Model Shipyard Replica Hand Crafted Sailing Ship Models Mossel Bay Garden Route South Africa
Stephens & Kenau Model Ship manufacturer in Mossel Bay Garden Route South Africa Model Shipyard Replica Hand Crafted Sailing Ship Models Mossel Bay Garden Route South Africa Stephens & Kenau Model Ship manufacturer in Mossel Bay Garden Route South Africa Model Shipyard Replica Hand Crafted Sailing Ship Models Mossel Bay Garden Route South Africa Stephens & Kenau Model Ship manufacturer in Mossel Bay Garden Route South Africa Model Shipyard Replica Hand Crafted Sailing Ship Models Mossel Bay Garden Route South Africa
 
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Dimensions and Pricing
Scale Length Height Price Door-2-Door
1:78 1150mm ( 45" ) 520mm ( 20" ) P.O.A P.O.A


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Description
SS Great Britain


History of the Ship

Screw Steamship (6m/1f)
Daught/Beam/Daught: - 322? x 50.5? x 16? (98.1m x 15.4m x 4.9m)
TONS: - 2.936grt
HULL: - iron
COMPLIMENT: - 260 pass
MACH: - direct-acting steam engin, 1 screw; 11 kts
DESIGNED: - Isambard Kingdom Brunel
BUILT: - Great Western Steamship Co., Briston, Eng.; 1843

The SS Great Britain was the second ship of the trio designed by the innovative and farsighted engineer I.K. Brunel. She was by far the largest ship of her day, one-third again as long as the biggest ship of the line in the Royal Navy. She was the first seagoing ship built of iron, and the first to be driven by a screw propeller. Through Great Britain was not a commercial success for her builders, many of the ship?s innovations were adopted in the years following her launch on July19, 1843, by Queen Victoria?s husband, Prince Albert. In 1840, Brunel studied the screw propulsion system of the Archimedes and decided to adopt a single-screw propeller for his new ship. The change to a propeller also meant radical changes to the engines. The final design included four cylinders, each 88 inches in diameter. Operated at 18 revolutions per minute, the engine drove the propeller, to which it was connected via a drive chain, at 53 rpm. The propeller itself, of iron, was 15,5 feet in diameter and weighed more than 3 tons. The ship also carried six masts; all but one, the seconds from the bow, was fore-and-aft rigged. Great Britain's accommodations included 26 single and 113 double rooms and a cargo capacity of 1,000 tons; there were bunkers for 1,000 tons of coal. When the ship cleared Bristol?s Floating Harbor, it was found that the locks were too narrow, and the company had to widen them. Sea trials began on December 13, 1844, in which Great Britain achieved 11 knots. In June she sailed to Liverpool and loaded cargo for New York. She sailed on July 26 under command of Great Western veteran James Hoskens and arrived August 10 after a crossing of 14 days, 21 hours. Her return to Bristol took about the same time. During her second voyage, most of the propeller blades fell of and a new four-bladed screw had to be fitted. The engines were also reconfigured by Maudslay Sons and Field, and produces 1,663 indicated horsepower, up from 686. On her fifth voyage, outward bound from Liverpool with 180 passengers (a record for a North Atlantic steamship), she ran aground on September 22, 1846, in Dundrum Bay south of Belfast Lough in Ireland. Although there was no loss of life, it was not until August 27, 1847, that the ship was freed, with the help of the steam frigate HMS BIRKENHEAD. With a new three-blade screw driven by a two-cylinder engine with a simple gear drive, and the masts reduced to four (square-rigged on the middle two masts), the ship re-entered service on the transatlantic run, transferring to the Australia trade after one voyage. Leaving the Mersey on August 21, 1852, with 650 passengers, Great Britain arrived in Melbourne on November 12, after a run of 82 days. She departed Australia in January with 260 passengers and ?550,000 in gold dust. Rerigged again, as a three-masted ship, the vessel was sold to the Liverpool & Australian Navigation Company, and sailed from Liverpool with more than 1,000 passengers. During the Indian Mutiny in 1857, the Great Britain remained in the Australian passengers' trade until laid up in Birkenhead in February 1876. Acquired the next year by Antony Gibb, Sons and Company, for bulk trade between Britain and San Francisco, Great Britain was stripped of her engines and the hull was sheathed in wood. On her third voyage out, on February 25, 1886, she was forced back to Stanley, Falkland Islands, and condemned. After 47 years as a coal and wool storage ship, the Falkland Islands Company moved her from Stanley to nearby Sparrow Cove, where the ship was abandoned. In 1967 the Great Britain Project Committee was formed to bring the ship back to Bristol for restoration to her original design. In a salvage exercise that would have impressed Brunel himself, on April 24, 1970, the ship was towed from Stanley aboard a pontoon barge, stopping first at Montevideo, and then on to Bristol where she eased into Wapping Dock on July 19, the anniversary of her launch. There the ship has been restored in all its Brunelian Glory, down to replicas of the original four-cylinder engines and boilers.

Izak J H Hough
Member of The Nautical Research Guild




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