S.S. Universe Leader Class Ships

S.S. Universe Commander
S.S. Universe Leader, first of a new class of 85,000 deadweight ton tankers operated by Universe Tankships, a subsidiary of National Bulk Carriers.

S.S. Universe Leader Class Ships

S.S. Universe Leader was built by National Bulk Carriers, Kure Shipbuilding Division, Kure, Japan in 1956. The seven ships of this class again were the first of that size launched. They were indicative of the larger tankers that Ludwig continued to have designed and built. Much more pleasing to the eye, they had more graceful lines and abandoned the traditional Ludwig skinny smokestack. But true to form, they had no significant mast, a low after deckhouse and a fairly spartan and utilitarian navigation bridge, as Ludwig seldom put anything on his tankers that couldn't carry oil.

Universe Leader and her sisters had three longitudinal bulkheads, producing four rows of 13 tanks each - 52 tanks total. The center tanks could carry 13,000 barrels each (546,000 US gallons) while the wing tanks carried 9,000 barrels each (378,000 US gallons). These ships carried a complement of 50 officers and crew. Propulsion was provided by 19,250 horsepower GE steam turbines geared to a single screw, giving a service speed of 14.5 knots.

Click a ship's name below to go to a page of photos of these ships.

Ship Hull# Built GRT DWT Length Beam Comments
Universe Leader 39 1956 51,400 85,515 854'9" 125'3" Another record setting large tanker.
Universe Commander 40 1957 51,398 85,618 854'9" 125'3"
Universe Challenger 46 1957 51,321 85,596 854'9" 125'3" Renamed Frisia 1960.
Universe Admiral 59 1957 51,320 85,564 854'9" 125'3"
Harold H. Helm 63 1958 51,320 85,592 854'9" 125'3"
George Champion 64 1958 51,320 85,539 854'9" 125'3"
Universe Defiance 65 1958 51,320 85,548 854'9" 125'3"

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Created by A. Davis Whittaker, Jr.
Last updated on 21 February 2005.