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Balsa raft was already mentioned by early travellers, in use from southern Colombia to central Peru. She were all made of Ecuadorian balsa logs.
Size, shape and rigging varied, indicating adaptations to meet special uses and geographical conditions. Modified by the colonial Spanish, who found them useful as river craft in lowland Ecuador, where they were sometimes 24m long and outfitted for comfortable travel. Some only a skeletal framework others solidly built surfaces of 2 layers of logs; 2 deck seagoing rafts also reported. Small balsas used mainly for ferrying and cargo transport, and some constructed as 1-way timber rafts that floated downstream. Many equipped with sails and 2 masted types were seen. The mast often the inverted “V” type. Then as now the sailing balsa used one or more daggerboards at each end to control direction under sail. On the smaller unrigged craft, a plank aft maneuverer in a sculling motion propels the craft. Recent balsas are recorded as having 5 -11 logs and up to 18m long, but most are shorter. Shaped bows on some; others squared off. On the sailing craft, the mast placed in a hardwood step and sets either a lug, sprit or gaff sail. A light spar may extend the lugsail. Large Ecuadorian balsas were in use until about 1920, often aiding in lightering from ships.

Thanks for the history of the raft Anatol: see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=12644

Ecuador 2006 $1.00 sg?, scott?
Source, Aak to Zumbra a Dictionary of the World’s Watercraft.


At the very beginning of 2015, Lithuania Post released the first pre-paid postcards of the current year. The postcard was released to commemorate one of the most important energy projects – the liquefied natural gas terminal (LNG) - launched during the period of independent Lithuania, and make Lithuania independent from the Russian energy supply to that country.
The vessel depict is the INDEPENDENCE a Floating Storage & Regasification Unit (FSRU) which was built under yard No 2549 by Hyundai Heavy Industries, Ulsan, South Korea, for Leif Hoegh LNG Klaipeda Pte. Ltd, Oslo, Norway.
2012 Keel laid down.
Launched as the INDEPENDENCE, she was christened by Mrs. Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania.
Tonnage 109,793 grt, 36,732 nrt, 82,028 dwt, dim. 294.07 x 50,0 x 46.0m., length bpp 282,02m, draught 12.6m.
Powered: Dual-fuel Propulsion System (DFDE) (Diesel electric) by Wärtsilä-Hyundai engines, speed 18 knots.
Cargo capacity in four LNG tanks, 170,132m³.
12 May 2014 delivered to owners. Building cost ca. 330 million US$. Registered in Singapore. Managed by Hoegh LNG AS, Oslo.
27 October 2014 arrived at Klaipeda, where she was moored as a LNG storage and regasification unit and LNG import terminal.
2015 Same name and owner, IMO No 9629536.

Lithuania 2015 pre-paid postcard
Source: Wikipedia and various internet sites.


Built as a stealth corvette by Kockums Kalrskrona yard for the Swedish Navy.
27 June 2003 launched as the HSwMS HELSINGBORG (K32) one of the Visby class.
Displacement 650 ton, dim. 72.8 x 10.4 x 2.4m. (draught)
Powered: GODAG, 4 Honeywell TF50 A gas turbines, total power 16 MW and 2 MTU Friedrichshafen 16V 2000 N90 diesel engines, total power 2.6 MW, which are connected gearboxes which run 2 – KaMeWa waterjets. She is also fitted out with rudders and bow thrusters for harbour manoeuvring.
Speed 40 knots.
Armament 1 – 57 Mk3 gun, 8 – RBS15 Mk2 AShM anti-ship missile. Mines and depth-charges.
Crew 43.
Hull is made of a sandwich construction comprising a PVC core with a carbon fibre and vinyl laminate.
Fitted out with a helicopter platform.
24 April 2006 delivered.

After an extensive operational sea trials in which she returned to the yard several times, she left for her first voyage on 12 August 2006 for the Mediterranean, 11 September she returned back in Karlskrona, Sweden.
19 December 2009 in active service as a unit of the 31st Corvette Squadron, 3rd Naval Warfare Flotilla.
2015 In service.

Maldives 2015 Fr22 sg?, scott?
Source: Internet.

Thomas Stephens (the iron clipper) 1869

A Beautiful Ship. The “Thomas Stephens”, a real clipper, was one of the finest models of an iron ship ever launched. When discussing this ship recently, "Sea Breeze," the writer of some articles appearing in the "Auckland Star" during December and January, 1923-4, and who had formerly been in company with the Thomas Stephens, remarked:—"When the builders put her off the stocks they established a model in iron ship building that has been followed in degree by builders the world over. In hull design her long sweeping sheer line was accentuated by the painter's art, and the grey bottom colour was carried high up the black.The top sides and gave the impression of extreme length, sitting on the water like a great canoe. In her spar and sail plan there was no fault, her main truck being over 200 feet above the deck. The area of her working canvas was enormous and this was supplemented by stunsails fore and aft. These supplementary sails were of prodigious spread, the lower stunsails projecting forty feet from the outer boom iron. Lying alongside of a ship I was in when in Rangoon in 1881 her spars dominated all shipping in spite of the fact that the American ship Sterling and other crack U.S. built ships were at anchor in the river."The “Thomas Stephens” was built to carry passengers to Australia and her appointments could not well be improved upon. Thomas Stephens and Sons of London were the owners of the ship and she was built in 1869 at Liverpool. Capt. Richards took command of her when she was launched and made many rapid passages from Liverpool to Melbourne. Ten years later he brought the ship to New Zealand. On this occasion she left London on April 27th, 1879, calling at Plymouth to take on board passengers. She made the run from Plymouth to the Snares in 72 days and reached Port Chalmers on the 75th day from Gravesend, dropping anchor on the 13th July, 1879. The “Thomas Stephens” had a great career. During the ten years she was running to Melbourne before coming to New Zealand she made several remarkable passages out and home. Capt. Richards on his arrival at Dunedin reported he had made three runs to Melbourne in 64, 65 and 66 day pilot to pilot. Other records from Liverpool to Melbourne were:—1871, 68 days; 1872, 72 days; 1873, 74 days; 1874, 73 days; 1878, 77 days—on one occasion when on her homeward run from Melbourne she covered the distance to Cape Horn in 16 days. The “Thomas Stephens” also made several very fast runs to Sydney after her visit to Dunedin, and on one occasion it is recorded she covered 1000 miles in 70 hours. The “Thomas Stephens” never met with any serious disaster until she was lost, but like all other ships when in the Southern Ocean, encountered on more than one occasion very severe gales. She experienced a terrific gale in 1893 when homeward bound from Melbourne. Her decks were completely swept by heavy seas and her bulwarks carried away. She put into Callao for repairs when it was found that her cargo of wheat had not suffered. The “Thomas Stephens” was eventually sold to the Portuguese and when shipping was scarce during the great war she was again fitted out and sailed for America. On her return passage she was posted as missing, probably sunk by a German submarine.
The painting of Jack Spurling.
Djibuti 2009;100f;SG?

Pomone HMS (1805)

Portrait of Robert Barrie, c.1825. HMS Pomone was a 38-gun Leda-class fifth rate of the Royal Navy, built by Josiah and Thomas Brindley at Frindsbury and launched in 1805. She saw action during the Napoleonic Wars, primarily in the Mediterranean while under the command of Captain Robert Barrie. She was wrecked off The Needles, part of the Isle of Wight, in 1811.
Pomone was commissioned in February 1805 under Captain William Lobb for Channel Service. Under his command she took a smuggler and two privateers, of which only the first privateer appears to have put up any resistance. On 6 May Pomone captured the smuggling vessel Fortune. On 5 November 1805, Pomone captured the Spanish privateer Golondrina, a lugger of four guns and with a crew of 29 men, on the coast of Spain. She had been out six weeks and had not made any captures. Before she surrendered she suffered two men wounded; Pomone had no casualties. Lobb set fire to Golondrina.
1806 on 25 January 1806, Pomone's boats captured the Spanish privateer lugger Bengador, off Lisbon. She had one gun and a crew of 28 men. She was six weeks out ofBayonne and had taken one prize, the Maid of the Mill, William Dearing (master), which had been on a voyage from Newfoundland to Lisbon. Pomone destroyed the lugger and retook her prize, which Lobb sent on to Lisbon. He then destroyed the privateer. Avon shared in the recapture of Maid of the Mill. Captain Sir Robert Barrie took command in May 1806.
In 1807, Pomone operated in the Channel. On 20 February 1807 Pomone was in company with Penelopewhen she captured the San Josef y Animas.
Between 21 April and 7 June, Pomone captured or destroyed 21 French vessels. On 5 June, Pomone saw three armed brigs near the Île d'Yeu. The British squadron was too far away to notify, so Barrie decided to try to prevent them from reaching the Les Sables-d'Olonne. As Pomone approached the brigs she observed that they were escorting a convoy. Two brigs ran on shore and Pomone 's boats succeeded in capturing another whose crew had abandoned her. Barrie then sent his boats to the harbour of St Giles where he had observed a number of vessels siting becalmed.
In all, Pomone and her boats succeeded in cutting out 14 vessels from the harbour - seven brigs, five sloops, a dogger and a chasse-maree laden with wheat, flour and provisions. In addition to the two brigs that Pomone had driven ashore she also drove a schooner on shore. Another of the vessels captured that day was the Angelique. By agreement, Pomone shared the prize money for her with a number of British warships.
On 27 September 1807 Pomone was in company with Revolutionaire when she captured the Danish ship Resolution.
On 27 March 1808 Pomone recaptured the Susannah. Then On 27 July Barrie sailed Pomone for the Mediterranean.
Almost a year later, on the morning of 13 June 1809, off Cape Bon, she took the 3-gun Neapolitan privateer bombard Lucien Charles after a short chase. Then on 21 October, Pomone and Alceste were watching Toulon and spotted the French fleet putting to sea. Barrie immediately sailed to Cape St. Sebastian on the Catalonian coast to notify Admiral Lord Collingwood in Ville de Paris that three French ships-of-the-line, two frigates and two smaller ships had separated from a convoy of about 20 sail. On the 23rd, Barrie, and Captain Charles Bullen in Volontaire were able to signal the French squadron's position. That afternoon Pomone was able to burn two brigs, two bombards and a ketch belonging to the convoy before losing the enemy in the darkness.[13] Rear Admiral George Martin, with eight vessels, chased the French squadron under Rear Admiral Francois Andre Baudin with the result that two French ships of the line, the Lion and the Robuste grounded near Frontignan, where their crews burnt them.
On 10 March 1810, Seahorse, while in company with Pomone and Cepahlus, captured the Bella Nina. Then on 3 April Pomone captured the Carducci.
On 18 January 1811, Pomone captured the French privateer brig Dubourdieu, out of Toulon. She a crew of 93 men and was armed with fourteen 12-pounder guns.
On 30 April, Pomone reached the Bay of Sagone in Corsica, in company with the 40-gun frigate Unite, Captain Chamberlayne. The next morning the 18-gun Cruizer class brig-sloop Scout, joined them. There were three vessels in the bay: the 26-gun Giraffe of about 1100 tons, the 24-gun Nourrice of about 900 tons, and an armed merchant vessel of about 500 tons.[19] A battery of four guns and a mortar covered the vessels, there were regular troops with field pieces on site, and what Barrie described as a Martello towerabove the battery had a cannon too. Barrie would later discover from a prisoner that the Nourice had a crew of 160 men and the Giraffe a crew of 140 men.
There being no wind, the three British captains had their boats tow their ships into range of the French vessels. After an hour and a half of bombardment by the British ships, the guns on shore were silent and all three French vessels were on fire. The British withdrew to avoid being damaged when the two French warships blew up.
Returning from the Mediterranean with Sir Harford Jones, the British Ambassador to Persia, on board, as well as some Arab stallions that the Shah of Persia had sent as a present to King George III, Pomone struck on The Needles at seven o'clock on Monday, 14 October 1811. Unfortunately, the master mistook the light at The Needles for the light at Hurst Castle. When the light was seen, Barrie feared that Pomone was too far south. He went forward but by the time land was spotted it was too late; someone shouted out a warning but the helmsman could not get turn her in time.
Pomone struck a sunken rock about two cables' length to the southwest of Needles point. Pomonetraversed the rock but she had lost her rudder and was holed in several places, leading her to immediately fill with water. Full of water and having lost her rudder, Pomone was sluggish. As a result, the waves then forced her onto Needle Point. The crew cut away her masts but could not get her off.
Fortunately there was no wind. As a result, boats from the guardship Tisiphone and pilot boats from Yarmouth were able to get alongside in an hour and take off the crew. The gunbrig Escort took Sir Hartford to Portsmouth. Over the next three days Pomone 's cannon, masts, cargo and valuables were all salvaged, with the Shah's horses being manhandled out through the gun ports. A court martial on 25 October absolved Barrie and his officers of blame. However the board severely reprimanded the master for failing to take accurate bearings of Hurst Castle and for having not paid sufficient attention to Barrie's warnings about the lighthouse. In response to the wrecking the Admiralty ordered that its ships should not attempt the Needle Passage at night. Barrie was appointed to the 74-gun third rate,Dragon. Pomone wrecking, from the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology

Dauphin (Fireboat) 1977

Compagnie Chambon, Sete, France; Penang S.B. Corp, Penang; Gt. 177, dwt. 82; Her dimensions: 29.42m x 7.82m x 2.0m (draught); 2 GM Oil 2SA each 16 Cyl, speed 11knots.

Built as Naser for I.H.C. France S.A., Marseilles, France, she was sold in 1978, to Inginierie Maritime et Commercielisation, La Rochelle, France and renamed Dogue.

In 1982, she was sold to Compagnie Chambon, Sete, France and renamed T.V.O. 1.

In 1985, she was renamed as Dauphin and her Gt increased to 193, nt. 59.

In 1989, she was sold to Remolcadores de Cartagens S.A., Valencia, Spain and renamed again Boluda Treinta.

Madagascar 1999, S.G.?, Scott: 1456a.

Source: Watercraft Philately


The full index of our ship stamp archive


Postby shipstamps » Mon Dec 22, 2008 4:11 pm

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Built under yard No 207 as a corvette, steel hulled clad with two layers of teak wood by John Elder & Co. Govan, Scotland for the Royal Navy.
17 August 1876 keel laid down.
01 July 1878 launched under the name HMS CHAMPION one of the Comus class of which nine were built. She was the third vessel under this name in the Royal Navy.
Displacement: 2.380 tons, dim. 225.0 (bpp) x 44.6 x 19.3ft.
Powered by a 3-cyl. horizontal compound steam engine 2310 ihp., speed 13 knots, single shaft.
Bunker capacity 470 tons coal, range by 10 knots 3.840 miles.
Armament: 2 x 7 inc MLR, 12 x 64 pdr. guns.
Ship rigged, and fitted out with a hoisting screw.
Underwater hull was copper sheathed.
Crew 265.
07 December 1880 completed, based at Sheerness.

The intention was to use the class as scout vessel for the fleet but due to the slow speed, the class was mainly used for protection across the globe.
The class was designed by Nathaniel Barnaby.
Around 1885 rearmed with 4 – 6 inch BL MK III, 8 – 5 inch BL MK III, 4 – 3pdr. BL QF and two light guns., 6 – MG. and two TCs.
April 1886 she visited Amoy, China.
1890 Based in the Pacific.
August 1891 under command of Capt. Frederick St Clair, co-operated with some French, American and German warships by landing men at Valparaiso, Chile to protect the western consulates during a Chilean revolution.
1893 She visited Pitcairn Island under command of Capt. Rookes. He prepared a criminal code and reorganized the Governments system on the island.
26 June 1897 present at the Naval Review at Spithead in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee.
1904 Placed in harbour duty, and became a stokers training ship in Chatham,
1915 Renamed CHAMPION (old) when a new CHAMPION was built.
23 June 1919 sold to Hughes Bolckow, Blyth for scrapping.

Pitcairn Island 1988 $5 sg 326 and 1999 $3 sg 552.

Source: Conways All the World’s Fighting Ships 1860 – 1905. The Sail & Steam Navy List by Lyon & Winfield.
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