Wednesday, 2 March 2016


  • RMS MOREA:                                                                     SS WARATAH:
  • Type: Passenger liner                                                          
  • P&O Group service: 1908-1930                                           same year
  • P&O Group status: Owned by parent company
  • Registered owners,managers and operators: P & O
  • Builders: Barclay, Curle & Co Ltd                                        same builder 
  • Yard: Whiteinch, Glasgow
  • Country: UK
  • Yard number: 471
  • Registry: Glasgow, UK
  • Official number: 128235
  • Signal letters: HNJF
  • Call sign: MMF (GLVJ from 1927)
  • Classification society: N/K                                                        
  • Gross tonnage: 10,890 grt                                                   9339.07 grt   
  • Net tonnage: 5,960 nrt                                                        6003.96 nrt   
  • Deadweight: N/K
  • Length: 164.53m (540.0ft)                                                   465 ft.     
  • Breadth: 18.65m (61.2ft)                                                     59.45 ft.   
  • Depth: N/K
  • Draught:  7.53m (24.7ft) - corrected.                                  30.375 ft.  
  • Engines: Quadruple-expansion steam engines                     similar 
  • Engine builders: Barclay, Curle & Co Ltd                             same
  • Works: Glasgow
  • Country: UK
  • Power: 13,000 ihp                                                                 5400 ihp  
  • Propulsion: 2 screws                                                             same 
  • Speed: 16 knots                                                                     13.5 knots 
  • Passenger capacity: 407 first class, 200 second class         108 / 324 
  • Cargo capacity: N/K
  • Crew: 307                                                                               154 (119)
  • Employment: UK/Australia or UK/India services                 UK/Australia
  • Cost:  £309,692                                                                     £139, 900

(Courtesy Ships Nostalgia)

Here we have a luxury steamer longer than the Waratah, but with similar tonnage. Again a significant top hamper, this time with two prominent funnels, supported by a similarly narrow beam. The Morea was in service for 22 years before finally being sold for scrap. There were no reports of GM stability issues and very important to note that the Morea could operate with a draught of 24.7 ft., not 30.375 ft. You may wish to deny functional overloading, but most of the equivalently sized steamers circa 1908, with significant top hamper, did not have draughts exceeding that of the Geelong - 27 ft., which should have been the same for Waratah.

The Morea cost more than twice the Waratah, which to some extent could be accounted for by the 407 first class cabins, 75 ft. additional length. But it still strikes me that the Waratah was a cheaper option by the same shipbuilders, Barclay, Curle and Co.

NOTE how the power outputs of the two vessels differed. I have yet to find an example of a similarly sized steamer, circa 1908, with output as low as 5400 ihp!

In 1909 Morea was fitted with a Marconi Wireless - possibly as a result of the Waratah disaster.

note extent of superstructure decks relative to overall length. 


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