Sun Ship Hull Fact Sheet
Sun Ship Hull No:662
Original Name: 'Lurline'
Hull Data
Owner:  Matson Navigation Company
Keel Laid:         10/17/1972-SSHS Records.
Launch Date:    6/7/1973-SSHS Records
Delivery Date:    8/24/1973-SSHS Records
L-B-D:    643'-92'-60'-1-5/8"
D.W.T.:   14,042
Type:     Ro-Ro (Roll-On/Roll-Off)
SHP:      30,000
Speed/Knots:     25
Main Engine:     GE Steam Turbine
Boilers: Two Babcock & Wilcox
Propeller:      21'-0" Diameter / 5 Blades
Disposition: Breakers Yard-Brownsville, TX
Renames:    N/A
'Lurline' launching from No.1 Shipway on 6/7/1973
HML 743192429
Courtesy of Hagley
Launching Program
Courtesy Dave Kavanagh Coll.
SSHS#: 443.23.0001c
Note 1: If anyone has any additions or corrections to this page, please contact us via the email address on the site's opening page.

'S.S. Lurline'
Photograph of the 'Lurline'  after her delivery on 8/24/1973. Notice 'Roloc' boxes stored toward the bow.
Courtesy of Dave Kavanagh
Photograph of a 'typical' Roloc Box in use to support and secure the front end of a trailer. Note: Sun Ship archives has a copy of the 'Roloc' box patent that was issued to Richard W. Griffith and patented on Sept. 7, 1971, with assignee as Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co.
Patent No: 3,603,544 (SSHS#: 451.02.001)

Photo ID: HML743194287
Courtesy of Hagley
Info Block No.2: 'Lurline'

-The 25-knot 'Lurline' provided the first "roll-on/roll-off" trailership service between the West Coast and Hawaii.
-The 'Lurline' is the fourth trailership Sun Ship built. The previous three vessels: 'Ponce de Leon' (H-647), 'Eric K Holzer' (H-650), and the 'Fortaleza' (H-663) are in the East Coast-Puerto Rican Trade.
-The 'Lurline' is a flexable 'RO/RO" vessel capable of carrying assorted highway trailers, automobiles and trucks.
-The vehicles are driven on and off the vessel through three ports on the starboard side, second deck level. A system of internal ramps and elevators provide access to all holds.
-Provisions are made for refrigerated trailers and 1,600 long tons of molasses.
-The propulsion plant is a steam plant with geared turbine drive, producing 30,000 shaft horsepower on a single 21 ft. propeller.
-Centralized control will allow regulation of speed and direction of the propeller from the bridge.
-Living quarters for the ship's crew are fully air-conditioned.
-The ship carries the trailer equivalent to 268 40 ft. trailers including 100 refrigerated trailers and 238 automobiles.
-The vessel makes the 2,000-mile Los Angeles-Honolulu trip in 3-1/2 days.
-There were seven modifications made in the basic Sun Ship RO/RO design including: 1) Molasses capacity & System in Forward Deep Tanks 2) Bow Thruster 3) Auto Platforms and internal access in #1 Cargo Hold, 4) Forty additional 'Pull down' Reefer outlets 5) Cargo oil capability 6) 350KW Diesel Generator, 7) Relocation of Machinery Space Ventilation intakes to Main Deck.
Info Block No.1: Matson Navigation Company & 'Lurline'

-The 'Lurline' is the fifth ship to bear the famous name under the Matson house flag and a Matson ship name in the Hawaiian trade for 86 years including; the first which was a brigantine built in 1887 at Benicia CA. The second 'Lurline', a steamship, which carried freight and passengers and entered service in 1908. The last two 'Lurlines' were famed passenger liners in the line's "White Ship" fleet which served Hawaii and the South Seas through the 1930s and the post-World War II period.
-The ship name 'Lurline', according to maritime historians, stemmed from an 1880's romantic opera "Lurline", based on the German legend of the Lorelei.
-Matson pioneered lift-on/lift-off container service in the Pacific 15 years ago and operated 10 containerships and special purpose vessels in the 1970's.
-Next to the ship, the ramps are the most important component for loading and off-loading cargo.There are three ramps at each port averaging 200 feet in length. The construction cost for the ramps was approximately $2,000,000..
-Matson's total investment in the RO/RO concept including; ships, terminal equipment with ramps and trailers were valued at $72,000,000.

'Lurline': Sun Ship's C9 Conversion 1981/1982
“The 700’, 14,000 dwt RO/RO ‘Lurline’, one of the two such ships in the Matson fleet, will be lengthened by the addition of a 126.5-ft midbody section, which will more than double the ship’s freight capacity. The vessel will be able to carry lift-on, Lift-off containers in addition to RO/RO cargo. The seven year old ‘Lurline’ was also built by Sun Ship. Under the $40-million contract work was started with the construction of the midbody section last fall. The vessel was to go to the shipyard last month, and the conversion job is scheduled for completion by this December. The vessel will be the first “RO/LO” ship in the Hawaiian trade, and will carry 1,046 24-ft equivalents of trailer and container units compared with its prior capacity of 434 equivalents. Automobile carrying capacity will be increased from 139 to 179, and outlets for refrigerated units will be increased from 100 to 204.”
Source: Marine Engineering Log Feb, 1981-Page 46
Courtesy of ISM: SSHS#: 454.65.8102.046.

'Lurline' being transferred from Sun Ship's Dry Dock No.4 onto A-Slab.
Courtesy of Dave McKee, Plant Eng.(82 Dept)
The bow of the 'Lurline' was moved forward 127 ft with the 'Hydranautics' hydraulic rams to make way for the erection of the new midbody between the two ship sections.
Courtesy of: Dave McKee, Plant Eng. (82D)
With the conversion complete, the 'Lurline' is berthed at Sun Ship's 4 Pier North.
Courtesy of: Arthur Cooley
'Lurline' Back-in-Service
'Lurline' underway as RO/LO with container stowage on deck along with car-carriers.
Courtesy of: Jack Durant and Matson
'Lurline' Tied-up in Seattle, WA
'Lurline' pierside showing after-ramp and car deck installed aft. c:1996
Courtesy of: Jack Durant and Matson
'Lurline' On the Way to the Breakers Yard
Flying in to Seattle in Sept, 2015 I saw this view of the harbor and tied up at the pier was either the 'Lurline' (H-662) or the 'Matsonia' (H-664).  Upon further investigation is was identified as the 'Lurline'.
Courtesy of: Dave Kavanagh
Later I was able to take a harbor tour, but was unable to convince the captain to go further into the wetbasin to get a better picture of her.
Courtesy of: Dave Kavanagh
The next day I was able to get to Matson's 'Terminal 25' but this was the best view I could get.
Courtesy of: Dave Kavanagh
View of the 'Lurline' on her way thru the Panama Canal to the Breakers Yard in Brownsville, TX and being towed by the tug 'Hollywood'. c: Feb, 2017
Courtesy of: Dave Boone

Identification tag removed from a Roloc Box.
Courtesy of: Rich Griffith
The 700 ft. long and 14,000 deadweight ton ship is being transferred from No.4DD to A-Slab in approximately six hours at a rate of 3 feet-per-minute.
-after the 126' Midbody was installed and other modifications completed, the process was reversed and the ship was 'pushed' from the shore onto the dry dock.
The picture below is one of the two Hydranautics units that is 'pulling' the 'Lurline' off the dry dock on to the building slab.
Courtesy of: Hagley