Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
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Volume One - Into the Victorian Age - The Penarth Shipbuilding & Ship Repairing Company Limited . . .

1890 - s.s. 'Aira Force' - (s.s. 'Seaforth')
The steamship 'Aira Force' built in 1890 at the shipyard of the Penarth Shipbuilding & Ship Repairing Co., Limited.

The launch of the steamship 'Aira Force' was reported in the Barry Dock News:-

"On Monday last the Penarth Shipbuilding and Ship Repairing Company, Limited, launched from their yard at Penarth Dock the screw steamer 'Aira Force', built to the order of Messrs. W. S. Kennaugh and Company, Whitehaven. Her dimensions are:- Length overall 148 ft.; breath, extreme, 23 ft. 2in.; depth, 11ft. 4½in. She is fitted with compound service condensing engines, also constructed by the Penarth shipbuilding Company, having cylinders 18in. and 36in., by 24in. stroke, and a multi-tubular boiler, 11ft. diameter, by 9ft. long, having two furnaces, and working at a pressure of 100lbs. per square inch. Her rig is that of a three-masted fore-and-aft schooner.

The vessel is also fitted with donkey-boiler, two steam winches, and patent windlass, and all the most modern improvements have been carried out in her construction. She has been built in accordance with Lloyd's highest class, namely, 100 A1. The vessel was christened by Miss Jennie Illingworth, of Penarth, and after entering the water she was towed to the company's wharf to complete and receive her outfit. This vessel is the second built by the above company for the same owners." Barry Dock News [140] 19th December 1890.

The Appopriation Book states that she was first registered on the 6th February 1891. Then the Mercantile Navy List for 1900 lists 'Aira Force' with the identification letters 'M.K.L.G.' and her port of registry is Whitehaven. It confirms that she was built in 1891 at Penarth, has an iron hull, is 145ft. - 3in. long x 23ft. - 2in. breath x 9ft. - 2in. depth of hold. She was of 95 net tons, 349 tons gross, was propelled by a 55 horsepower steam engine and was screw driven. She was owned by The Aira Force Steam Ship Co., Lim., Queen's Dock, Whitehaven. Her registration number was 94036. [630]

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150 years of Penarth Dock History and Heritage

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