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Ravenstvo & Svoboda

Ravenstvo & Svoboda

With Sieran gaining its independence in 1905, one of the first avenues seen by the new Government as a way to promote the nation abroad was through the construction and launch of two liners to serve the Anadyr-Anchorage-Vancouver route in Summer and Anadyr-Anchorage-San Francisco route in Winter. Sieran lacked skilled draughtsman in the construction of large vessels so Artemy Shagin was tasked with vessels well beyond his traditional skills of producing steam yachts.

The result of this was the Ravenstvo (Equality) and Svoboda (Liberty). The two vessels were almost identical apart from Svoboda being constructed with a blunt bow instead of the traditional clipper bow found on the Ravenstvo. Ravenstvo was 154m (505.5ft) long and had a registered gross tonnage of 7,500. Unusually for liners at the time, the two new ships were built as single class only vessels with accommodation for up to 1,250 passengers and crew. Their interiors were fairly spartan compared to other liners of their day but they were the first Sieranian ships to be fitted with electric lighting throughout along with electric heating.

The machinery of the ships comprised of 9 double ended boilers divided into three boiler rooms via coal bunkers producing the steam for the two triple expansion reciprocating steam engines of 11,000shp. This resulted in a maximum speed of 18.5 knots though 16 knots was the best average that the two liners managed in service conditions.

Ocean Liner Ravenstvo
Ocean Liner Ravenstvo (Equality)

Laid down in November 1905 and entering service in June 1907, the ships were a demonstration of the new nations shipbuilding capability. The fact that most of the construction had been completed using larger than average labor forces seems to have eluded the Government, for later ships using more typical labor force sizes were subject to criticism for their lengthy build times.

The ships themselves proved not as popular as the Government had hoped. The ships were outwardly old fashioned in appearance and they lacked many of the modern amenities of the other liners around the world at the time. The ships did however provide valuable experience for Artemy Shagin in large vessel design and construction and he later went on to design the more successful liners that succeeded these vessels.

Ocean Liner Svoboda
Ocean Liner Svoboda (Liberty)

Built to the same overall design of her sister, Svoboda differed in having a blunt bow with increased flare to improve sea keeping by providing more buoyancy in the bow peak. The collision bulkhead had to be shifted aft but apart from that her design was otherwise identical. The new bow did however mean that she was slightly shorter in length than her sister. She lacked the grace of her fractionally (2 month) older sister but proved to be the drier ship. Her bow design also proved more resistant to ice which allowed her to operate for longer without the need of icebreakers.

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