Ships from the Age of Sail and Steam

For a specific ship search, make your selections below. For an alphabetical ship listing select Alphabetical Ship Search. Search is NOT case-sensitive.

1. ship name - match exact ship name
2. any reference to - finds any word match i.e. bark will find all barks in text.
3. text containing - finds any partial match i.e. rig will ALSO find frigate.

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Search result for any reference to: sealing
Bear: SS Bear, USS Bear, SS Bear of Oakland, SS Arctic Bear; Steam screw assisted Barkentine; Length: 198 ft, 4 in; Beam: 29 ft, 9 in; Draft: 18 ft; 703 displacement tons; Comp.: 26; 3x6pdr rapid fire guns (1885); Linthouse, Goven, Scotland; 1874

Built as the sealing vessel SS Bear by Alexander Stephen and Sons Ltd, she operated for a decade in the annual sealing hunt. SS Bear was commissioned as the USS Bear on the 17th of March 1884. She was used in the rescue of Lieutenant A. W. Greeley and six other survivors of the arctic expedition marooned at Cape Sabine and rescued on the 22nd of June 1884. In April of the following year, she was decommissioned and transferred to the US revenue Cutter Service in which she had a long service. Sold to the City of Oakland for use as a museum vessel and renamed Bear of Oakland. After purchasing Bear and equipping her with a diesel engine, Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd used her as a second vessel for his Antarctic Expedition of 1933-35. Sold in 1962 to Philadelphia as a museum vessel. She lost tow and foundered about 90 miles south of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia on the 19th of March 1963, while on the way to her new berth in Philadelphia.

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Bellaventure: S.S. Bellaventure; Steel-hulled steam screw driven schooner-rigged two-masted vessel; Length: 241 ft; Beam: 36 ft; 1133 gross registered tons; 466 net registered tons; D&W Henderson & Co. Glasgow, Scotland; 1908

Registered in St. John's, Newfoundland, the Bellaventure was engaged in the sealhunt from 1909 to 1915. She was one of the vessels involved in the rescue of sealers from the SS Newfoundland having been left out on the ice in the 1914 Newfoundland sealing disaster. Sold to the Russian Government in 1917 and renamed Alexander Sibririakov, she made the first successful crossing of the Northern Sea Route in a single navigation without wintering. She was sunk during WWII by the German cruiser Admiral Scheer near Belucha Island on the 25th of August 1942.

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Bonaventure: S.S. Bonaventure; Steel-hulled steam screw driven sealing vessel; Length: 240.25 ft; Beam: 35.75 ft; 1118 gross registered tons; 461 net registered tons; Napier & Miller LTD. Old Kilpatrick, Strathclyde, Scotland; 1909

Registered in St. John's, Newfoundland, the Bonaventure was engaged in the sealhunt from 1909 to 1915. Sold to the Russian interests in 1916.

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Florizel: S.S. Florizel; Steel-hulled luxury steam liner; Length: 305.5 ft; Beam: 43.1 ft; 3,081 gross registered tons; 1,980 net registered tons; Charles Connell & Co. Ltd Glasgow, Scotland; 1909

Registered in St. John's, Newfoundland, the Florizel was commissioned as a luxury liner for the Bowring Brothers' Red Cross Line and also engaged in the annual spring sealhunt. Florizel broke all kinds of sealing records while captained by the elder Abram Kean and was captained by Joseph Kean during the Newfoundland sealing disaster rescue effort in the spring of 1914. In October of the same year, she carried the first 500 volunteers, A.K.A the Blue Puttees, of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment (RNR) to the fields of Europe during WWI. She was wrecked after grounding on the rocks at Cappahayden, Newfoundland on the 23rd of February 1918 with the loss of 93 passengers and crew. The whole ordeal has been captured by Cassie Brown in hardcover, 'A winter's tale: The wreck of the Florizel'.

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Courtesy of Admiralty House Museum & Archives
Newfoundland: S.S. Newfoundland; Wooden steam screw driven Brigantine; Length: 212.5 ft; Beam: 29.5 ft; 918.75 gross registered tons; 567.83 net registered tons; Peter Baldwin Quebec, Canada; 1872

Seized by the U.S. in 1898 while being used as a blockade runner to Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Later registered to St. John's, Newfoundland, she was used for the annual spring seal hunt. In March 1914, captained by Wes Kean, she departed St. John's for the seal hunt and the tragic events she would become most famous for. Thanks to fear of being stuck in the ice and a number of communication and judgment errors, 77 crew members died while being stranded on the ice for 53 hours during a blizzard in what's known as the Newfoundland sealing disaster of 1914. She was sold to Job Brothers & Co. in 1915 and her name was changed to S.S. Samuel Blandford in 1916. The vessel was wrecked when she struck the Keys, near St. Mary's Bay on August 3, 1916.

SS Newfoundland model

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Terra Nova: Steam assisted Bark; 140 bhp single screw compound steam engine; Length: 187 ft; Beam: 31.4 ft; Draft: 19 ft; 764 grt; Comp: 65; Dundee, Scotland; 1884

Originally built for the Dundee whaling and sealing fleet, she worked the annual spring seal hunt for a decade before being converted for polar expeditionary and scientific duty. She acted as a relief ship for the Jackson-Harmsworth Arctic Expedition of 1894-1897 and as Captain Robert Scott's vessel on his doomed Antarctic polar expedition of 1910. Terra Nova was sunk by ice off the southwestern tip of Greenland on the 13th of September 1943.

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