Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.
To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.
Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was hoped for a long and successful working life.
The twin screw Ro-Ro Container Ship CARIBBEAN PROGRESS was an order from Common Bros Ltd, and was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon (Henry Robb) in March of 1973
This was at a time when there was huge interest in cross North Sea trade and the Ro-Ro Container ship was the next new concept in this form of transport. And of course this concept was good and effective on any of the World's trade routes.
This in effect meant that the truck and trailer with the container still on would go as cargo on the ship or the truck would be unhitched and just the trailer would go and be met at the other side by another truck to continue on it way.
The following information on the CARIBBEAN PROGRESS is provided by Tim Hudson who was Chief Engineer on her.
The M.V. Caribbean Progress was intended to trade for a Common Brothers subsidiary in New York, Caribbean Trailer Express. However this company was already in difficulties by time of delivery so vessel was time chartered to Co-ordinated Caribbean Transport of Miami and traded regularly from that port to Guatamala and Honduras until August 1974 when, after the guarantee docking in Savannah Georgia, she took up a charter running cars from New Brunswick to Newfoundland. At this time she suffered major main engine mechanical problems following a crankcase explosion.
In 79 she was chartered by Karageorgis and traded across Adriatic, Patras to Ancona with ferry traffic before being sold to charterer.
I was Chief Engineer on these 3 trades and present at handing over ceremony to Greek owner around 1st. April 1979. Capt John Gyte, C/O John Greenwood, 2nd Eng Neil Anderson
CARIBBEAN PROGRESS seen underway-lightship with no cargo in this photo sent in by Tim Hudson.
The Ro-Ro concept was nothing new as the Henry Robb yard had in fact built Ro-Ro barges for use in Singapore before the Second World War both barges were scuttled ahead of the advancing Japanese army.
The CARIBBEAN PROGRESS was sold in 1975 to Iranian shipping interests and she was to be sold on a few more times and converted in 1986 to take more passengers as well as containers, her gross tonnage went from 3,822 up to 4,469 tonnes and she was re-named Valentino the same year.
She was eventually sold for her scrap value and broken up in 2002.
We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.