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On board the Peruvian Navy BAP Unión Tall Ship in West India Dock

One of the delights of living near West India Dock is that you can often go on board some of the visiting ships.

Today was the first open day for the impressive Peruvian BAP Unión tall ship which is a training ship of the Peruvian Navy. Climbing on board, you immediately notice the newness of the ship, it was built between 2012–2015 by Shipyard Marine Industrial Services of Peru.

The BAP Unión is the second largest sailing vessel in the world. It is a four-masted class “A” barque with a total length (including bowsprit) of 115.50 m (378 ft 11 in); a beam of 13.50 m (44 ft 3 in) and a draft of 6.50 m (21 ft 4 in).

As you wander around the ship, the scale becomes more apparent, the enormous sail rig is composed of 34 sails with a total sail area of approximately 3,402 m2 (36,620 sq ft).

The ship has a crew of 250 officers and trainees and plenty were at hand to show visitors around the ship. Like a number of similar tall ships, Bap Unión is not only for training purposes, but also to be a sailing ambassador for its home country. The ship’s figurehead is made by Peruvian sculptor Pilar Martinez Woodman and features several symbols of the Inca culture.

These type of ships are considered important symbols for their country and there is plenty of Peruvian goods on display to give some idea of Peruvian culture.

It is not everyday that you can  go on board the second largest sailing vessel in the world and the good news is that the ship will be open for four days..

The ship will be open to the public at the following times

10.00-16.00 on 25th July

10.00-15.00. on 26th 27th July

10.00-16.00 on 29th July

BAP Unión Tall Ship in West India Dock

 

On a grey miserable day, we welcome the impressive BAP Unión tall ship which is a training ship of the Peruvian Navy built between 2012–2015 by Shipyard Marine Industrial Services of Peru, It is a four-masted class “A” barque with a total length (including bowsprit) of 115.50 m (378 ft 11 in); a beam of 13.50 m (44 ft 3 in) and a draft of 6.50 m (21 ft 4 in).

 

The ship has a crew of 250 officers and trainees and is named after a Peruvian ship that took part in the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific.

 

Like a number of similar tall ships, Unión is not only for training purposes, but also to be a sailing ambassador for its home country. The ship is considered one of the largest sailing vessel in Latin America.

 

These type of ships are considered important symbols for their country and this relatively new ship is one of the most impressive tall ships to visit West India Dock.

While the ship was under construction, the Peruvian government arranged training for the future Unión’s crew to serve on training ships of other countries including the Mexican sailing ship ARM Cuauhtémoc and Colombian sailing ship ARC Gloria, both which have visited West India Dock in recent years.

The ship will be open to the public at the following times

10.00-16.00 on 25th July

10.00-15.00. on 26th 27th July

10.00-16.00 on 29th July

Belgian Navy Ships – Godetia (A960) and Bellis (M916) in West India Dock

After a visit from the French Navy ship last week, we welcome the arrival of two Belgian Navy Ships,  BNS Godetia (A960) and the BNS Bellis (M916) in West India Dock.

The Godetia last visited the West India Dock in 2015 with a number of other NATO ships. The ship is a command and logistical support vessel of the Belgian Navy and was launched in 1965 at the Boelwerf in Temse. Godetia has a length of 91.30 m (299.5 ft) with a beam of 14.00 m (45.93 ft) with a crew complement of around 95; 8 officers, 29 NCO’s and 55 sailors.

The Godetia undertakes fishery protection, humanitarian aid, support and supply ship for minesweepers, and acting as a command ship for NATO mine countermeasure operations.

The BNS Bellis is a Tripartite-class minehunter of the Belgian Navy which was launched in 1986 at the Mercantile-Belyard shipyard in Rupelmonde. The ship was the second of the Belgian Tripartite-class minehunters.

In 1987, the ship participated the rescue of the survivors of ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise which capsized outside the port of Zeebrugge.

The Ship has a length of 51.5 m (169 ft 0 in) and beam of 8.96 m (29 ft 5 in), it carries a crew complement of 4 officers, 15 non-commissioned officers, 17 sailors.

It is not known how long the ships will remain in dock at this time.

Super Yacht ‘Gene Machine’ in West India Dock

After a relatively quiet period in the dock, we welcome the Super Yacht Gene Machine to West India Dock.

The 179.99ft yacht ‘Gene Machine’ was built by Amels in Netherlands at their Vlissingen shipyard and was delivered to her owner in 2013. Her exterior design was by Tim Heywood Design and the luxurious interior was designed by Laura Sessa Romboli.

Like many super yachts, the Gene Machine’s interior has been designed for the greatest comfort and can accommodate up to 10 guests overnight in 5 cabins including a master suite, 2 double cabins, 2 twin cabins and 4 Pullman beds. The yacht is also capable of carrying up to 15 crew onboard in 8 cabins.

The yacht is equipped with an ultra-modern stabilization system which reduces roll motion effect and anchor stabilisers.

Amenities on board include Helicopter Landing Pad, Swimming Platform, Jacuzzi (on deck), Air Conditioning, and Owners Balcony.

In the secret world of super yachts, information about ownership and how long the ship will be in dock is often hard to come by. However this yacht and the French Navy ship add a lot of interest to the dock.

French Navy Ship Lapérouse in West India Dock

We have an unusual visitor to West India Dock with arrival of the FS Lapérouse ( A791 ) which is a hydrographic survey ship of the French Navy and one of their Lapérouse-class survey ships.

Lapérouse is a current serving ship of the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the French Navy and was launched at Brest in 1988.

In 2016, we had a visit from French Navy Ship Laplace which is also a hydrographic survey ship of the French Navy and a Lapérouse-class survey ship.

The ship is nearly 200 feet long and the crew usually consists of 3 officers, 10 non-commissioned officers, 18 enlisted personnel and 11 hydrographers.

It is not known how long the ship will be in dock, but a visit from this interesting type of ship is quite rare.

Stavros S Niarchos Tall Ship in West India Dock

With the warm weather, summer seems to have finally arrived and we welcome a regular visitor to West India Dock with the arrival of the British Tall Ship Stavros S Niarchos into dock .

The Stavros S Niarchos was last in the dock in September 2016 and is a regular visitor to the Thames and Tall Ship events.

The Stavros S Niarchos is a British brig-rigged tall ship owned and operated by the Tall Ships Youth Trust. Built in 2000, she has been used to give young people the opportunity to develop skills and talents whilst undertaking voyages to various locations. She is also available for voyages and holidays which provide revenue to maintain the operation of the ship.

In the last couple of years, the Stavros S Niarchos has been put up for sale to enable the Trust to get a smaller ship, so if you have dreamed of owning your own tall ship here is your opportunity.

The ship has a length of 197ft , masts of 148ft and beam of 32ft, she usually operates a crew of 69 which include regular crew and volunteers. The Stavros S Niarchos is quite a bit larger than the TS Royalist which is still in the dock.

In the midst of all the building work around the dock, it is nice to see a couple of tall ships to remind us of the past.

TS Royalist in West India Dock

After the departure of one training ship, the Lord Nelson, we see the arrival of another with the TS Royalist.

This is the new TS Royalist, the old TS Royalist was decommissioned in 2014 after 40 years service. In her years of service it is estimated she had taken over 30,000 cadets to sea. The cadets generally join the ship for a week and learn the rudiments of sailing a large ship.

To build a replacement for the ship, the Sea Cadet organisation had to raise nearly 4 million pounds in two years, when the target was reached the organisation awarded the contract to a Spanish shipbuilder but sourced a considerable amount of the equipment from the UK.

The new ship which is the Sea Cadets flagship looks on the surface very similar to its predecessor but is fitted to better suit the modern sailor and is more economical to operate. The training brig takes twenty-four cadets to sea for six day voyages.

The new TS Royalist is beginning to build its own reputation appearing at the recent Tall Ships Festival 2017. It is one of a number of training tall ships that play an important role in providing training for young people to learn seamanship, sailing skills, leadership and teamwork.