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SS Delphine

The story began in April 1921 at River Rouge (near Detroit), Michigan, USA, where the Great Lakes Engineering Works had the honour of launching DELPHINE belonging to the Dodge family. At that time, the Dodge Brothers’ Company was one of the largest American automobile-manufacturers. For seven years the Brothers had been producing their own Dodge automobile, which was a great commercial success with cars to a value of $35 000 000 being sold in the first year!

Horace Dodge, the youngest of the Brothers and the ‘mechanic’ of the two, loved yachting. In 1904 he ordered a 40-foot launch and by 1910 he owned two other larger vessels, both named HORNET. As Horace had always liked to develop his own sources of power, he created the Dodge Marine Division in addition to the car business.

These launches had always one problem: insufficient sleeping accommodation. So in 1913 he ordered the 180-foot NOKOMIS I and four years later, its 243-foot long successor was built. His next yacht, the 258-foot DELPHINE, named after his only daughter, was built in 1920.

That year tragedy hit the family when both brothers died. The splendid yacht DELPHINE was finally launched on April 2, 1921. At that time she was the largest yacht in tonnage ever built in the USA. The facilities onboard were superb: besides the large owner’s stateroom with en-suite bathroom, there were also nine guest staterooms. The guests could enjoy the luxury of three lounges, a music room, a card room, and above the dining room there was a smoking room. To serve the 20 guests onboard, there was a crew of 55 who all had their accommodation in the bow. DELPHINE could reach a speed of 15 knots with her quadruple steam expansion engine designed by Horace Dodge. This powerplant gave approximately 150 revolutions a minute, while the required pressure of 250 p.s.i. was produced by three American Babcock and Wilcox boilers. Even today DELPHINE’s engine is unique, as most of the steam engines ever built were of the triple expansion type!

LOA: 257.8ft / 78.5 m.
Beam: 35.5ft / 10.8 m.
Draft: 14.6ft / 4.5 m.
Gross ton: 1342
Power: 2x quadruple steam expansion engines, each 1500HP
Maximum speed: 12 knots
Cruising speed: 8 to 9 knots
Cruising radius: 3600 miles
Fuel consumption: 600 litre per hour at cruising speed,
                         1000 litre a day for the generators.
Flag: Madeira, Portugal
Classification society: RINAVE, Portugal classed as commercial yacht.
Ship has ISM and ISPS code implemented.
Navigation system equiped for A1+A2+A3


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