SS Faith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
SS Faith Completed.jpg
The Faith shortly after launch
Name: SS Faith
Owner: William Leslie Comyn
Ordered: December 1917
Builder: San Francisco Shipbuilding Company, Redwood City, California[1]
Cost: US$750,000
Launched: March 14, 1918; 101 years ago (1918-03-14)
Sponsored by: Mrs. Leslie Comyn, wife of the president of the builders
Christened: 14 March 1918
In service: 1918
Out of service: 1921 (1921)
Fate: First Concrete Ship of the United States
General characteristics
Class and type: Concrete Ship
Tonnage: 8000 tons
Length: 336 feet 6 inches (102.57 m)[1]
Beam: 22 feet 6 inches (6.86 m)[1]
Height: 44 feet 6 inches (13.56 m)
Installed power: 1,760 horsepower (1,310 kW)
Propulsion: 2 triple expansion steam machines
Speed: 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)

The SS Faith was the first concrete ship built in the United States. It was constructed by the San Francisco Shipbuilding Company in 1918 owned by William Leslie Comyn. It cost $750,000.

The construction[edit]

Work began September 1, 1917; concrete pouring began October 31, 1917 and ended February 26, 1918.[1] The Steam Ship (SS) Faith launched on March 14, 1918,[2] from Redwood City, California.[3] The ship was designed by Alan Macdonald and Victor Poss. It pulled up to 5000 tons, being the largest concrete ship of its time.[4] The cost of the hull itself was estimated at US$450,000, and the early estimate before completion was that it would total US$890,000 overall.[1]


  • 102,56 x 13,56 x 6,86 metres 336.5 x 44.5 x 22.5 feet
  • 6125 tons
  • 2 triple expansion steam machines
  • 1760 Horsepower[1]
  • 10 knots[1]


"[...] said William Leslie Comyn [...] he likewise pointed out the lack of steel-making plants and shipyards on the West Coast. His solution: build ships of concrete. [...] He was convinced that a 5,000-ton concrete freighter could be operated at a profit and on 3 September 1917 he solicited contractual support from USSB to build "five reinforced concrete steamers" [...] On speculation, then, his firm began to build the Faith at Redwood City, California"[5]

The first journeys were to Honolulu, Balboa, Callao, Valparaíso and New York. In 1919, the San Francisco Shipbuilding company was sold to French American SS lines, and in 1921, the SS Faith ended as a breakwater in Cuba.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ferguson, L. R. (27 April 1918). "Designing of Concrete Ships". Mining and Scientific Press. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  2. ^ "BIG CONCRETE SHIP AFLOAT IN PACIFIC" (PDF). The New York Times. 15 March 1918. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  3. ^ "THREE CONCRETE SHIPS WILL BE CONSTRUCTED AT REDWOOD". The Stanford Daily (9). 12 April 1918. p. 4. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  4. ^ "SHIPBUILDING UP TO SCHEDULE SAYS DICKIE". The Stanford Daily (33). 16 May 1918. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
  5. ^ Concrete Shipbuilding in San Diego, 1918-1920 by Robert Eberhardt. The Journal of San Diego History

External links[edit]