The Ross and the Woltemade

When it comes to talking about salvage tugs two names really stand out: the John Ross and the Wolraad Woltemade. 

The John Ross was built in Durban in at the James Brown & Hamer yard in 1976 and was named after Charles Rawden Maclean. Her principle dimensions are: overall length of 94,60m, breadth: 15,80m, depth: 8,60m, draft: 7,50m. She is of 2.918 Tons GRT and 875 Tons NRT.

I was fortunate enough to see her in East London in 1990, and I was very impressed. Unfortunately I was limited in how many pics I could take of her.

She was renamed Smit Amandla (callsign ZTUG) from December 2003. 

The Wolraad Woltemade was built at the Henry Robb shipyards in Leith for Safmarine. She was handed over to her new owners in 1976 and was named after Wolraad Woltemade

Wolraad Woltemade

Wolraad Woltemade

I saw her in Cape Town in 1990, although the images I took were not great due to the early morning gloom. 

Sadly she was broken up in 2010. 

There are 1/1250 scale (1,2 x 7,6 x 2,0 cm) models of the Ross and Woltemade available and they are in nylon and unfinished although there are a variety of different finishes and colours to choose from but I took a low res because I really wanted to see what the the output from a 3D printer looked like. 

Unbuilt

What were they like? I battled to get a smooth surface on them, sanding did not seem to work and in the end multiple coats of paint were the easiest. I also battled to get anything to stick to them. The mast of the Woltemade was a battle and the end result is really just a compromise. They are nice models though, esp the Ross.

Almost done

The Ross and Woltemade were the most powerful salvage tugs in the world when they were built and were involved in a number of marine casualties. They are true South African marine icons.

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