Castellammare has a
long history as a shipyard. Neapolitans learned
shipbuilding from the Phoenicians and the Greeks, then
became the principal shipwrights for the Romans,
contributing to the Empire's domination of the
Mediterranean. Neapolitan shipwrights continued their
activity even during the Middle Ages, thanks to extensive
merchant and cultural trading between Europe and the
Middle East. The Normans,
Swabians, Angevins and Aragonese
carried on maritime commerce, and Naples was of primary
importance in the southern Tyrrhenian sea. In 1571,
Neapolitan yards contributed greatly to the successful
outcome of the Battle of Lepanto
by furnishing a number of ships in the victorious fleet.
launched in 1850 at Castellammare.
(see link - great story!)
In 1734 with the ascension
of the Bourbons to the throne,
Neapolitan shipwrights began building naval ships for the
protection of the newly independent kingdom. In 1739 the
first completely Bourbon frigate was launched, the S.
Carlo e Partenope. In the same year in Naples, the Accademia
di Marina was opened; it was the first academy in
Italy for the training of naval officers. In 1780
Ferdinand IV established a Ministry of the Royal Navy and
opened a shipyard at Castellammare di Stabia to build
ships for the fleets of the kingdom. Ferdinand chose
Castellammare as the site of the royal shipyards because
of the inhabitants' reputation as master craftsmen. The
kingdom, itself, was unstable at times, but the Bourbons,
nevertheless, developed the facility at Castellammare into
one of the most impressive in the Mediterranean.
The cruiser Dante
launched in 1910 at Castellammare.
In 1818 at Vigliena, the first steamship in Italy was launched, the Ferdinand I. By the time of Italian unification (1861), the yards at Castellammare had built fifty ships of medium tonnage for the navy, as well as countless smaller merchant vessels. On January 18, 1859, Francesco II witnessed the launching of what turned out to be the last ship built for the navy of Naples, the frigate Borbone.
The last years of the
kingdom of Naples saw a general restructuring of port
facilities. In addition to the shipyards, the Kingdom of
Naples had other considerable industrial and manufacturing
activity, particularly in metallurgy, an industry which
drew widebased financial support from English, French and
Naval training ship,
the Amerigo Vespucci
in the bay of Naples
With the unification of Italy came a reevaluation of the shipyards of the ex-Kingdom of Naples. The question of Castellammare was, of course, but one part of the much larger question of just how much industry should be assigned to the southern half of a unified nation.
Castellammare has had to contend with numerous proposals
to close the shipyards altogether. Also, it has had to
battle competition from other shipyards throughout Italy.
Nevertheless, between 1861 and 1918 the yards launched 83
naval vessels such as the one shown (above, left), many of
which proved to be among the finest in the nation's
fleets. From 1918 to the early 1980s, 170 more ships were
built at Castellammare, some of more than 50,000 tons
capacity. Two ships, well-known to all, have come from the
Castellammare yards: the naval training sailing ship, Amerigo
Vespucci (1931) (image, above) (as well as her
sister-ship, the Cristoforo Colombo
-1928), and the bathyscaph Triest (1953) which
took Auguste Piccard down to 3,150 meters in the waters
off of the island of Ponza.
On May 25 the shipyards at Castellammare launched their largest ship since WW2. She is the Trieste, called by NATO countries an LHD (for Landing Helicopter Dock), commonly called a "Helicopter Carrier" but is indeed much more than that. Trieste is 245 meters (804ft) long, 36 m (118ft) at the beam (wide), and displaces 33,000 tons. The flight deck is 230m (755ft) × 36m (118ft) and accommodates 9 heavy helicopters or 4 short take-off and landing fighters such as the F-35B. Besides being a fighting ship, the Trieste is intended to aid in humanitarian crises, such as sea rescues, evacuations of persons from stricken areas and to furnish fresh water, food and electricity to areas in need. To those ends the ship is equipped with 1060 beds, well-equipped hospital facilities, and ample space for a variety of sea-borne vehicles (motor launches and rafts) and land vehicles (wheeled as well as continuous-track, such as a tank or bull-dozer).
The Trieste is marked by a well dock or well deck, officially termed a 'wet well', which can be flooded for operations. It is a hangar-like deck at the waterline in the stern. By taking on water the ship can lower the stern, flooding the well deck and letting boats, amphibious vehicles and landing craft off-load and also dock within the ship.
The Trieste is meant to replace a decommissioned light aircraft carrier and is expected to be fully operational in 2022.
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added Nov. 2019
Flo-Flo at Castellammare
"Flo/Flo" (From float-on/float off) vessels are specialized Heavy Lift Ships. They are submersible hull ships that load, transport, and off-load extremely heavy or out-sized cargo independent of port equipment —cargo such as yachts, tug boats, barges, landing craft, floating cranes, etc. Flo-Flos are designed to take on ballast water in floodable tanks and partially submerge the vessel. Cargo is then floated over the submerged portion of the vessel that then deballasts and surfaces under the cargo. After the vessel is full afloat, the cargo is secured for transport.
This type of operation is seen in these photos at the port of Castellammare, where, in the top image, the Chinese-built Flo-Flo is shown empty. She is the Hua Yang Long, built in 2015 at the Guangzhou Shipyard and is property of the Guangzhou Salvage Bureau. (Guangzhou is still commonly known in English as Canton and is one of China's three largest cities). The Hua Yang Long is 228 meters long and 43 meters wide. The image on the right shows the Chinese ship loaded with the Giulio Verne, a cable-laying vessel and bound for the Philippines where she will lay communication cables.
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