RMS Rangitiki

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RMS Rangitiki
United Kingdom
OwnerNew Zealand Shipping Company
Port of registryPlymouth
RouteBritain – New Zealand
Ordered16 August 1927
BuilderJohn Brown & Company, Clydebank
Yard number516
Launched27 August 1928
Acquired31 January 1929
Maiden voyage5 February 1929
Out of service13 July 1962
FateScrapped October 1962
General characteristics
Tonnage16,698 GRT, 10,266 NRT
Length531.0 ft (161.8 m)
Beam70.2 ft (21.4 m)
Draught33.8 ft (10.3 m)
Depth38.1 ft (11.6 m)
Installed power9,300 hp (6,900 kW), 2,186 NHP
PropulsionTwo Brown Sulzer S90 engines driving twin screws
Speed15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Capacity598 (1st class: 100, 2nd class: 80, 3rd class: 418)

RMS Rangitiki was a passenger liner owned by the New Zealand Shipping Company. She was one of three sister ships (the other sisters were Rangitata and Rangitane) delivered to the company in 1929 for the route between Britain and New Zealand. Rangitiki was built by John Brown & Company at Clydebank, Scotland and launched on 27 August 1928.[1]

Rangitiki measured just under 16,700 gross register tons, her registered length was 531.0 ft (161.8 m) and her beam was 70.2 feet (21.4 m). She carried 598 passengers in 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes and had refrigerated cargo space of 418,700 cubic feet (11,860 m3). The ship was powered by two Brown-Sulzer type diesel engines with a total output of 9,300 hp (6,900 kW), turning twin propellers.[2]

Service history[edit]

Ordered in 1927, Rangitiki was launched in 1928 and entered service with the New Zealand Shipping Company in 1929 sailing between Great Britain and New Zealand on the route via the Panama Canal.[3]

At the start of the Second World War the ship was used for transporting children from Britain to Australia before being converted into a troopship. In November 1940 Rangitiki was the largest ship in Convoy HX 84 when the convoy was attacked by the German cruiser Admiral Scheer. Rangitiki and most other ships in the convoy escaped due to the actions of escort Captain Edward Fegen, commander of HMS Jervis Bay, who sacrificed himself and his ship to give the merchant ships the time to get away.[3] The following month the Rangitiki had another close shave when sailing as part of Convoy WS 5, the convoy was attacked by German cruiser Admiral Hipper.[3]

Returned to service between Britain, Australia and New Zealand in 1945 the Rangitiki carried numerous servicemen home from Britain as well a number of war brides. Following an extensive refit in 1947–48 the ship was then used by the New Zealand Shipping Company and continued in service until July 1962 when after 87 peacetime return voyages between Britain and New Zealand it was withdrawn. Sold for scrap, Rangitiki sailed to Spain and was broken up in Valencia in October 1962.[1]

Modifications in service[edit]

Both before and after its maiden voyage the ship was found to have stability issues especially when sailing in ballast so modifications including reducing the height of the ship by removing most of the bridge deck, shortening the funnels and adding more permanent ballast were made.[1]

During the refit in 1947–48 the John Brown built Sulzer type engines were replaced with two Doxford diesel engines with a total power output of 12,920 hp (9,630 kW) raising the ships maximum speed to 16 kn (30 km/h; 18 mph). At the same time passenger capacity was reduced to 405.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "History". www.rms-rangitiki.com. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Rangitiki". Scottish Built Ships. Caledonian Maritime Research Trust. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Rangitiki, Rangitata & Rangitane". Derby Sulzers. 14 July 2007. Retrieved 9 December 2019.