This year also marks the centenary of the launch of the MV Selandia, the first ship to be powered by diesel propulsion.

Following Dr. Rudolph Diesel’s pioneering new engine being produced in 1903, a few vessels had a diesel engine fitted as an auxiliary but the Selandia is now recognised as the first true motor ship.

Fitted with 2 x 1250 HP 8 cylinder engines, both the ship and the engines were constructed at the Bermeister & Wain shipyard at Copenhagen. A cargo / passenger vessel with a service speed of 11 kts, she had a LOA of 113m and was 7400 tonnes DWT. An unusual feature of the vessel was that she had no funnel, the exhaust gases being fed out through the main mast. Owned by the Danish East Asiatic Company (EAC) for their Scandinavia to Bangkok route she was apparently very popular with her 20 first class passengers as a result of her well appointed accommodation.  Having embarked on her maiden voyage in February 1912 she had a long career before finally being wrecked (as the Tormator) off Japan in 1942. EAC still exist as EMS and still own a Selandia, their 4th vessel to carry that name. JCB

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