ft.
Steam expansion ratio 5.44
ratio_of_air_pump_capacity_to_lp_cylinder_volume 17.1
ratio_of_sw_circulating_pump_capacity_to_lp_cylinder_volume 18
Boiler 2, Oval type.
Boiler pressure 75 psi.
Boiler dimensions (total) 15.27 ft.High x 11'58 ft.Wide x 10.08 ft.Long.
Heating Surface (total) 2,977 sq. ft.
Grate Area (total) 107.2 sq. ft.
Steam space volume 809 cu. ft.
Fuel Coal.
Furnace 3 per boiler.
Furnace dimensions 3'3" dia, 6'11" long.
Draught Natural
Propeller Right hand,14.5 ft. dia., 17.0 ft, pitch.
Propeller blades 4
Propeller formation Solid.
Propeller material Cast iron.
Keel laid Feb 16th. 1882.
Launched Aug 24th. 1882.
Original owner China Navigation Co.
Delivered to owner Oct 13th. 1882


This was the first steel hull for CNCo. This ship was the first in a class of four vessels, the other three were the:- "Woosung I", "Changchow I" and the "Taiwan I".

1882 - 1883. Transferred to Coast Boats Ownery

March 31st. 1886. Suffered engine room damage by a fire at Sydney N.S.W.

1904. Sold to the Russian Trade and Insurance Co, Sebastopol, name unchanged.

Oct 30th. 1914. Turkey entered WW1 on the German side in order to fight against the Russians. Three Turkish warships immediately bombarded Russian ports. The Whampoa was damaged by gunfire by the Turkish warship "Hamadiieh" at Odessa during the bombardment. The Turkish "Yavuz Sultan Selin" ( ex "Geoben") shelled Sebastopol and the "Midilli" (ex "Breslau" ) bombarded Novorossisk.

1922. Broken up at Sebastopol - still named "Whampoa"


All four vessels were placed on an irregular service to Australia until the trade warranted dedicated tonnage in 1886.


Northern Territory Times. 21st July 1883

Messrs. Butterfield and Swires' steamer Whampoa left Singapore at noon on Wednesday, 13th, and may be expected on Thursday evening, 26th prox. If she arrives in time she will not interfere with the Palmerston Cup.

The Morning Bulletin, Rockhampton. 4th August 1883

WHAMPOA, s.s.-The pioneer of Messrs. Butterfield and Swire’s fleet, from Hongkong, left Cooktown yesterday at noon for southern ports. She brings about 100 Malay labourers, under engagement to work on Herbert River plantations. The Whampoa is a large boat with plenty of speed, and has splendid accommodation for passengers.

Brisbane Courier Mail 6th August 1883

Whampoa, s.s. , from Hongkong for Southern ports, arrived in Cleveland Bay on Saturday, and resumed her voyage shortly afterwards

Brisbane Courier Mail 8th August 1883

August 7 - WHAMPOA, China S.N. Company's s, 1100 tons Captain James E Williams from Hongkong and Singapore, via Port Darwin, Thursday Island, Cooktown, and Townsville with 109 Chinese passengers and cargo. Parbury, Lamb and Raff, and W Sloane & Co agents.

The fine steel steamer Whampoa from Hongkong, via ports, berthed alongside the Municipal Wharves shortly before 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon. She reached Cape Moreton at half past 3 o’clock, anchored at the bar at 7 am and shortly afterwards steamed up the river in charge of Pilot Ralston. The fact that the Whampoa which is nearly 300ft in length, was brought up the river most successfully has caused something like a sensation in shipping circles. It is considered by those connected with shipping that the highest credit is due to this officer for having piloted a vessel of such length without the assistance of a steam tug, a feat hitherto considered impracticable in the Brisbane River, but which those best acquainted with work of this kind consider free of all difficulty. The Whampoa belongs to Messrs Butterfield and Swire’s line trading as the China Steam Navigation Company and is the pioneer boat of a line of four vessels of a similar class, which it has been arranged will run monthly between Hongkong and Sydney and Melbourne, calling at Queensland ports. Messrs Parbury, Lamb, and Raff, and W Sloane and Co are the Brisbane agents for this line. This is another proof of the great strides the Queensland coasting trade is making and it must be gratifying to business people to see such a fine vessel as the Whampoa steam into the heart of the city, even although she has but a small quantity of cargo for this port. The names of the other boats are- the Taiwan, Chang Chow, and Woosung. The Whampoa was built in October of last year by Scott and Co, of Greenock, to the order of the China Steam Navigation Company, and has up till the present been running between Shanghai, Hong kong and Saigon, in the passenger and cargo traffic. She is schooner rigged, is built on splendid lines, and is certainly one of the cleanest vessels that has ever come into this port. She is of 1100 tons net register and of the following dimensions Length, 275ft: beam 36 ft and depth of hold 28ft. There are two decks, one wooden and the other of iron. The vessel can stow 1800 tons of cargo which she carries on a draught of 18ft forward and about 19ft aft. She steams at an average rate of eleven knots per hour on a consumption of 18 tons of fuel per day. The vessel carries about 600 tons of water ballast which is sufficient to stiffen her in the most tempestuous weather. The machinery which is of the very latest pattern was manufactured by the same firm that built the hull. Her engines are of 185 hp nominal. There is every facility for expedition in discharging or loading cargo there being three large holds each supplied with a powerful steam winch of the latest design. The Whampoa was constructed principally for carrying cargo and the space set apart for passengers is therefore limited but, nevertheless the accommodation is of the best description. The saloon, which is on deck is amidships. It is profusely ornamented and well lighted and ventilated. Provision is here made for twelve passengers. There is a second cabin aft fitted with all due regard to comfort and containing berths for twenty passengers. The captain and officers cabins are also on deck.
The Whampoa is manned by a crew of forty seven Chinese, and has three officers and three engineers. She left Hongkong on the 9th July arrived at Singapore at 9am on the 15th and left on the 18th at 1 pm: arrived at Port Darwin at 1pm on the 26th and left on the 27th at 6am.: anchored off Thursday Island at 6 pm on the 30th and left on the 31st at 1 pm: arrived at Cooktown at 9 30 pm on the 2nd August and left at noon on the 3rd arriving in Cleveland Bay at 12 15 p m on the 4th , left at 2,45 pm same date: rounded Cape Moreton at 3.30am yesterday and arrived in Brisbane at midday. During the first part of the voyage the vessel experienced strong head winds and high head sea but after leaving Cooktown she had favourable weather all the way down the coast.
Sloane and Co agents

8th August. 1883. Whampoa departed Brisbane.

Sydney Morning Herald 8th August 1883

The trade of the Australasian colonies with the Celestial Empire has grown to such an extent of late years that large additions have been made from time to time to the number of steamers engaged in it, and yet it would appear that these were not sufficient to meet the demands made upon them. At any rate, a new and important rival to the existing companies is about to make a bid for support in these colonies, with apparently every prospect of meeting with a response that will repay them for their energy and enterprise. This is the China Navigation Company, who are having a fleet of steel steamers built specially for the trade. Indeed the pioneer of the line, the Whampoa, is expected to arrive here in a short time. This vessel has been erroneously confounded with the Whampoa, which used to trade between this port and London some years ago but as a matter of fact she is an entirely new vessel, built specially for this line by Scott, of Glasgow. The Whampoa left Hongkong on the 3rd instant with a general chow chow cargo, and will call at Port Darwin, Thursday Island, and the other Queensland ports, and then come on to Sydney, and Melbourne. The agents in Hongkong for these steamers are Messrs. Butterfield and Swire, who are also the agents of Holt's well-known "Blue Funnel" line; while Messrs. Lorimer, Rome, and Co., of O'Connoll-street, will look after the interests of the company in this city. Every preliminary arrangement has been made with the view of establishing this line on a permanent basis; and there is not the least doubt that it will add greatly to the convenience of those of the commercial community who trade with the Chinese Empire. The vessels already built (and those to be constructed are up to be the same in point of accommodation) are fitted up for a limited number of first and second class passengers and will carry a very large cargo. The dimensions of the Whampoa we were unable to ascertain, but those of the Chang Chow, the second boat to arrive in Sydney, are as follows; 271 feet 3 inches long, 34 feet 4 inches broad and 23 feet 6 inches deep; her gross registered tonnage thus being 1734 tons, and net 1109. The Changchow left Foochow on July 28, with a cargo of new season’s teas for Sydney and Melbourne. The third steamer, the Woosung, is a sister ship to the Whampoa and will follow that vessel calling at Port Darwin and Queensland ports, and Sydney and Melbourne. The Hoihow of the same line, is now on her way to New Zealand with tea. She is 248 feet 9 inches long, 31 feet 3 inches broad, and 23 feet 2 inches deep. Her gross register tonnage is 1411 tons, and net 896 tons.

Melbourne Argus. 10th August 1883

An extension of the cargo trade between China and the colonies on the eastern seaboard of Australia is talked of. Direct steam communication has been in full swing for some years, and in addition to the lines already engaged in the business, another has now entered on this area of enterprise. The steamers told of for the purpose are owned by John Swire, of London, and the China Steam Navigation Company. The boats to be employed are all new and are built of steel. They are said to be well furnished in every respect, and during the period they have been running they have proved themselves well adapted for the special requirements of the China trade. The first expected here are the Woosung and Chang chow, both built by Scott and Co, of Greenock. They are of like dimensions namely, 271ft 3in in length 34ft 4in beam, with a depth of hold of 23ft 8in. Their gross measurement is 734 tons and the net register 1109 tons. Her space under deck is 1,024 tons. The engines are on the compound principle the Woosung’s being of 185 horse power and the Chang chow's 150 horse power. The passenger accommodation is said to be something superior, and is made a feature of, in so far as the company’s boats are concerned. The others to run in conjunction with the boats above named are the Whampoa, Taiwan and Hoihow also built by Scott and Co of Greenock. The latter is now in New Zealand landing a cargo of new seasons tea. The first of the steamers is expected here shortly and the others will follow at regular intervals. One of this line of steamers, the Tamsui, discharged a cargo of tea here last season at the South Wharf. The agents in this port for the line are Messrs Lorimer, Rome and Co

The Sydney Morning Herald. 11th August 1883


The pioneer boat of the new line of steamers, which is to ply monthly between Hongkong and the principal Australian ports arrived in this harbour at 6 o'clock yesterday morning, and anchored in Watsons Bay until she was examined by the assistant health officer. Dr Sibley, finding everything satisfactory on board after a very careful examination granted the Whampoa pratique, and she steamed up to the Union Steamship Company’s wharf, where she was safely berthed. The Whampoa is one of four new steamers built by Scott and Co of Greenock to the order of the China Steam Navigation Company. She was launched in October of last year, and after her arrival from London at Hongkong, has been trading between Shanghai, Hongkong; and Saigon, in which she proved eminently serviceable. The Whampoa is 275 feet long, 34 feet beam and her depth of hold is 23 feet 6 inches. She has a straight stem, elliptical stern, and is schooner rigged. The hull is divided off into eight watertight compartments, and provision is made for 600 tons of water ballast. Her decks are made of steel, with a covering of teak; and large hatchways, steam winches, &c.are proved for the rapid discharge or loading of cargo, of which she can stow away 2000 tons of dead weight. This is exclusive of her bunker space, which can be made to hold 600 tons if necessary, but usually is only filled with 300 tons. The register tonnage of the Whampoa is 1109 tons. When fully loaded she draws 18 feet forward and 19 feet aft. The Whampoa is driven by a pair of compound steam condensing engines, which were supplied by the builders. They are of 180 horse power nominal but work up to 950. The cylinders have a diameter of 30 inches and 60 inches respectively, and the piston rod has a stroke of 42 inches. The average speed of the Whampoa is 11 knots per hour, to do which she consumes 18 tons of coal in the 24 hours, and the engines make 68 revolutions a minute, so far the engines have worked very satisfactorily. The Whampoa was designed principally as a cargo carrier, and therefore the accommodation for passengers is limited, but the saloon, in which there are berths for 12 passengers and which is situated well forward of the engine room, will compare in point of comfort and simple elegance with that of the best class of passenger ships visiting this port. The second class accommodation is aft, and in it there are berths for 16 persons; and for the Chinese, clean, comfortable and airy berths are fitted up in the tween decks. The captain's and officer’s quarters are in a neatly finished and tastefully furnished house forward of the saloon, and the crew which consists of 47 Chinese, are accommodated forward. The Whampoa is supplied with steam steering gear, and is commanded from the bridge over the officer’s quarters. Every detail about the ship shows that the greatest care has been taken both in her design and construction, and the fact that she comes into port looking as clean and new as if she had just come off the slip shows that strict discipline is maintained on board. The Whampoa is commanded by Captain James E Williams, who was here about 13 years ago in James Imray’s White Star clipper ship Castlehead. He is one of the senior captains in the China Navigation Company’s service, and has been trading on the Chinese coast since 1874, with the exception of one year which he spent in England, when he went home to bring out his present ship, of which he is justly proud. The other four vessels of the line are the Taiwan, Changchow, and Woosung, and they are a fac similie of the Whampoa, which means that they should speedily make a reputation for themselves in the trade for which they were built. Captain Williams reports that the Whampoa left Hongkong on July 9th and arrived at Singapore on the 16th, after a passage that was marked by strong head winds and sea. After landing cargo and 280 Chinese the Whampoa left for Port Darwin on the 18th, and experienced strong SE winds and moderate head sea until arrival there on the 26th ultimo. The voyage was resumed on the following day, and Thursday Island was reached on the 30th ultimo, and left again on the following day. Cooktown, Townsville and Brisbane were each called in at, the latter port being left on the 8th instant.. Fine weather and light variable winds were met with until arrival at Port Jackson. The Whampoa discharged 110 Chinese at Brisbane, she has 12 for this port and 11 for Melbourne. She has 300 tons of general cargo for Sydney and about 230 tons for Melbourne. As soon as her cargo for Sydney is discharged, the Whampoa will proceed to Melbourne. Mr James Smith, who was formerly chief officer of the ship Agnes Rose, is in a similar position on the Whampoa; and the engine room is in charge of Mr James Christie.

A seizure of dutiable goods was effected this morning by the Customs authorities on board the steamer Whampoa, from Hong Kong. About 10,000 cigars and 400 packages of tobacco were discovered under old sacks in the chain locker underneath the forecastle. The goods were seized and taken to the Customhouse until an inquiry can be instituted.

A large influx of Chinese is threatened. The steamer Whampoa, from China, brings 110, and it is understood that arrangements have been made for regular shipments of Chinese to this colony in order to afford cheap labour to the sugar planters. Nearly 1000 Chinese labourers hare been ordered, and are now being sent out as fast as possible in order to arrive before Parliament meets and restrictive legislation can be adopted.

11th August 1883. Whampoa departed Sydney for Melbourne..

Sydney Morning Herald. 14th August 1883

Melbourne Argus. 15th August 1883

Arrivals August 14. Whampoa, steamer, 1,800 tons, Captain Williams. from Hong Kong 9th ultimo, Singapore. 18th, Port Darwin 27th, Thursday Island 31st, Cooktown 3rd instant, Townsville 4th instant, Brisbane 8th, and Sydney 11th. Passengers—Mr Stark and 11 Chinese. Lorimer, Rome, and Co., agents.. Imports: Whampoa, from Hong Kong, via Singapore, Port Darwin Queensland ports, and Sydney. 257 bxs, 50 cs, 50 pkgs tea, 222 bags rice, 120 cs oil, 10 bxs rice flour, 28 pkgs paperware, 200 rolls matting, 2 cs silk, 11 cs porcelain, 3 bdls rattans, 202 pkgs chow chow from Hong Kong .9 hlf cts tea, 120 bgs black, 140 bgs white pepper, 149 bgs sago flour, 150 bgs pearl sago, 404 bgs tapioca, 14 bgs tapioca flour, 14 pkgs spices from Singapore , 1,284 mts sugar, 80 bgs coffee from Brisbane. Included in the manifest of the Whampoa, from Singapore, is the following consignment - 40 tons tapioca and sago, in bags –Jas. McKENZIE and Co.

Launceston Examiner 15th August 1883

An extension of the carrying trade between China and the colonies, on the eastern seaboard of Australia, is talked of. Direct steam communication (says the Argos) has been in full swing for some years, and in addition to the lines already engaged in the business, another has now entered on this area of enterprise. The boats to be employed are all new, and are built of steel. The first expected at Melbourne to arrive shortly are the Woo-sung and Chang chow, both built at Greenock. They are of like dimensions, namely, 271ft. 3in. in length, 34ft. 4in. beam, with a depth of hold of 23ft. 6in. Their gross measurement is 734 tons, and the net register 1109 tons. The space under deck is 1624 tons. The engines are on the compound principle, the Woo-sung's being of 185 horse power, and the Chang-chow's 150 horse-power. The passenger accommodation is said to be something superior. The others to run in conjunction with the boats above named are the Whampoa, Tai-wan, and Hoi-how, also built at Greenock.

The Argus 16th August 1883

The new steel steamship Whampoa, which arrived on Tuesday from Hong Kong, had quick despatch in the discharge of her chow chow cargo. The last of it was trucked yesterday morning and the packages were landed stainless and in first class order. Early in the afternoon the Whampoa moved out from Sandridge railway pier, and steamed straight away to Sydney en route for Hong Kong. The beautifully clean appearance of this steamer was the subject of favourable remark during her short stay here. Cleared Out Aug. 15th.

Whampoa, s s , 1,109tons, J L Williams for Hong kong via Newcastle, in ballast Lorimer, Home, and Co agents

17th August 1883. Whampoa arrived Newcastle.

Sydney Morning Herald. 23rd August 1883

The China Navigation Company's steamer Whampoa having been detained at Newcastle, on account of the wet weather preventing her obtaining a supply of coals, her departure for Hongkong, via ports, has been delayed until Friday afternoon.

Sydney Morning Herald. 25th August 1883

Exports: Whampoa for Hongkong via Queensland ports. 21b/s fungus; 200 c/s beef; 80 c/s mutton; 202 c/s preserved meats; 40 bags bran; 10 half chests tea; 40 bags maize; 21 b/s fungus; 6bxs pipes; 2 c/s tobacco; 2 c/s confectionery; 88 c/s chaff; 10 c/s potatoes; 2 c/s butter; 1 c/s books; 1 c/s seeds; 4 c/s sundries; also 1000 tons coal, original cargo from Newcastle.

25th August 1889. Whampoa departed Sydney.

30th August 1883. Whampoa departed Townsville.

31st August 1883. Whampoa departed Cooktown.

September 7th 1883. Port Darwin,.

The Whampoa arrived yesterday from Southern ports, and sailed at daylight for Hongkong, withone Chinese passenger.

17th September 1883.

Whampoa arrived Hong Kong.

Evening News (Sydney) 5 December 1895.

Robbery on the Whampoa. THE STRONG ROOM FORCED, News of a mysterious gold robbery on board the China Navigation Company's steamer Whampoa has reached Sydney. The steamer arrived recently at Hong kong from Australia, when it was found that £500 in gold had been stolen from the strong room. The room was not approached after leaving Thursday Island, and as there were neither passengers nor compra dores between decks near the place, the theft was not discovered until Hongkong was reached. The work was evidently that of a skilled man, as the side of a Chubb lock had been forced out so that the bolt could be released from the staple when it was an easy matter to take off the lock and open the door. Only one pack age, containing £500, was taken, though close alongside it was another package of £1500. This is thought by the police to prove that only one man was engaged in the robbery. The door was closed and the lock replaced, so that, though as soon as the officers tried to open the door the tam poring became manifest, a casual exami nation would not detect the trick played. So far the thief is unknown, and no traces have been found of him.

The Northern Daily Argus (Rockhampton QLD) 25 January 1896

The Whampoa in Danger. Attempted Scuttling. A diabolical attempt was made to scuttle the steamer Whampoa on her arrival at China from the colonies. According to the captain's story the vessel was between Shanghai and Newchwang when he caused the ballast tank to be filled. Some hours later the hold was opened, when three feet of water was found and a large quantity of cargo was spoiled. On examination a waterpipe leading from the ballast tank to the hold was found to have a large hole in it, through which the water was pouring out, and a crowbar with which the hole had evidently been made was lying close by. The damage was so serious that the steamer would have gone down had it not been found out in time. On arrival at Shanghai, the boatswain and carpenter, Ningpo men, were arrested and placed on their trial for attempting to scuttle the ship. They pleaded guilty, and were ordered to receive 200 blows each, a year of imprisonment, and deportation. The only reason the captain could assign why the prisoners wished to sink the vessel was that at Hongkong a box of specie, contain ing 500 sovereigns, was found to be missing, and he informed the police that he sus pected the boatswain and carpenter of being concerned in if, more especially the carpenter, because when his tool chest was searched he found a chisel that fitted exactly into the damaged lock of the treasure room.

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