Conversion Of RO/RO 'Ponce' Completed By Sun Ship
The S/S Ponce (shown above) left Sun Ship Inc. recently after undergoing a 22- month, $30-million conversion at the Chester, Pa., shipyard. In the unusual project, which began in July 1979, a new hull section was spliced into the center portion of the rollon /roll-off (RO/RO) trailership, and its machinery plant was modernized.
The new 90-foot hull section increased the ship's length to 790 feet and boosted the Ponce's trailer-carrying capacity by 35 percent to a total of 410 forty-foot overthe- road trailer equivalents. The installation of new boilers, generators, and a variety of other auxiliaries improved both fuel efficiency and operation ease. While on sea trials, the Ponce reached a speed of 25 knots. The Ponce's first destination after conversion was Port Elizabeth, N.J. The ship will be making scheduled trips between Elizabeth and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
One of 10 RO/RO ships built by Sun Ship, the Ponce was launched in November 1967, and delivered in March 1968. She is operated by the Puerto Rican Maritime Shipping Authority, and is assigned to carry cargoes from major East Coast ports to San Juan.