Construction & Physical Details of the Steamer Craigallion (later SS Ozama)






 

American steamer Ozama, ex-British steamer Craigallion

SS Ozama as per U.S. Government Records

U.S. records show: The Ozama (sometimes misspelled Osama) was the former British steamer Craigallion, built in 1881 at Leith, Scotland. She was an iron hulled, propeller steamer of 1,028.01 gross tons, 766.37 net tons. She was 210’ in length, 30’6” in breadth, and 15.8’ in depth of hold. Her official number was 155123 and her signal letters KDHJ.[1]

SS Ozama as per Canadian Records

Canadian records show the following: “William P. Clyde & Co’s Line, for Hayti and Santiago. The steamer Ozama, 624 tons net.”[2]

Launch of SS Craigallion

Craigallion On May 17, there was launched from Messrs. Ramage and Ferguson’s shipbuilding yard at Leith, an iron screw-steamer, named the Craigallion, of about 1000 tons gross register, for Messrs. Walker, Donald and Co., Glasgow. This steamer’s dimensions are: — 216 by 30 by 16 feet molded, with engines 20 and 50 by 33 stroke, and her general design is somewhat similar to the screw-steamer Craigownie, launched six months ago by the same owners.[3]

The Marine Engineer of June 1, 1881, gives the same data as above, except spells Craigownie as Craigrownie. It also adds: “On leaving the ways the Craigaillon was named by Miss Glover, Mount Grange, Edinburgh, and was afterwards towed round to the harbour to receive her machinery.”[4]

Craigallion On July 12th the Craigallion (s), 1,250 tons, recently launched from the shipbuilding-yard of Messrs. Ramage & Ferguson, Leith, went down the Firth of Forth to have a preliminary trial of the engines. This steamer has been engined by Messrs. Muir & Houston, Harbor Engine Works, Glasgow, and the results obtained were of the most satisfactory description. The diameter of the cylinders is 26 in. and 50 in. by 33 in. stroke, and on a mean trial the steamer obtained a speed of 11½ knots, a result which exceeded the engineer’s and builder’s expectations. This steamer carries Emerson Walker & Co.’s patent windless and is owned by Messrs. Walker, Donald & Co., 13 Dixon Street, Glasgow, and is intended for the Spanish fruit and mineral trades. The Craigallion leaves in a day or two for Bilboa.[5]

CraigallionOn the 16th inst. (May, 1881) There was launched from Messrs. Ramage and Ferguson’s shipbuilding yard at Leith an iron screw-steamer, named the Craigallion, of about 1,000 gross register, for Messrs. Walker, Donald & Co., Glasgow. This steamer’s dimensions are 216’x30’x16 ft. moulded, with engines 20” and 50”x33” stroke, and her general design is somewhat similar to the s.s. Craigrownie, launched six months ago for the same owners. On leaving the ways the Craigaillon was named by Miss Glover, Mount Grange, Edinburgh, and was afterwards towed round to the harbour to receive her machinery.[6]

Launch of SS Craigrownie

The SS Craigrownie, although slightly smaller, was said to be similar to the SS Craigallion and was built, engined and initially owned by the same parties.

Craigrownie On the 22nd September (1880), from the shipbuilding yard of Messrs. Ramage and Ferguson, Leith, an iron screw-steamer of 900 tons, for Messrs. Walker, Donald and Co., of Glasgow. Her dimensions are: — 210 by 30 by 15, with compound engines supplied by Messrs. Muir and Houston, of Glasgow, of 110 horsepower nominal, having cylinders of 26 and 50 by 33 stroke. This steamer has been specially designed for the Spanish fruit and mineral trades.[7]

Lloyd's Records for SS Craigallion

Lloyd’s Register of 1883-84 shows the following information for the Craigallion (Note by ELS: All symbols, letters & abbreviations used in the original document have been given their full meaning.)

Column 1
Official Number: 84331
International Code Signal Letters: (none shown)
She was built under special survey
Column 2
Ship’s Name: Craigallion
Etc.: iron, screw steamer, four bulkheads, cemented in 1881; 1 deck (iron); two tiers of beams (with or without decks on them)
Column 3
Masters: H. York
Column 4
Tonnage:
Net 624; Gross 973; Under Deck 762
Column 5
Registered Dimensions: Length: 216’5”; Breadth: 30’1”; Depth of Hold: 15’1” Raised Quarter Deck 76’ long, Forecastle 30’ long, Bridge Deck 56’ long
Column 7
Engines of Steamers: Compound Inverted, two-cylinder engine; one 25” high pressure cylinder; one 50” low pressure cylinder; with 33” stroke of piston; 75 psi boiler pressure; 99 horsepower (which would have been “taken from the Ship’s register, but is no indication of real power.”)
Builders of Engines: Muir & Houston, Glasgow
Column 8-9
Built: Where: Leith; Builders’ Name: Ramage & Ferguson; When: May 1881
Column 10
Owners: Walker, Donald & Co.
Water Ballast Tanks: Fore Peak Tank capacity-28 tons; Midship Tank 26ft. long, capacity-160 tons
Column 11
Port belonging to: Glasgow
Column 12
Port of Survey: Leith
Anchors & Chains tested at an establishment under the Superintendant of the Committee of the Society (Lloyd’s) and also licensed by the Board of Trade
Column 13
Year of ________: (nothing shown)
Column 14
Character: 100 Iron 1, surveyed: July 1881, November 1883[8]

Lloyd's Records for SS Ozama

After the British steamer Craigallion was shipwrecked in the Bahamas, she was salvaged and registered as the American steamer Ozama.

Lloyd’s Register for 1893-94 shows: the Ozama (ex-Craigallion), I.K. Chichester master, was an iron screw steamer; official letters KDHJ; official number 156123; 1 deck; 2trB (two tiers of beams); tonnage 1028 gross, 766 net; built in 1881 by Ramage & Ferguson at Leith; owned by W.P. Clyde & Co.; 216’5” in length; 30’1” in breadth; and 15’1” in depth; Port of Registry New York; Flag United States; Engines by W.B. Muir & Houston, Glasgow, 99 HP.[9]

Footnotes for this page


[1] Twenty-Fifth Annual List of Merchant Vessels of the United States, for the year ended June 30, 1893, (Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1893), p. 340
[2] Seasonal Papers, Volume 17, First session of the Sixth Parliament of the Dominion of Canada, (No. 43) “Report on Trade Relations Between Canada and the West Indies,” by John T. Wylde (Ottawa, Canada, 1887), Appendix A, p. 15
[3] Iron, (London, Middlesex, UK), Volume 17, #437, May 27, 1881, p. 15 (377), c. 3
[4] The Marine Engineer, (London, Middlesex, UK), June 1, 1881, p. 69, c. 2
[5] The Marine Engineer, (London, Middlesex, UK), August 1, 1881, p. 116, c. 2
[6] London and China Telegraph, (London, Middlesex, UK), Volume 23, #925, May 23, 1881, p. 19 (437), c. 2
[7] Iron, (London, Middlesex, UK), Volume 16, #403, October 1, 1880, p. 14 (260), c. 3
[8] Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping From 1st July, 1883, to 30th June, 1884, (London, Middlesex, UK), 1883, entry CRA-2 (Craigallion)
[9] Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping, (London, Middlesex, UK, 1893), 1893-94, entry O-320 Ozama

More on the SS Ozama, Ex-Craigallion


Information on: Discovery of the Ozama
Information on: Construction & physical details
Information on: Steam engine and machinery
Information on: Towing history
Information on: Smuggling guns
Information on: Seizure & release
Information on: Miscellaneous Voyages
Information on: Wrecked in the Bahamas
Information on: Re-flagging as American steamship
Information on: Wrecked off Cape Romain, SC
Information on: The shipwreck as it is today
(private not currently available to general public)
Information on: Shipping money
(private not currently available to general public)

Image Files Relating to Shipwreck Ozama

Images: Sidescan images of Ozama wreck site
Images: Photos of artifacts found on the Ozama
(private not currently available to general public)
Images: Photos of people and work in progress
(private not currently available to general public)
Images: Maps & charts relating to Ozama’s history
(private not currently available to general public)
Images: Archaeological and technical drawings
(private not currently available to general public)

Ownership of Salvaged Gold & Artifacts

The above posts all deal with the steamer Ozama, which was shipwrecked off Cape Romain, South Carolina in 1894 and discovered and identified by underwater archaeologist Dr. E. Lee Spence in 1979 and 2013 respectively. He also discovered other abandoned wreckage in the same general vicinity. In 2012, the Federal District Court ruled that Spence was the “true and exclusive owner of the abandoned wreckage” (which includes the Ozama and all of the other shipwrecks that he had found in the specific area designated in his court filing), which means he is already the legal owner of any and all shipwreck gold, silver, cannons, hulls, engines, rigging, and other artifacts on those wrecks. To learn more about shipwrecks in general, check out Spence’s page on Facebook.







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