Italian training ship Amerigo Vespucci
Amerigo Vespucci in New York Harbor, 1976
|Laid down:||12 May 1930|
|Launched:||22 February 1931|
|Commissioned:||26 May 1931|
|Notes:||Motto Non chi comincia ma quel che persevera|
|Class and type:||Full rigged ship|
|Beam:||15.56 m (51.0 ft)|
|Height:||54.0 m (177.2 ft)|
|Draught:||7.3 m (24 ft)|
|Sensors and |
|2 × navigation radars GEM Elettronica AN/SPN-753(V)5|
In 1925, the Regia Marina ordered two school ships to a design by General Lieutenant Francesco Rotundi of the Italian Navy Engineering Corps, inspired by the style of large late 18th century 74-cannon ships of the line (like the neapolitan ship "Monarca"). The first, the Cristoforo Colombo, was put into service in 1928 and was used by the Italian Navy until 1943. After World War II, this ship was handed over to the USSR as part of the war reparations and was shortly afterwards decommissioned.
The second ship was the Amerigo Vespucci, built in 1930 at the (formerly Royal) Naval Shipyard of Castellammare di Stabia (Naples). She was launched on February 22, 1931, and put into service in July of that year.
The vessel is a full rigged three-masted steel hull 82.4 m (270 ft) long, with an overall length of 101 m (331 ft) including the bowsprit and a maximum width of 15.5 m (51 ft). She has a draught of about 7 m (23 ft) and a displacement at full load of 4146 tons. Under auxiliary diesel-electric propulsion the Amerigo Vespucci can reach 10 knots (19 km/h) and has a range of 5450 nm at 6.5 knots.
The three steel masts are 50, 54 and 43 metres high, and carry sails totalling 2,824 m2 (30,400 sq ft). The Amerigo Vespucci has 26 sails – square sails, staysails, and jibs: all are traditional canvas sails. When under sail in severe sea and wind conditions she can reach 12 knots (22 km/h). The rig, some 30 km of ropes, uses only traditional hemp ropes; only the mooring lines are synthetic, to comply with port regulations.
The hull is painted black with two white stripes, harking back to the two gun decks of the ships her design is based on, but she carries only two 6pdr saluting guns in pivot mountings on the deck, forward of the mainmast. The deck planks are of teak wood and must be replaced every three years. Bow and stern are decorated with intricate ornaments; she has a life-size figurehead of Amerigo Vespucci. The stern gallery is accessible only through the Captain's saloon.
The standard crew of the Amerigo Vespucci is 16 officers, 70 non-commissioned officers and 190 sailors. In summer, when she embarks the midshipmen of the Naval Academy (Accademia Navale), the crew totals some 450.
Since 1964 the ship has been fitted with two 4-stroke, 8-cylinder FIAT B 308 ESS diesel engines, which replaced the original 2-stroke 6-cylinder FIAT Q 426 engines. The newer engines generate electric power for one electric propulsion motor that can produce up to about 1,471 kW (1,973 hp).
After update works, between 2013 and 2016, the ship has been fitted with two 4-stroke, 12-cylinder MTU, 1,32 MW each diesel engine generators and two 4-stroke, 8-cylinder MTU, 760 kW each diesel engine generators, and one NIDEC (Ansaldo Sistemi Industriali) electric engine. During the same work, the ship has been fitted with new radar GEM Elettronica AN/SPS-753(V)5, new satellite antenna ORBIT AL-7103.
When carrying cadets, the ship is usually steered from the manual stern rudder station, which is operated by four steering wheels with two men each. At other times, the hydraulically assisted steering on the bridge is used. Except for the anchor winch, the winches aboard are not power operated. The bridge is equipped with sophisticated modern electronic navigation instruments.
Other than during World War II, the Amerigo Vespucci has been continually active. Most of her training cruises are in European waters, but she has also sailed to North and South America, and navigated the Pacific. In 2002, she undertook a voyage around the world.
The Amerigo Vespucci often takes part in sailing parades and Tall Ships' Races, where she is in amicable rivalry with the Gorch Fock. When she is berthed in port, public tours of the vessel are usually offered.
On 7 July 2018, Amerigo Vespucci arrived to the port of Almeria. It is the third time it visited Almería: the first one was in 1932, and the second one was in 1989. It left the city on 10 July. Then it will travel to Ponta Delgada, in the Azores Islands, and it will cross the Atlantic Ocean to the Northern Europe.
- In Italy, passenger ships traditionally yield to the Amerigo Vespucci and salute by blowing the horn three times.
- The Vespucci carried the Olympic torch from Piraeus to Syracuse for the 1960 Rome Olympic games.
- While sailing the Mediterranean Sea in 1962, the American aircraft carrier USS Independence flashed the Amerigo Vespucci with the light signal asking: "Who are you?" The full-rigged ship answered: "Training ship Amerigo Vespucci, Italian Navy." The Independence replied: "You are the most beautiful ship in the world."
- "The history of Amerigo Vespucci". Marina Militare (in Italian). Italian Defense Ministry. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
- Tudisco, Antonio (16 December 2015). "Prima accensione dei nuovi motori. Nave Vespucci torna a far sentire la sua voce". Marina Militare (in Italian). Ministero Della Difesa. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
- "MARINA MILITARE: TRAINING TALL SHIP AMERIGO VESPUCCI WILL VISIT DUBLIN (IRELAND) FROM 10th TILL 13th AUGUST 2016". Ambasciata d'Italia. Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale. 10 August 2016. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- Tapia, Joaquín (7 July 2018). "El Amerigo Vespucci entra al puerto hoy en su tercera visita a Almería". Ideal (in Spanish). Almería. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- Tapia, Joaquín (8 July 2018). "El buque escuela Amerigo Vespucci entra en el Puerto de Almería". Ideal (in Spanish). Almería. Archived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- "El buque escuela de la marina italiana Amerigo Vespucci recala en Almería por tercera vez desde 1932". Europa Press (in Spanish). Almería. 7 July 2018. Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- Jerez, Diego (7 July 2018). "El 'Amerigo Vespucci' atraca en Almería tras 29 años de su última visita". Almería Hoy (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- Europa Press (6 July 2018). "Puertos.- El buque escuela italiano 'Amerigo Vespucci' atraca este sábado en Almería dentro de su instrucción". 20 Minutos (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- Petris, Antonella (7 July 2018). "Marina Militare: la Nave Amerigo Vespucci in sosta ad Almeria da 7 al 10 Luglio". Meteoweb (in Italian). Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- "L'Amerigo Vespucci in sosta ad Almeria dal 7 al 10 luglio". L'Adigetto (in Italian). 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 9 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- "Il nuovo tender della Vespucci". Vela e Motore. Edisport Editoriale srl. 13 April 2015. Archived from the original on 8 July 2018. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
- "A bordo della Vespucci, la nave più bella del mondo". Il Secolo XIX (in Italian). Gedi News Network S.P.A. 9 October 2012. Archived from the original on 20 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Amerigo Vespucci (ship, 1931).|
Official web sites:
- Amerigo Vespucci web site of the Italian Navy (in Italian). This article is partly based on a translation of that web page.
- Technical fact sheet from the Italian Navy web site, in Italian.
Other web sites:
- Congedati Vespucci Amerigo Vespucci's crew web site
- Italian web site about the Amerigo Vespucci, with images of the interior. (In Italian.)
- Tall Ships 2000 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Has many pictures; the Amerigo Vespucci is in "Part 1".
- SchoonerMan – has a report from someone who visited the ship.
- Tourism New Zealand has a brief article of a visit of the Amerigo Vespucci.
- Hawaii Navy News article about an earlier stop in the same voyage around the world in 2002.
- "Amerigo Vespucci", Model Ship Builder. An article on a scaled wooden model of the Amerigo Vespucci.