Strath-Sisters

The luxury liners that went to war

The Strath-class of passenger liners were built by the Vickers-Armstrongs Shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, better simply known nowadays as P & O.

Strath-Sisters White Sisters Graphic

 
The 5 vessels were soon to become popularly known as the ‘Strath-Sisters’, or sometimes the ‘Five White Sisters’, due to their distinctive white hulls and buff-coloured funnels. These funnels themselves were a curiosity as whilst the class boasted 3 large structures, only the middle one was functional authentic. The other two were purely cosmetic, in order to portray power and speed, a much-desired marketing tool in the hugely competitive cruise transport industry.
 
They were all revolutionary turbine-electric ships, with oil-fired boilers producing huge volumes of pressurised steam to power the two turbo generators.  In turn, the electricity generated powered two electric propulsion motors driving twin screws – a basic concept not dissimilar to modern ships such as today’s Type 45 Destroyers and Queen Elizabeth Class carriers. 
 
In all respects these were magnificent, innovative new ships that marked the dawning of a new era in ocean travel. 
RMS Strathnaver & RMS Strathaird RMS Strathnaver & RMS Strathaird on the Fitting Out Quay
 
Within these web pages, we pay tribute to the 5 individual vessels and their amazing stories, whilst recognising their importance in the 150-years of ship building on the North West Coast at Barrow-in-Furness.
 

Ships of the class (click to visit individual web pages)


 

Specifications


  Strathnaver Strathaird Strathmore Stratheden Strathallan
Launch date 05/02/1931 18/07/1931 04/04/1935 10/06/1937 29/09/1937
Gross Registered
Tonnes (GRT)
22,283 22,284 23,428 23,722 23,722
Length
638.7 ft
(194.7m)
638.7 ft
(194.7m)
640.3 ft
(195.2m)
639.5 ft
(194.9m)
664.5 ft
(202.5m)
Beam
80.2 ft
(24.4 m)
80.2 ft
(24.4m)
82.2 ft
(25.1m)
82.2 ft
(25.1m)
82.2 ft
(25.1m)
Draught
29 ft 2 in
(8.9 m)
29 ft 2 in
(8.9 m)
30 ft 2 in
(9.19m)
30 ft 2 in
(9.19m)
30 ft 2 in
(9.19m)
Depth
33.1 ft
(10.1 m)
33.1 ft
(10.1 m)
33.6 ft
(10.23m)
33.6 ft
(10.23m)
33.6 ft
(10.23m)
Installed
Power
Turbine
Electric
6,315 NHP
Turbine
Electric
6,315 NHP
Turbine
Electric
4,912 NHP
Turbine
Electric
4,912 NHP
Turbine
Electric
4,912 NHP
Propulsion Twin Screw Twin Screw Twin Screw Twin Screw Twin Screw
Rated
Speed
22 kns
(41 km/h)
22 kns
(41 km/h)
20 kns
(37km/h) 
20 kns
(37 km/h)
21 kns
(39 km/h)
Capacity at
Launch
498 1st
670 Tourist
498 1st
668 Tourist
445 1st
665 Tourist
448 1st
563 Tourist
448 1st
563 Tourist
Special
features
DF - ES - G DF - ES - G DF - ES - G DF - ES - G DF - ES - G
Fate
Scrapped
1962
Scrapped
1961
Scrapped
1969
Scrapped
1969
Sunk
1942
Special Features: DF = Direction Finding   ES = Echo Sounding  G = Gyrocompass
 
 

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