Priwall (barque)

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Name: Priwall (1917-41)
Lautaro (1941-45)
Owner: F. Laeisz, Hamburg (1920-41)
Chilean Government (1941-45)
Operator: F. Laeisz, Hamburg (1920-41)
Port of registry: 22x20px Hamburg (1920-33)
22x20px Hamburg (1933-41)
22x20px Chilean Navy (1941-45)
Builder: Blohm & Voss, Hamburg
Launched: 23 June 1917
Completed: March 1920
In service: 6 March 1920
Out of service: 28 February 1945
Identification: Code Letters RWLN (1920-33)
Code Letters DIRQ (1933-41)
Fate: Burnt out, 1945
General characteristics
Tonnage: 3,185 GRT
2,834 NRT[1]
4,800 DWT[2]
Length: 323 feet 1 inch (98.48 m)
Beam: 47 feet 1 inch (14.35 m)
Depth: 26 feet 3 inches (8.00 m)
Sail plan: Barque
Speed: Recorded average of 16 knots (30 km/h) over 24 hours
Notes: Recorded fastest ever westward rounding of Cape Horn

Priwall was a four-masted steel-hulled barque with royal sails over double top and topgallant sails.[2] The windjammer was ordered by the F. Laeisz shipping company of Hamburg and launched at the Blohm & Voss yard, Hamburg, on 23 June 1917. After delays arising from a shortage of materials during and after First World War, she was completed on 6 March 1920.[3] Priwall was used on the nitrate trade route to the west coast of South America; she also made several voyages from South Australia’s Spencer Gulf grain ports to Europe.[2] Her code Letters were RWLN;[1] in 1934 they were changed to DIRQ.[4]

History and performance

While still at the builders, Priwall (with other German merchant vessels) was identified in 1919 for confiscation by the Allies as World War I reparations.[5] However, due to the incomplete state of the ship, delivery to the Allies was not enforced and thus allowed the Laeisz company to finish construction – and, after outfitting, to operate the ship as intended, carrying general cargo outbound and nitrate or grain to Europe.[5]

Priwall was one of the Flying P-Liners that enhanced the reputation of her owners. As with all Laeisz ships, Priwall was well maintained, and the company’s captains were known as fine steersmen and bold sailors.[6] During a 1932 voyage on Christmas Day, the ship covered 384 nautical miles (711 km) in 24 hours (an average speed of 16 knots (30 km/h)).[3] In 1935, she 'won' the Great Grain Race by sailing from Port Victoria to Queenstown in 91 days. In 1938, Priwall recorded the fastest ever westward rounding of Cape Horn[7] by a commercial sailing ship in five days and fourteen hours under Captain Adolf Hauth.[8][9][10]

Her final voyage under Laeisz ownership commenced on 23 May 1939 at Hamburg, bound for Valparaiso.[11] During the voyage, on a rare mid-ocean meeting in the South Atlantic, Priwall passed by the Finnish barque Lawhill en route from South Australia to Europe with a cargo of grain; Priwall also sighted the liner Cap Arcona. The ship rounded Cape Horn on 21 July in the gale-force winds of the southern winter as the last commercial windjammer completing this east-to-west passage, and reached the sheltered anchorage of Corral, Chile. There the crew maneuvered the mizzen upper top yard to the foremast to replace its broken upper top yard. Continuing on to Talcahuano to off-load freight, she finally arrived at Valparaiso on 3 September 1939. Priwall was then interned at Valparaiso at the onset of the Second World War.[12] In 1941, to avoid potential seizure by the Allies, the ship was deeded as a gift to the Republic of Chile in a ceremony attended by the Governor of Valparaíso, Mr. Alfredo Rodríguez Mac-Iver. Renamed Lautaro, she was used as a cargo carrying training ship by the Chilean Navy. On 28 February 1945, while loading nitrate, she caught fire off the Peruvian coast and was destroyed.[3]


F. Laeisz Shipping Company:[3]

  • Jürgen Jürs (1920-21)
  • Carl Brockhöft (1921-24)
  • Jürgen Jürs (1925-28)
  • K. Schubert (1928-29)
  • H. Töpper (1930-31)
  • Robert Clauß (1932-35)
  • Jürgen Jürs (1935-36)
  • Adolf Hauth (1937-1939)


Voyages made by Priwall under Laeisz ownership:[3][12]

From To Time
Cuxhaven, Germany San Antonio, Chile 76 1923
Pisagua, Chile Cuxhaven 128 1923-24
Hamburg Talcahuano, Chile 99 1928
Hamburg Talcahuano 94 1928-29
Iquique, Chile Dunkirk, France 1929
Hamburg Talcahuano 89 1930
Mejillones, Chile Brügge, Belgium 99 1930
Hamburg Valparaiso, Chile 87 1930
Taltal, Chile Brügge, Belgium 81 1930
Hamburg Port Lincoln, Australia 138 1932
Port Victoria, Australia Barry, Wales 106 1933
Hamburg Wallaroo, Australia 66 1932-33
Hamburg Port Victoria 65 1933-34
Port Victoria Queenstown, Ireland 108 1934
Hamburg Port Victoria 83 1934-35
Port Victoria Queenstown 91 1935
Hamburg Valparaiso 71 1938
Hamburg Valparaiso 109 1939


Priwall was depicted on a postage stamp issued by the Falkland Islands.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "LLOYD'S REGISTER, SAILING VESSELS". Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Priwall". Fredrik Sandström. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Priwall". Lars Bruzelius. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  4. "LLOYD'S REGISTER, NAVIRES A VOILES". Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Carter 2004, p. 120
  6. Randier, Jean. Men and Ships around Cape Horn 1616-1939. New York: David McKay Company, Inc. 1969, p. 341
  7. "Rounding the Horn" is traditionally understood to involve sailing the roughly one thousand miles from 50 degrees south on one coast of South America to 50 degrees south on the other coast, the two benchmark latitudes of a Horn run
  8. Stark, Willam F. The Last Time Around Cape Horn. The Historic 1949 Voyage of the Windjammer Pamir. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers. 2003; p. 147 ISBN 0786712333
  9. Drumm 2001, p. 94
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Cape Horn". Bjoern Moritz. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  11. Parrott 2004, p. 24
  12. 12.0 12.1 "LAST ROUNDING OF THE "PRIWALL"". Caphorniers. Retrieved 17 February 2010. 
  • Drumm, Russell (2001). The barque of saviors: Eagle's passage from the Nazi Navy to the U.S. Coast Guard (2001 ed.). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 0395983673.  - Total pages: 250
  • Carter, Robert (2004). Windjammers: The Final Story (2004 ed.). Rosenberg Publishing Pty. ISBN 1877058041.  - Total pages: 254
  • Parrott, Daniel S. (2004). Tall Ships Down: The Last Voyages of the Pamir, Albatross, Marques, Pride of Baltimore, and Maria Asumpta (2004 ed.). McGraw-Hill Professional. ISBN 007143545X.  - Total pages: 352

External links

Photo of Priwall

de:Priwall (Schiff)