While sailing in the Mediterranean sea, in 1962, the American aircraft carrier USS Independence (CV-62) flashed the Italian Amerigo Vespucci with light signal asking «Who are you?», the full rigged ship answered «Training ship Amerigo Vespucci, Italian Navy». The US ship replied «You are the most beautiful ship in the world».
Great, now I ship actual ships.
You are the most beautiful ship in the world.
Dear god, I’m in love with two ships in love. (Everything is wonderful and nothing hurts.)
clearly there is an age difference in this ship, but ON WHICH SIDE?
if it’s a training ship, does that mean the carrier is
of of this is a classic square-rigged vessel, operating under and older technology, is it the older boat flirting with shiny young thing?
So, see, there’s very specific ways to gauge the age of a ship, and it doesn’t have to do with the purpose or the rig.
The first is when the keel was laid – when the ship was originally built. Generally speaking, no matter what kind of repairs or conversions you do to the ship, you’re not going to mess with the keel (and we’re using “keel” as a general term for the bottom center of the ship here, not for the specific fin of a sailboat).
So, SSV Amerigo Vespucci (and she might have a different designation than SSV - Sailing School Vessel – I’m not familiar with the Italian navy’s naming conventions) was built in 1930. The USS Independence was built in 1959. By this convention, the Amerigo Vespucci is the cradle robber – but honestly, 29 years isn’t that much age difference for ships in this context.
Furthermore, the build date, as mentioned, is only one of several ways to really gauge the age of a ship. The Amerigo Vespucci was repowered in 1964, that is, her original engines were replaced with new ones. More importantly in this case, the 1964 engines were part of a diesel-electric system, rather than a direct drive system. That means that from 1934 to 1964, each engine turned a shaft that turned a propeller, but after the 1964 conversion, each engine generated electricity that powered a motor that turned a shaft that turned a propeller. Repowering a ship, whether it’s from steam to diesel or direct-to diesel-electric, means reworking a lot of the systems aboard, and is usually done as part of a major refit in a yard. Often a refit like this is accompanied by a name change or an ownership change or a purpose change (cargo to passenger, for example), though not in this case.
So by this measure, we could argue that the Vespucci was rejuvenated in 1964. The photo was taken in 1962, so the Independence could have formed a crush on the much-older Vespucci, but then when they met again three years later (hypothetically), the the freshly-repowered Vespucci maybe felt like a whole new ship suddenly interested in this brawny young specimen.
There was a third point that I was going to make, and I think it had to do with revising the fact that 29 years still isn’t much of an age difference for ships, especially since there was a thing in the 1910s, ‘20s, and ‘30s where Europeans built super-modern steel-hulled sailing ships, or maybe it had to do with the context of the Vespucci going through that tumultuous WWII period when pretty much every ship of every kind was drafted into the war effort, but I’m barely going to make it to work on time as it is because did someone say maritime history?
TL;DR, ship what you’ll ship, even and especially when it comes to ships.
SSV Amerigo Vespucci is still sailing as an Italian training ship. Source.
USS Independence was decommissioned in 1998, and is laid up in Bremerton, Washington. Source.
It’s likely that she’ll be scrapped, but there’s always the possibility that she’ll be sold to another country to join their Navy, so imagine if you will, the newly-commissioned Brazilian naval vessel Independência again meeting the Vespucci under way on the high seas.
AND BECAUSE I’M STILL NOT DONE: all ships are “she,” so this ‘ship is femslash.