General cargo ship Etha Rickmers. Her yard model was masterfully built by the Christel Stührmann workshop in a scale of 1:100. It entered the Peter Tamm collection in the mid 1980s and has been part of our exhibition on the modern merchant navy on deck 6 since the opening of the museum.
The MS Etha Rickmers is a ship that was built just in the right time for her company, the Rickmers Linie GmbH. She was launched from the shipyard owned by her company in Bremerhaven, in 1958. What made the Etha Rickmers special was the fact she was the first ship of her company equipped with a heavy lift crane system on deck. The Rickmers line was specialized in the transport of cargo between East Asian ports and to Europe. In the last years of the 1950s, China was expanding its merchant fleet. This local concurrence took work away from the ships of non-local companies. But the heavy lift capacity of the Etha Rickmers made her a success. So much so, that her company decided to build a new and improved heavy lift general cargo ship in 1962: the Peter Rickmers. To avoid to have two ships competing with each other in their fleet, the Rickmers Line sold the Etha in 1964. The buyers were the China Ocean Shipping Co., known later as COSCO. The Etha Rickmers was renamed You Hao in the same year and stayed on duty until 1992 – which is a rather long active life for a general cargo freighter from the 1950s. She finally got scrapped in Guangzhou.
Etha Rickmers had already been the name of several ships of the company, most notably the fourth of this name, that was built in 1890 and was the largest wooden ship ever built in Germany. The Rickmers company existed in several forms and owned by the Rickmers company between 1834 and 2018 – when the last part of the Rickmers companies was sold into the Hamburg based group Zeaborn. Members of the family are still involved in the shipping industry. Their trade with East Asia started already during the years of the American Civil War (1861-1865) when exportation of rice to Europe fron America stopped. Rickmers belonged to the companies that started importing rice from Asia, even creating their own rice processing plant in Bremen in 1872.
Her yard model was masterfully built by the Christel Stührmann workshop in a scale of 1:100. It entered the Peter Tamm collection in the mid 1980s and has been part of our exhibition on the modern merchant navy on deck 6 since the opening of the museum.