The Blue Funnel Line
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"D" Boats

M/v Diomed; 7,980gt L 491 feet.

The water was very murky, when it came to identifying "D" boats, they looked so similar to the "A's". Their official name was A class mark V's, but were called "D" boats, by the men who sailed on them. and to add to the confusion half of them had traditional "A" boat names. The difference between them to the casual observer at least, was subtle. "D" boats had a lifeboat each side of the sailors house, aft of No4 hatch, they also had an extra small cargo hatch, and two derricks on the poop (see model photos). And the bulwarks on the wings of the bridge were steel instead of the "A" boats woodwork. Other differences were more on paper, D boats were about 200gt larger, and were longer by about 30 feet.

Demodocus was the first to be built, on the Tyne by Vickers in 1955, and the Ajax, from the same yard, which cost 1.45 million, was the last. They like the "A" boats were very much the "Tramps" of the company, none of them had a regular run, and their trips would be anything from 3 to 5 months, they would call at the less well known ports of Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and the Philippine Islands.

Like most of the other Blue Funnel cargo boats, they fell to the axe, in 1972-73, but unlike the steam turbine's which were scrapped, all six of these "D" boats, went on to trade under the Chinese flag for a further ten years or so.

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Achilles

Dolius

Antenor

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"D" Boats Built

                     In the Fleet

Tons
Achilles (D) 1957 Sold in 1973, Scrapped as "Kaigo" in 1982. 7,974
Demodocus (D) 1955 Sold in 1972, Scrapped as "Hong QI" in 1982. 7,968
Ajax (D) 1958 Renamed Deucalion 1972, sold 1973. Scrapped as "Kailok" in 1982. 7,974
Antenor (D) 1957 Left the fleet 1973. Scrapped as "Kaiyun" in 1983. 7,974
Diomed (D) 1956 Left the fleet 1973. Scrapped as "Kaising" in 1982. 7,980
Dolius (D) 1956 Left the fleet 1972. Scrapped as "Zhan Dou 51" Scrapped in1984? 7,960

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Thanks to;

Capt Neville Lester and Capt Gwilym Owen, for the ships photographs.

Mr Gwyn Jones, for the model photographs, and all his help with these pages.

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