El National Maritime Museum, de Greenwich, Londres, edito cuatro extraordinarios libros sobre las construcciones de los astilleros de William Denny and Brothers, de Dumbarton. Con el titulo de THE DENNY LIST, PART 1 a PART 4, están resumidos por David John Lyon M.A. Se editaron en 1975 y si alguien los encuentra y puede pagarlos que no dude un instante. Se pueden consultar en la Biblioteca (BITACOLA MMB) del Museu Maritim de Barcelona en donde encontraremos profesionalidad y amabilidad que nos ayudaran en nuestras consultas.
Uno de los buques, el numero de grada 62, de 1857, se construyo como DUKE DE ROTHSAY, o DUKE DE ROTHESAY, no lo acaba de especificar el libro, y fue, con el tiempo, el transporte de guerra DON ANTONIO ESCAÑO de la Armada española. Se entrego el 10 de abril de 1857, y se vino a Cadiz el 16 de julio de 1859. Acabaría su vida operativa en el año 1871.
Vamos a transcribir sus características técnicas desde el citado libro: …”62. DUKE OF ROTHSAY (DUKE OF ROTHESAY). 1857.
ss short sea passenger/cattle steamer for the Aberdeen SN Co
180′ x 28′ x 15%’ + 12′ (Representa eslora entre perpendiculars x manga x puntal en bodega + calado) 920 displ/390 dwt/681 bm/577 g/392 n (Representa desplazamiento / peso muerto / antigua medida de los constructores/ registro bruto y registro neto).
120 cattle 40 passengers in poop, 30 in tweendeck forward 49 tons coal
Machinery No. 44: Direct acting inverted 42″.42″ x 33″ 117 nhp (Representa diametro de los dos cilindros, por su carrera –en pulgadas- y la potencia nominal –a efectos de la sociedad registradora-)
2 tubular boilers. 16 Ibs. Donkey engine. 3 bladed cast iron screw
Contract: The Aberdeen Company seem to have started by asking Denny’s to convert a paddle steamer to screw, using the existing engines. This was an impossibility, as Denny’s stated in a letter dated 3 May 1856. An order for a new screw steamer was a different matter, however, though there was the disadvantage that the Aberdeen Company was trying to offload two of their old wooden paddlers (the ROYAL VICTORIA and CITY OF ABERDEEN) onto Denny’s as a part exchange for a new ship. ‘We have had considerable traffic of the sort since 1850 and find it a very difficult thing to get quit of them, almost every Company being anxious to get rid of them and invest in screws…’. The value of old wooden paddle steamers such as these could only be reckoned as their breaking up price. Denny’s would make an offer for the ROYAL VICTORIA if this was a sine qua non of obtaining an order, but felt that the company would get more value out of her by keeping her in service for a year or two.
Denny’s gave a specification for a new steamer which was to have accommodation for 25 1st class in the poop and about 40 2nd class forward, cattle accommodated in the tween decks. Two steam cranes to be fitted and the ship to make about 10 knots loaded. Coal consumption of 10 tons per 24 hours. Price complete and ready for sea £16,750. (letter 3 May 1856).
Negotiations carried on through the summer with A Anderson of the Aberdeen Company. On 9 May 1856 Denny’s stated they could not offer more than £2,000 for the CITY OF ABERDEEN. On 5 August 1856 Anderson wrote formally asking for a tender for a new steamer intended for the Aberdeen-London trade. A model of Denny’s proposed ship was sent, which pleased the Directors of the Aberdeen company. About 30 to 40 hp would be required. In the same letter that stated these requirements (dated 8 August 56) an enquiry was made whether Denny’s would give £4,000 for the CITY OF ABERDEEN if the new ship was ordered from them.
The final contract was signed 9 September 1856. The new steamer was to make a speed of 10 knots, fully laden, on a consumption of 19 tons of coal per day. She was to be handed over on 10 April 1857. Price £17,000, but the CITY OF ABERDEEN was handed over in lieu of £3,000. The remainder was paid in three instalments. In case of disputes over terms the Dean of the Faculty of Law at Edinburgh University was appointed arbitrator.
Order: 9 September 56/ keel 27 September 56/ launch 13 February 57
Performance: no record of trials 11 knots/585 ihp/21 tons of coal per day.
Description: Schooner rig and fitted with a scroll head. Passenger accommodation in the poop.
Cost: Hull cost sp 12.944,15s. 7d., machinery sp 3.941 4s 5d, profit sp 15 15s 5d.
Plans: Lines/rig (2)/profile/main and spar d Engine”
El buque fue comprador, junto a otros transportes, por el Gobierno español, en este caso por el Ministerio de Ultramar, para los servicios coloniales entre Filipinas y Hong Kong. Se compro junto al LUNA, que seria rebautizado como MALASPINA.
No se hicieron fotos de su construcción ni he encontrado fotos o cuadros de su vida como DON ANTONIO ESCAÑO. Rogamos la colaboración de los lectores para obtenerlos o recabar información sobre su vida operacional.