We have received much good comment concerning our Ship of the Month No. 142 (December issue), which featured the British American Oil Company's canalsized tankers BRITAMOIL, BRITAMOLENE, BRITAMLUBE and BRITAMOCO. As usual, the feature smoked out additional information concerning the steamers, and we are most grateful to those who have responded. The extra material received to date follows, so that all of our readers might benefit from it.
First of all, we must admit to a gaffe of major proportions in respect of the history of BRITAMLUBE (59), (b) BAY TRANSPORT (I). Somehow, when preparing our final copy, we managed to miss a section of the material that was included in our rough draft, and it was not caught during proofreading. (It shows what happens when a writer tries to proofread his own material!) In any case, what was missed was the renaming of the steamer to (c) CAPRAIA at the time of her departure from the lakes in May of 1964.
In our research, we somehow managed to miss the details of her scrapping. CAPRAIA was reported by the World Ship Society ("Marine News", April 1984) to have been sold by Gaetano d'Alesio S. a. S., of Italy, to Ditta Lotti, and to have been lying at La Spezia in February 1984. A subsequent W. S. S. report (February 1985) indicates that her breakers were Cantieri Navali Santa Maria, of La Spezia, but no date of dismantling was reported.
Member George Ayoub has provided additional detail re the ownership of BRITAMOIL (59), (b) ISLAND TRANSPORT (I)(63), (c) ELBA, in the period after she left the lakes. He agrees with our report that her first foreign owner was D'Alesio and Castaldi, of Livorno, Italy, and that in 1968 or 1969 she passed to P. G. & M. (Piero, Giorgio and Mario) Castaldi, Livorno. George further notes that her ownership passed by 1976 to Cabotage S. p. A., Livorno, by 1978 to Navalcarena S. p. A., La Spezia, by 1979 to Francesco Lombardo, La Spezia, and by 1981 to Societa Naval Spezzina Naval S. p. A., La Spezia. The last in this series of ownership changes may never have been official, for the W. S. S. report (June 1981) of her scrapping indicated that she was sold by Francesco Lombardo to DE. CO. MAR., who began work at La Spezia on January 27th, 1981.
George also notes that CAPRAIA, although first sold to d'Alesio and Castaldi, as was ELBA, apparently went in 1968 or 1969 to Gaetano d'Alesio rather than to P. G. & M. Castaldi, and he wonders whether this may have been a result of a splitting up of the partnership between d'Alesio and the Castaldi interests. Unless one of our members has friends or relatives in Livorno (Leghorn) who could find out, we probably will never know.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.