Thursday, 5 November 2015


Her permanent coal bunker capacity was as follows:

Hold cross bunker:                    382 tons. 

Lower deck alongside casings: 

Port:                                       137 1/2 tons 

Starboard:                               137 1/2 tons 

Main deck bunker:                     583 tons

Coal trunk:                               81 tons 

Coal shoot:                               59 tons 

Spar deck bunker:                      614 tons 

Pocket bunker:                          10 tons 

Do:                                         6 tons 


Total:                                      2,010 tons 

Reserve bunkers: 

No. 3 hold:                               859 tons 

lower 'tween decks:                    491 tons 

upper 'tween decks:                    382 tons 

trunk hatch:                               87 tons 

Total:                                                 1,819 tons 

a total of 3,829 tons at 42 cubic feet to the ton. 

The contentious spar deck bunker, was listed under the heading, permanent bunkers. No wonder controversy reined. It was in fact twin bunkers each with the capacity for about 307 tons. The 340 tons of coal loaded into the spar deck at Durban (yawn), would probably have been divided into two quantities of roughly 170 tons each, otherwise the Waratah was unlikely to have departed, upright. It is puzzling that the spar deck bunkers were referred to as permanent, given that for outbound voyages, the spar deck was converted into dormitories for emigrants, without coal bunkers.

The reserve coal bunker component of 1819 tons was displaced by cargo, which implies that the Waratah operated with only just over 2000 tons of coal between ports where coal could be replenished. The fact that the Waratah departed Durban with about 2350 tons of coal, implies that not all of the reserve bunkers held cargo. But, one thing appears to be certain (yawn), the spar deck bunkers held at least 300 tons of coal.  

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