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Postby shipstamps » Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:14 pm

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The Vauban was the second of a series built for Lamport & Holt Line, being preceded by the Vandyck and followed by the Vestris. The intention was to use them on a fast service between Liverpool, Brazil and the River Plate, carrying three classes of passengers plus a considerable amount of cargo. Workman Clark & Co. Ltd., Belfast, were responsible for all three ships and their machinery. Outwardly there were some small differences in the superstructure, but their hull dimensions were alike, The overall length was 511 ft breadth 60.8 ft and depth of hold 28.7 ft. Twin screws were driven by two sets of quad¬ruple-expansion engines which, to keep vibration to the minimum, were balanced on the Yarrow, Schlick & Tweedy system. The boilers, five in number, were double-ended and coal-fired. For cargo there were five holds, with some compartments insulated for the carriage of chilled meat, fruit, etc.
The Vauban was of 10,680 tons gross and 7,200 tons d.w. She had accommodation for about 280 first-class passengers and 130 second-, also 200 emigrants, the last named being embarked during calls at Vigo, Leixoes and Lisbon. The new service from Liverpool to Buenos Aires was opened by the Vandyck in 1911. The Vauban was launched on 20 January, 1912, ran trials in April and took up station soon afterwards. The venture was destined to be short lived and regularity of service—closely allied with popularity—was made impossible by the action of the R.M.S.P. That company was then commencing a new and accelera¬ted service between Southampton and the Plate and for this they chartered the Vauban, repainted her in their colours and used her as the Alcala. However, by the end of 1913 she had resumed her original name and was back on her designed trade. After this Lamport & Holt were virtually forced out by the R.M.S.P., who intended that the service should be handled by their new D-class ships. The Vauban and her two sisters were therefore soon transferred from Liverpool to reinforce an existing Lamport & Holt service between New York and Buenos Aires. There, by their size and luxury, they eclipsed all others. However, the war claimed early toll, for on 18 October, 1914, the Vandyck was captured and sunk by the German raider Karlsruhe. Soon after the war the Vauban, Vestris and the older Vasari resumed sailings between New York and the Plate but made a triangular voyage. From the Plate they returned to Britain and then made a Cunard charter passage to New York before going South again. By the end of 1923 the service had been re-established on a proper fortnightly basis, but by then new and subsidised competition had become intense. The final blow came in November 1929 when the Vestris, then on a South-bound voyage, foundered in heavy weather with the loss of over l00 lives. This disaster, coupled with adverse publicity and de¬clining profits, led to the abandonment of this once proud passenger service. The V-ships returned to Britain and in January 1932, after a long period of idleness, the Vauban was sold for scrap. SG3476
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