On this day one hundred years ago the world’s first oceangoing diesel engine-powered ship was handed over to the owner East Asiatic Company from the builder Burmeister & Wain shipyard in Copenhagen.
Before Selandia was build all ships were steam powered. Steam power meant huge amount of coal and a large amount of crew to keep the steam engine running.
Using diesel not only removed a lot of the hard and unhealthy work shoveling coal but also meant a large increase in cruising range for the ocean going ships.
As a Dane the anniversary is of course even more interesting since it shows the long tradition for innovation within boat- and shipbuilding present in this part of the world.
Seen in the long perspective I think the whole world has benefit from this Danish innovation, since today it’s hard to imagine a fleet of small and large boats/ships without diesel engines.
So happy anniversary to MS Selandia and the engineers that made it possible to built the world’s first oceangoing diesel engine powered ship.
Happy boat building,
Morten Olesen, Master Boat Builder and Naval Architect