white star SS Nomadic

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The SS Nomadic is the last surviving White Star Line Ship She was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, northern Ireland as a tender for the RMS Titanic and RMS Olympic, her job was to ferry 1st and second class passengers and their luggage, mail and other ship's supplies to and from the ocean liners as they were too large to dock in Cherbourg harbour, while nomadic’s sister ship the SS Traffic had the job of ferrying the third class passengers.

Although nomadic was very small in comparison to the large ocean liners the tiny coal powered steamer was able to carry up to a 1,000 passengers when fully loaded, there was also A small area in the aft end of the lower deck that was designed for any overspill of third-class passengers from her sister SS Traffic.


On board nomadic she was fitted out to a similar standard as titanic and Olympic with ornate decorative joinery and plasterwork, porcelain water fountains.

she came into service for white star line in June 1911,but after the outbreak of the first world war Nomadic was requisitioned by the French government for use as a minesweeper and patrol ship, after the war was over nomadic returned to her tendering duties.

In 1934 White Star and Cunard Lines merged and nomadic was sold to Cherbourg Tow & Rescue Society and re-named and re-named Ingenieur Minard.

nomadic was called upon again during world war two where she helped with the evacuation of Cherbourg and operated as a troop ship, coastal patrol boat and minelayer based out of Portsmouth, after the war she returned to tendering duties for the Cherbourg Tow & Rescue Society until 4 November 1968 when she was retired.

After retirement nomadic stood for approximately five years until she was bought by entrepreneur Yvon Vincent and turned into a floating restaurant and in 1974 she was relocated to the Seine in Paris, however due to her owners getting into financial difficulties Nomadic was seized by the Paris harbour authorities, and she was towed out of Paris to Le Havre in 2003, in 2005 her owner Yvon Vincent passed away so the authorities sought to dispose of the ship at auction and on 26 January 2006, the Northern Ireland government Department for Social Development bought nomadic for €250,001.





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After rescuing Nomadic from her uncertain future the ship was transported back to where she was build almost a 100 years ago, the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Nomadic moved into her new permanent home, the Hamilton dock at the newly redeveloped titanic quarter in august 2009 before undergoing her extensive restoration.

It was hoped that nomadic would be restored for the 100 year anniversary of the titanic disaster, which would also coincide with the opening of the new Titanic Belfast visitor attraction, however this was not possible and the now restored SS Nomadic is expected to open to the public in June 2013.



Ship Specifications

  • Size: Very Small
  • Length: 220 feet
  • Beam: 37 feet
  • Speed:  12 Knots
  • Tonnage: 1,273
  • Decks: 5
  • Crew: 14 
  • Passengers: 1,000
  • Maiden Voyage: 31 May 1911  
  • Current Status: Museum Ship 

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Nautical Phrase's

Cut and Run: If a captain of a small ship encountered a large enemy vessel he would order the crew to cut the lashings on all the sails and run away.

Freeze the balls of off a brass monkey: On ships, cannon balls were sometimes stacked on a flat plate what was called a monkey, usually made from brass. When it got really cold the monkey would contract making some of the cannon balls fall off.

Over a barrel: the main method of punishment aboard ship was flogging which usually involved the sailor being tied over the barrel of a deck cannon whilst the punishment was administered.

Pipe down: was the last signal from the Bosun's pipe each day which meant "lights out" and "silence".

Rummage Sale: comes from the french word "arrimage" meaning ship's cargo any damaged cargo would be sold at a rummage sale.

Bamboozle: from the Spanish custom of hoisting false flags to deceive confuse or bamboozle the enemy

Fealing Groggy: sailors received a daily ration of rum which was diluted with water this mixture was known as Grog,A sailor who drank too much grog was “groggy”.

No room to swing a cat: if a sailor was to receve punishment The entire ship’s company was required to witness the flogging, members of The crew might crowd around so that the Bosun’s Mate might not have enough room to swing his cat o’ nine tails.

Footloose: The bottom portion of a sail is called the foot. If it is not secured properly, it is footloose and it flaps about randomly in the wind.