BAP Puno (ABH-306)

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Career (Perú)
Name: Yapura (1872–1976)
Owner: Peruvian Navy
Ordered: 1861
Builder: Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company
Laid down: 1861
Launched: 1872
Commissioned: May 18, 1872
Renamed: BAP Puno since 1976
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class & type: Yavarí class gunboat
Length: 100 ft (30 m)
Speed: 10 knots (19 km/h)[1]
Notes: Capacity for 180 tonnes of cargo[1]

BAP Puno is a Peruvian Navy hospital ship on Lake Titicaca. Until 1976 she was called Yapura.

History[edit]

The Peruvian government ordered Yapura and her sister ship Yavari in 1861.[2] In 1862 Thames Ironworks on the River Thames built the iron-hulled Yavari and Yapura under contract to the James Watt Foundry of Birmingham.[2] The ships were designed as combined cargo, passenger and gunboats for the Peruvian Navy.[2] Puno has her original 60 horsepower (45 kW) two-cylinder steam engine, which is fuelled with dried llama dung.[2]

The ships were built in "knock down" form; that is, they were assembled with bolts and nuts at the shipyard, dismantled into thousands of parts small enough to transport, and shipped to their final destination to be assembled with rivets and launched on the lake. The kits for the two ships consisted of a total 2,766 pieces between them.[2] Each piece was no more than what a mule could carry, because the railway from the Pacific Ocean port of Arica went only 40 miles (64 km), as far as Tacna.[2] From there pack mules had to carry them the remaining 220 miles (350 km) to Puno on the lake.[2]

The original British contractor got the parts to Tacna but failed to complete the section of the journey with mules.[2] This was not resumed until 1868 and Yapura was not launched until 1873.[2]

The War of the Pacific of 1879–83 impoverished the Peruvian government, so in 1890 UK investors established the Peruvian Corporation which took over operation of Peru's railways and lake ships.[2] In 1975 Peru nationalised the corporation and Yavari and Yapura passed to the state railway company ENAFER.[2] In 1976 they were transferred back the Peruvian Navy, who converted Yapura into a hospital ship[1] and renamed her BAP Puno.[2]

References[edit]

BAP Puno (centre) in Puno harbour, berthed ahead of PeruRail's SS Ollanta (left)
  1. ^ a b c "Condecoran al BAP Puno por seguir prestando servicio". El Comercio. Empresa Editora El Comercio S.A. 2007-11-11. Retrieved 2011-05-20. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "History of The Ship". Yavari - Lake Titicaca - Peru. The Yavari Project. Retrieved 2011-05-20.