Warship Wednesday, July 17 Frigate tuned Superyacht

Here at LSOZI, we are going to take out every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1859-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week.

– Christopher Eger

Warship Wednesday,  July 17

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Here we see the HMCS Stormont (Pennant number K327) of the Royal Canadian Navy having fun in the North Atlantic during WWII. She was one of 151-River class frigates built during the war for the Royal Navy and her Commonwealth allies. These hearty little escort ships held the line across the Atlantic, dropping depth charges and hedgehogs on every periscope sighting they could find.

She escorted convoys on the Murmansk run to the Kola Inlet and to Gibraltar. She also served as one of 57 RCN vessels to support Operation Neptune, the amphibious invasion of Normandy, France that were part of D-Day

After the war, the Stormont was not needed and she was stricken from the fleet on 9 November 1945 and placed in reserve for ten years.

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What a difference a coat of paint makes!

Sold for just $34,000 she became a personal yacht to a Greek shipping magnate Ari Onassis who converted her into the mega luxury yacht Christina, named after his daughter. The ship was luxuriously equipped as such and included a mosaic swimming pool which drained and rose to deck level to create a dance floor.

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Ari, and later wife Jackie Kennedy-Onassis spent their best years onboard the vessel. For a time, after Ari died in 1975, the yacht was used by the Greek government as the President Yacht with a naval crew under the name Argo. By the 1990s she was back in civilian livery renamed the Christina O with Panamanian registry. She is currently for sale for $32.4 mill if you are interested . “The yacht can accommodate 34 guests and has a library, sports lounge, spa room and beauty salon. Yacht broker Nicholas Edmiston to the Associated Press that he thinks there are about 10 people who might want to buy the Christina O — are you one of them?”

Jackie and Ari on the Christina

Jackie and Ari on the Christina

Of the 151 Rivers, just the Stormont/Christina remains at sea. No less than 17 of the class were destroyed in combat between WWII and the Suez while the survivors served in no less than 22 navies as late as the 1980s. Only one, HMAS Diamantina, formerly of the Royal Australian Navy, is preserved as a museum ship at the Queensland Maritime Museum in Brisbane, Australia.

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Specs (until 1946)
Displacement:     1,445 long tons (1,468 t; 1,618 short tons)
2,110 long tons (2,140 t; 2,360 short tons) (deep load)
Length:     283 ft (86.26 m) p/p
301.25 ft (91.82 m)o/a
Beam:     36.5 ft (11.13 m)
Draught:     9 ft (2.74 m); 13 ft (3.96 m) (deep load)
Propulsion:     2 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, reciprocating vertical triple expansion, 5,500 ihp (4,100 kW)
Speed:     20 knots (37.0 km/h)
20.5 knots (38.0 km/h) (turbine ships)
Range:     646 long tons (656 t; 724 short tons) oil fuel; 7,500 nautical miles (13,890 km) at 15 knots (27.8 km/h)
Complement:     157
Armament:

2 x QF 4 in (102 mm) /45 Mk. XVI on twin mount HA/LA Mk.XIX
1 x QF 12 pdr (3 in / 76 mm) 12 cwt /50 Mk. V on mounting HA/LA Mk.IX (not all ships)
8 x 20 mm QF Oerlikon A/A on twin mounts Mk.V
1 x Hedgehog 24 spigot A/S projector
up to 150 depth charges

If you liked this column, please consider joining the International Naval Research Organization (INRO)

They are possibly one of the best sources of naval lore http://www.warship.org/naval.htm

The International Naval Research Organization is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the encouragement of the study of naval vessels and their histories, principally in the era of iron and steel warships (about 1860 to date). Its purpose is to provide information and a means of contact for those interested in warships.

Nearing their 50th Anniversary, Warship International, the written tome of the INRO has published hundreds of articles, most of which are unique in their sweep and subject.

I’m a member, so should you be!

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