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British Industrial History

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USS Nahma (SP-771)

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USS Nahma (SP-771), an armed yacht, was built by the Clydebank Engineering and Shipbuilding Co, of Glasgow, Scotland in 1897 for Robert Goelet; acquired by the United States Navy on free lease from his son, Robert Walton Goelet on 21 June 1917 for use as a section patrol vessel and commissioned on 27 August 1917, Lt. Comdr. E. Friedrick in command. Nahma was the sister ship to USS Mayflower (PY-1) that was built at the same time on the Clyde for Ogden Goelet, brother of Robert Sr.[1]

In the 1920's, during prohibition, Nahma was one of the most notorious rum-runners along the eastern seaboard of the United States. She then came to South Africa, where she served as the floating factory shop of a shark fishing venture.

In 1929, she was serving fourteen boats, each with ten nets, and was capable of processing 500 sharks per day. In March 1931, she was bought for scrap and her bronze propeller was removed. Thousands of spectators lined the beachfront to bid farewell as the Istar as she was towed by the tugs Sir John Robinson and Sir William Hoy. The vessel was taken 7 km from the entrance to Durban Harbour and scuttled.[2]

See Also

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  • Further reading: Hofman, Erik (1970). The Steam Yachts - An Era of Elegance. New York: John De Graff Inc. pp. 100–103.


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