So far, it has not proved possible to obtain a copy of a capacity plan for Chantala. However, thanks to sources, such as Lloyds Register of Shipping and magazine articles, some technical data on Chantala is available for download as a pdf.


If anyone has a capacity plan for Chantala, it would be mostly gratefully received. Once copied, the original would be returned to the owner.

The Chantala was launched on 27th September 1949, and she was handed over to B.I. by her builders, Barclay, Curle and Company Limited, Glasgow, on 4th March 1950.


Technical Data on Chantala indicates that she was a cargo vessel of 7,551 gross tons with a length overall of 484 feet 6 inches. She had a total cargo capacity of 563,160 cubic feet, of which 12,780 cubic feet was available for refrigerated cargo. Her 6 cylinder, 2 cycle, single acting diesel engine gave her a service speed of 14.5 knots.


The Chantala was designed to be a cadet training ship, and she operated in this role from March 1950 until May 1966. Originally, accommodation was provided for 31 cadets in 2 dormitories and an adjacent cabin, all situated on the port side of the shelter deck. Each dormitory had 14 bunks, arranged in 7 tiers of 2, and the cabin provided accommodation for the senior cadet, referred to as a Chief Petty Officer, and his 2 deputies, referred to as Petty Officers. The cadets also had their own separate lounge and dining room.


Chantala carried a full-time cadet instructor officer, who was responsible for ensuring that cadets received structured training, some of which was conducted in a purpose built classroom.


In 1954, cadet numbers were increased to 39 by using cabins originally set aside for seamen, and then, in 1959, Chantala ceased carrying passengers, and the number of cadets was increased to 52. Chantala’s training ship role changed in 1966, and she then became a “cadet training unit”, carrying 16 cadets, a role in which she continued until she was sold in 1971.


Photographs and anecdotes are a great way to show that cadets not only worked hard but played hard.


Any material that you would like to display would be most gratefully received.



During his sixth voyage as an apprentice on Chantala, Martin Southwood and several of his fellow apprentices took part in a prank, which involved the unauthorised removal of a Russian flag! His amusing account of this incident, which he recorded in his journal at the time, is available for download as a pdf here.


Some of you may have never heard of Lindi or Mtwara – let alone sailed a ship’s whaler from the one to the other! Martin Southwood did, whilst he was an apprentice on Chantala, and his account of that trip is available for download as a pdf here.


John Lott was an apprentice on Chantala’s maiden voyage. His reminiscences of those early days as a Chantala cadet are available for download as a pdf here.


Here is another interesting account from Martin Southwood. This time it concerns a whaler race between apprentices from the Chantala and The New Zealand Shipping Company’s cadet ship Rakaia. The race took place in Port Pirie, South Australia, and Martin’s account is available for download as a pdf here.


Hugh Ferguson and Clifford Cadman were on the bridge of the Chantala when she was involved in a collision with the collier Hudson Light in the Thames Estuary in 1969. Their most interesting article about this event is available for download as a pdf here.


Any anecdotes that you may have of Chantala would be most gratefully received.

  Chantala Data


  Russian Ensign


  Whaler Trip