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Decking DOULOS PHOS, Part Four

Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2013 by

Peter Knego “Decks!” the DOULOS PHOS, continuing with the now 99-year-old ship’s lower deck areas and machinery spaces and a look at her future prospects.

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All photos by and copyright Peter Knego unless otherwise noted.

Friday, November 16, 2012, ctd.

Lounge Deck

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MV DOULOS PHOS over bow from Lounge Deck.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, forward Lounge Deck, facing starboard.

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MV DOULOS PHOS forward Lounge Deck, facing aft from starboard.

Lounge Deck begins with an open terrace that overlooks the bow, continuing aft under protective awnings on either side of a deck house buttress that protrudes from the superstructure.

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MV DOULOS PHOS superstructure from Lounge Deck.

From Lounge Deck, there is an optimal view of the historic strata of DOULOS’ regal superstructure.

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MV DOUOLS PHOS, forward Lounge Deck stairtower, facing forward.

Inside the deck house extension, a stairtower leading down to the dining room fronts a small vestibule with Nino Zoncada-designed railings.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, Staff Lounge, facing forward.

Immediately aft of the stairs is what was originally FRANCA C’s shopping arcade, last utilized by the DOULOS as a staff lounge and recreation room.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, Lounge, facing aft.

The Lounge comes next, extending the full width of the ship. This space, with its elegant camber and sheer as well as its picture windows on either side was created by the legendary Nino Zoncada for FRANCA C in 1959.  At one time furnished with chic, modern Cassina fittings and priceless artwork, it later served as a gathering place for guests visiting DOULOS on her long voyages.

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MV DOULOS PHOS Zoncada furnishings.

Among DOULOS PHOS more modern, recently added trappings, there are still remnants of her Italian heritage.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, Lounge, facing forward.

The Lounge continues aft on either side of the funnel uptakes.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, totally random carpet shot.

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MV DOULOS PHOS Bar, facing aft.

On the aft/starboard side of the Lounge is the former cocktail bar. On the port side is a long gallery leading to Reception.

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MV DOULOS PHOS Card Room, facing starboard.

On the starboard side, immediately aft of the Lounge, is the former Card Room.

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MV DOULOS PHOS Reception, facing starboard.

The Reception is situated on the starboard side of a vestibule that adjoins the main stairtower, aft of the Lounge.

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MV DOULOS PHOS Lounge Deck Cabin.

The interior portion of Lounge Deck follows with an inboard passageway leading to some of the ship’s larger cabins, many of which still have their Costa cabinetry and melamine paneling.

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MV DOULOS PHOS Port Lounge Deck, facing aft.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, starboard Lounge Deck, facing aft.

On either side of Lounge Deck aft of the Lounge and accessed via the Reception vestibule, there are sheltered promenades that lead all the way to the stern.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, aft Lounge Deck, facing aft.

On the Lounge Deck fantail, a sheltered terrace was used during the DOULOS’ long career as a playground.

Promenade Deck

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MV DOULOS PHOS, aft from fo’c’sle.

Promenade Deck starts at the ship’s graceful fo’c’sle.

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MV DOULOS PHOS starboard flanks from fo’c’sle hawser.

From the fo’c’sle bulwarks, there is a gorgeous view of where the riveted hull plating from 1914 met the add-on clipper bow from 1947.

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MV DOUOLS PHOS, Dining Room, facing port from forward.

The dining room remains much the same as it has been since the FRANCA C’s 1959 Nino Zoncada transformation.

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MV DOUOLS PHOS, Dining Room, facing aft from starboard.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, Dining Room, facing forward from starboard.

Even the red carpeting from the ship’s final Costa years remains in place.

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MV DOULOS PHOS aft/port Dining Room, facing forward.

On the port side, aft of the dining room, there is a smaller dining alcove next to the galley.

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The galley is on the starboard side, aft of the Dining Room.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, port Promenade Deck, facing aft.

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MV DOULOS PHOS, starboard Promenade Deck, facing aft.

Another set of sheltered promenades follows aft on this level, just past the Dining Room.

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MV DOULOS PHOS Laundry Room.

The interior portion of Promenade Deck contains more accommodation. Near the steering gear room, there is a large laundry room. At the very stern, there is docking gear.

Upper Deck

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Upper Deck begins in the forepeak at the anchor/windlass area.

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MV DOULOS PHOS paint stores.

Immediately aft of the forepeak is the paint locker. Upper Deck continues with crew and passenger accommodation. For more examples of DOULOS PHOS’ cabins, see A Deck.

A Deck

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MV DOULOS PHOS, Cabin 111.

A Deck contains a varied amount of passenger accommodation forward and aft of the machinery spaces. Many of the ship’s fittings were removed when it looked as though she were going to the breakers but they have been returned and will eventually be restored. Bedding and soft fittings have also been gathered and stowed away in different parts of the ship.

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One particularly interesting find in Cabin 111 was a small wooden table from Union-Castle Lines’ RMMV CAPETOWN CASTLE of 1936.  How it got there will for now remain one of DOULOS PHOS’ many mysteries.

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Like most vintage ships, DOULOS PHOS is fitted with accommodation of all shapes and size.

B Deck

B Deck also contains a small section of passenger and crew accommodation as well as a few staff offices.

Machinery Spaces

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MV DOULOS PHOS Engine Room overview.

The ship’s eighteen cylinder Fiat Engines were installed in 1971 and produce 8100 break horsepower to drive her single screw at 15 knots.

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MV DOULOS PHOS Lower Engine Room, facing forward.

While the main machinery is just over 40 years old, and the generators are barely 20, there are tools and valves that date from the DOULOS PHOS’ earlier incarnations.

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MV DOULOS PHOS Shaft Alley, facing aft.

The DOULOS PHOS’s propeller shaft dates from 1914 and measures an incredible 138 feet in length.

From Here To Eternity:

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MV DOULOS PHOS, parting glance.

The DOULOS PHOS was spared scrapping at the eleventh hour and has been under the caring ownership of Eric Saw since 2010. Not only has Mr. Saw gone through extraordinary efforts to save this maritime gem, he has been taking excellent care of the old lady despite the climate and shipyard limitations. Now, the challenge remains in finding a permanent home for the ship to live out a long and prosperous afterlife as a floating museum and perhaps as a boutique hotel. Modifications will have to be made to upgrade the accommodation and to provide facilities that will appeal to the general public but in a way that will be respectful of her historic maritime heritage and architecture.

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Computerized conceptual rendering of DOULOS PHOS on land. Courtesy of Eric Saw.

Thus far, there have been several proposals to bring the ship to a place where she can once again be of service. It would be great to find a berth for the ship but if she were to remain in the water, she would need to be periodically dry docked. Another consideration is bringing her ashore and building a facility around her so that her hull will be better preserved against the elements.

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Computerized rendering of Reflection Pool and BBQ area near entrance to ship. Courtesy of Eric Saw.

If she were brought ashore, DOULOS PHOS would be surrounded by a park area with a reflecting pool and other facilities.

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Conceptual drawing of fo’c’sle amphitheater. Courtesy of Eric Saw.

Some consideration has been given to fitting a small amphitheater on the fo’c’sle. If this were to be done, it would be nice if it could be rendered without alteration to the original structure and fittings.

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Conceptual drawing of cafe on forward Lounge Deck. Courtesy of Eric Saw.

Under the awnings on forward Lounge Deck, an al fresco cafe adjoining a new facility in the former shopping arcade/staff lounge is another option under consideration.

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Computerized rendering of aft Sun Deck cafe. Courtesy of Eric Saw.

On aft Sun Deck, which was last used as the DOULOS’ book fair, a new cafe terrace is being considered. It would also be nice, depending on where the ship is berthed, to see some of the original lido and perhaps even the FRANCA C’s pool (the basin is still intact) restored.

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Conceptual drawing of Maritime Museum and shaft alley. Courtesy of Eric Saw.

The engine spaces would be fitted out so that safe access can be provided for tours as part of a maritime museum.

For updates on the ship and for more information, please visit and like theDOULOS PHOS Facebook Page.

End of DOULOS PHOS Decked!

Much More to Come…
Very Special Thanks: Jonathan Boonzaier, Martin Cox, Reuben Goossens, Mike Masino, Eric Saw

11 Responses to Decking DOULOS PHOS, Part Four

  1. Kenneth Eden

    January 14, 2013 at 5:49 am


    Mr. Shaw certainly has ambitious plans for the old girl.

    I have two questions.

    One, is the galley still functioning in some capacity, two, is the laundry functioning.

    The computerized renderings with the reflecting pools is rather appealing. Sun terraces and swimming areas could prove popular for a boutique hotel, since swimming pools on cruise ships tend to be small. Perhaps this is the difference between an actual land hotel and refitted cruise ship, the lack and smallness of ships ammenities compared to a land hotel. Unless you are staying in a lovely inn in Key West and other popular crowded vacation spots, where size limitations rule over ammentities.

  2. Glenn L.

    January 14, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Great photo shoot, Her interiors look amazing and do not belie her diamond in the rough exterior. I like the big centifruge in the laundry mounted in the deck. The engine room pretty immaculate too considering. Thanks for sharing with us fans of the site.

  3. Hank

    January 14, 2013 at 10:05 am

    The ship is being well cared for. I heard from Reuben Goossens that there are plans for a hotel, some functions for church groups, and a maritime museum. This is cool.

  4. Mage B

    January 14, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Just marvelous. So glad you found that table and the few other pieces. I’ve enjoyed every step you took but especially loved the shot of the bow.

  5. Peter Newall

    January 14, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Well done Peter for another excellent “Decks” feature.

    The Capetown Castle table being aboard the ship may have something with the fact that unlike the other Union-Castle mailships which were broken up in the Far East, she was demolished at La Spezia in 1967. She was a beautiful ship and arguably the finest of all the U-C mailships.

  6. O.M.Bugge

    March 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I have been watching the Doulos from a distance this last 3 years or more. I saw and photographed her at the yard in 2009 and when she moved to Keppel Marina in Dec. that year.
    Since then I have seen her at JSML Yard several times, but not been allowed on board.
    My pictures of her can be seen on Captains Voyage: http://www.captainsvoyage-forum.com/showthread.php/315-M-V-Doulos-ex-S-S-Medina-Roma-Franca.C

    As for the ideal place for her as a Hotel cum whatever would be in the dry at what used to be Keppel Shipyard:

    This is between Keppel Marina and Singapore Cruise Centre at Harbourfront and across from the Maritime Museum at Resort Wold, Sentosa.
    I would assume that Eric Saw have spotted this option and may even have contacted the owner of the dock relevant authorities already.

    Whether to remain afloat or dry is a matter of choice and economics, but certainly she needs to be taken care of fairly soon.

  7. Dan

    March 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    @O.M.Bugge: I can’t see why Mr. Saw won’t bring the ship home to the USA where she belongs. Particularly in San Fransisco at Fisherman’s Wharf that was originally intended for the SS Britanis.

  8. O.M.Bugge

    March 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    “I can’t see why Mr. Saw won’t bring the ship home to the USA where she belongs. Particularly in San Fransisco at Fisherman’s Wharf that was originally intended for the SS Britanis”.

    The original vessel was built in the US yes, but the Doulos as she appears today has very little to do with that cargo ship.
    Since 1947 she has been outside USA and totally transformed, so there is little to associate her with the US, much less to San Francisco.

    Eric Saw is a Singaporean, the ship is in Singapore and the cost of preparing her for sailing over long distances would be prohibitive, as would the cost of dry transport to anywhere in the US or in Europe.

  9. Rev. Dr. P. J. John

    May 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    The board of elders and staff are with Mr. Eric Saw trully a visionary leader with courage, commitment and compassion. Our heart is to bring together people from all over to continue the humanitarian approaches the ship was involved in its recnt history along side Businesses envisioned and job creations in the ASEAN region in this crucial period to reduce poverty and bring faith, hope and love into the people groups.

  10. Trish Hill

    August 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    so lovely to see my old home i was just wondering what had happened since she was Retired 2010 so great to see the pictures & drawings
    ex OM’er

    Trish Hill signing off

  11. wilson

    November 10, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    My name is Wilson(doulos 1979)
    I like know news of people from doulos I979,I remember very people
    but not yours name(only Billy Torres)

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