R.M.S. Strathnaver in Simon's Town

The Simon's Town Waterfront Centre is in the process of converting its arcade into a free flowing area with a strong nautical theme. On an initiative by Jeremy Wagner, General Manager of Quayside Hotel and member of the Simon's Town Tourism forum, the Cape Town Maritime Museum was approached and an 8 foot model of the RMS Strathnaver was obtained on long loan for display in the Waterfront Centre. She will be the centre piece of the display and is the first of a number of model ships that will be added, along with other memorabilia from shipwrecks around our coast.
The intricate detail on the Strathnaver model.


Launched :
Tonnage :
Overall Length :
Breadth :
5 Feb 1931
22 500 Tons
664 Feet
80 Feet
Depth To C Deck :
Draught :
Speed :
Horse Power :
63 Feet
29 Feet
20 Knots
28 000

The RMS Strathnaver was built by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. in Barrow-in-Furness. She was launched on Feb 5th 1931 by Lady Bailey and completed in September of that year. Her first cruise departed Tilbury, London on October 2nd 1931 bound for Sydney. She had classic lines and was a source of much admiration. Powered by turbo electric motors developing 28 000 SHP with 2 inward rotating propellers, she attained a service speed of 20 knots. RMS Strathnaver was the first of five Strath ships, the second of which was the RMS Strathaird launched in July 1932 and was almost identical in every feature. Then followed the Strathmore, Stratheden and Strathallan (which was sunk by an enemy submarine near Oran in the Mediterranean) all of which had outward rotating propellers. The Strathnaver's passenger complement was 498 first class and 670 tourist class when built. The later conversion gave her 1252 in tourist class accommodation. Her main service route was London to Australia, cruising as required.

In 1940 Strathnaver was requisitioned in Britain for wartime service as a troop carrier. She served in many operations over the next 8 years and was fortunate not to be hit in action. She took part in the first Australian and New Zealand landings at Suez and in the landing of 40 000 men at Anzio, south of Rome.

Originally both Strathnaver and Strathaird had 3 funnels but during refitting after the war in 1948, the forward and aft dummy funnels were removed and the remaining funnel raised to match the other sisters. At this time some variations in appearance became apparent due to the fact that the refitting of Strathnaver was carried out by Harland and Wolff in Belfast while the Strathaird was refitted at Vickers Armstrong. The Strathaird was sold in 1962 to Shun Fung Ironworks Hong Kong for scrap and so ended her years of meritorious service.

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