The Glenlee was a three-masted bald headed steel-hulled Barque ship. It was first launched on December 3, 1896. Today she stands as a museum ship on Pointhouse Quay in Glasgow, Scotland. It is part of the Riverside Museum. She was built in 1896 at the Anderson Rodger & Company shipyard in Glasgow for Glen-line Glasgow shipping company / Archibald Sterling & Co. Ltd. The Glenlee has a hull length of 245 ft, a beam of 37.5 ft, and a depth of 22.5 ft. Her full length is 282 feet. Rigged with only double topallant sails double top sails over, she was never equip with royal sails, all in order to save in costs. The square sails were a little wider than the sails of a standard rigging to gain sail area for more propulsion. When the ship was launched in 1896 for her maiden voyage, as a ballast to Liverpool then onwards to Portland, Oregon. She traded cargo for 23 years under “Red Ensign” to Cape Horn and Australia. She was renamed the “Clarastella” in 1919 when changing hands to the Italian Society di Navigazione”, registered in Genoa. She was repaired and equip with two auxiliary diesel engines in 1922. Later that year she changed hands as the “Galatea” to be used as a sail training ship. She went through a bunch of changes and improvements. A flying bridge was installed on the poop deck with a flying jib boom attached to the spike bowsprit. She went through more revisions and repairs in the 1981 while in her Spanish port of registry. Here underwater hull was re-plated, de-rigged down to a hull, and towed to Seville to be used as a floating museum, but winding up in dry storage forgotten. Others claim she was purposely sunk in the harbor by removing her bronze sea cock valve yet was later salvaged by the Spanish Navy. Whatever truth to her fate, she was scrapped. In 1990, British naval architect Dr. Sir John Brown found her and re-salvaged her by making her hull seaworthy returning to Glasgow months later from Seville. Original parts belonging to her were tracked down and re-incorporated into her body. A modern-day Franken-ship of sorts. She was renewed to her original “Cape Horn” status, painted gray with gun ports added. Except for the hull and masts though, a new ship essentially had to be re-built. All changes from the Spanish and previous owners were removed and she was made as close as possible to her original design. She was given back her original name of “Glenlee” by the Lord Provost of Glasgow on July 6, 1993 and recognized as part of the National Historic Fleet Core Collection. She became a museum ship and tourist attraction offering educational programs, events, exhibitions, and a venue for the West End festival.
- Bibliography/Recommended Reading:
- Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. “Glenlee”. Web site referenced August 2012.
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