Peking (ship)

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Coordinates: 40°42′19″N 74°00′11″W / 40.70528°N 74.00306°W / 40.70528; -74.00306

Peking docked in New York City
The Peking was docked at the South Street Seaport in New York City, where she acted as a maritime museum
 German Empire
Name: Peking
Operator: F. Laeisz
Route: EuropeChile
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Laid down: 1911
Fate: Interned at Valparaiso, and handed over to Italy as war reparations
 Kingdom of Italy
Fate: Sold back to F. Laeisz, 1923
 Weimar Republic
Name: Peking
Operator: F. Laeisz
Route: EuropeChile
Acquired: 1923
Fate: Sold to Shaftesbury Homes, 1932
 United Kingdom
Name: Arethusa II
Homeport: Upnor, Medway
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Pekin
In service: World War II
 United States
Name: Peking
Acquired: 1975
Homeport: New York City
Fate: Museum ship
General characteristics
Class and type: Flying P-Liner
Displacement: 3,100 long tons (3,150 t)
  • 377 ft 6 in (115.06 m) sparred length
  • 320 ft (98 m) length on deck
Beam: 45 ft 7 in (13.89 m)
Height: 170 ft 6 in (51.97 m)
Draft: 16 ft (4.9 m)
Sail plan: 44,132 sq ft (4,100.0 m2) sail area

The Peking is a steel-hulled four-masted barque. A so-called Flying P-Liner of the German company F. Laeisz, it was one of the last generation of windjammers used in the nitrate trade and wheat trade around the often treacherous Cape Horn.


Peking was made famous by the sail training pioneer Irving Johnson; his footage filmed on board during a passage around Cape Horn in 1929 shocked experienced Cape Horn veterans and landsmen alike at the extreme conditions Peking experienced.[citation needed]

She was in Valparaiso at the outbreak of World War I, and was awarded to Italy as war reparations. She was sold back to the original owners, the Laeisz brothers in 1923, and continued in the nitrate trade until traffic through the Panama Canal proved quicker and more economical.

In 1932, she was sold for £6,250 to Shaftesbury Homes. She was first towed to Greenhithe, renamed Arethusa II and moored alongside the existing Arethusa I. In July 1933, she was moved to a new permanent mooring off Upnor on the River Medway, where she served as a children's home and training school. She was officially "opened" by HRH Prince George on 25 July 1933. During World War II she served in the Royal Navy as HMS Pekin.

The ship is featured in many exterior shots of the 1964 Miss Marple film, Murder Ahoy! standing in as the Battledore, a charity-run training vessel for wayward boys.

The Peking was retired in 1974 and sold to Jack Aron, for the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City, where she was still moored in 2016. However, the Seaport NYC did not see the Peking as part of its long-term operational plans, and was planning to send the Peking to the scrap yard. A 2012 offer to return the ship to Hamburg where she was originally built, as a gift from the city of New York, was contingent upon raising an endowment in Germany to ensure the preservation of the vessel. In November 2015 the German government decided to purchase the ship, to be a part of the announced German Port Museum in Hamburg, for which €120 million were allocated.[1] She was taken to Caddell Dry Dock, Staten Island, on September 7, 2016, to spend the winter.[2]

See also[edit]




External links[edit]

Media related to Peking (ship) at Wikimedia Commons