World’s Primeval Modern Oil Ship
Though not the first oil ship ever built, Zoroaster tanker ship was the first successful ocean-going modern oil ship. Now oil ships are known to have existed as early as 1863. Steamer Vaderland is in fact, billed as the first ocean bound oil tanker. However, the vessel, which was built in 1873, was soon pulled out of service because of the safety threats it posed. Enter Zoroaster.
Named in the honor of Zarathustra – noted prophet from Persia, Zoroaster was 184 feet long and sported a 27 feet beam with a nine feet draft. The ship was built by engineer and businessman Ludvig Immanuel Nobel. It housed two oil tanks that carried 242 tons of kerosene. While the ship itself was built of steel, oil tankers were reinforced with iron.
Ahead of its time in technology, it made use of ballast tanks for – a) higher ease of transportation of oil, and, b) superior balance on water. It also used upright waterproof compartments (21 in number) for added buoyancy. Zoroaster’s maiden voyage was the ferrying of kerosene between Baku and Astrakhan in 1878.