A Loaded Marabank

Excerpt from the book “TRAMP SHIPS AND FERRY VOYAGES” by Alan Rawlinson

“A handsome pair of larger ships were ordered in 1962 from the new Swan Hunter yard. They were the Speybank and the Marabank, each 486 ft long and around 6000 tons gross, quickly followed by an 11 ship order, 6 of which went to William Doxford in Sunderland, and 5 built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast.  These were bigger 15,900 ton dwt ships of over 500 ft in length, and fitted out with deeptanks and a 50 ton derrick, giving them versatility. The names were,Taybank, Tweedbank, Beechbank, Ernebank, Shirrbank, Teviotbank, Hazelbank, Irisbank, Nairnbank, Maplebank and Gowenbank.        The latter ship had the dubious honour of being the last Bank Line ship to be built at Belfast, ending a spectacular long run of highly successful additions to the fleet.      Then came a 12 ship order in 1972, again from Doxford. Looking at the ever growing need to lift containers, these orders then began to reflect this demand.    The ships got bigger and modified as part container ship, with a modest 192 teu container capacity.  Tonnage was up again to 16,900 dwt. The ships carried the traditional names of  Fleetbank, Cloverbank, Birchbank, Beaverbank, Cedarbank, Firbank, Streambank, Riverbank, Nessbank, Laganbank, Crestbank, and Fenbank. A new design allowed for 4 hatches on the forepart with the accommodation moved aft so only number 5 hatch was at the after end.  The builder provided 6 cylinder oil engines.  They mostly had uneventful lives and were sold on after only a relatively short   stay in the Bank Line fleet, the Laganbank going after only 3 years.     

Swan Hunter Shipbuilders Ltd, South Shields, then got a valuable 6 ship order in 1973.  Called the Corabank class after the lead ship, they were designed to carry 240 teu’s.  and had 11 oil tanks for the Pacific trade. Tonnage was 15,500 dwt, and the names were Corabank, Meadowbank, Forthbank, Moraybank, Ivybank, and Clydebank.    These were relatively successful ships, designed as they were for the growing importance of the Pacific Islands trade”.  

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