Ebe (schooner)

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The Ebe schooner was a training ship for NCOs trainees from 1952 to 1958. Since 1963 it is preserved and exhibited at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan.

History[edit]

The stern with the ship name.

Built in December 1918, in the Benetti shipyard in Viareggio, the schooner was launched August 21, 1921 under the name of San Giorgio, at first it was used for short sea shipping between Genoa and Torre del Greco. In 1937 it was equipped with an auxiliary motor that guaranteed a speed of 4 knots in case of lack of wind; in the late 1930s and early 1940s it often transported various goods along the Cagliari - Napoli - Genoa route, with short, few-day sailings. The schooner would occasionally stop in North Africa, transporting goods.

At the outbreak of World War II it was requisitioned by the Italian Royal Navy and transformed into a minesweeper. Only at the end of the war it was restored and used again as a cargo ship.

Subsequently, in 1952, the Italian Navy bought back and converted it into a training vessel for pilots, under the name Ebe, the hold was converted into a large space to accommodate students and the schooner was fitted with a new auxiliary motor, while the stem was enriched with a figurehead in the shape of a mermaid. From 1953 to 1956 the Ebe cruised to train pilots in the Mediterranean, Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas.

Replaced in 1958 by the training ship Palinuro, the Ebe was assigned to the base in Portoferraio and from 1960 it fell in disuse. Transferred to La Spezia to be demolished, it was finally purchased by the Museo nazionale della scienza e della tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan. In 1963 the shipyards in Le Grazie, a town near La Spezia, began the recovery of the hull, this was transported to Milan along with other elements and reassembled inside the Air and Water Building of the Museum, where it is still preserved and exhibited today.

Museum Ship[edit]

The Ebe ship in the Naval and Air Hall at Museo della scienza e della tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci
The prow with the figurehead
The bridge

In January 1963, the ship was towed from the arsenal of La Spezia (Marola) to the Argocarpentieri shipyard in Le Grazie. Here, Museum and shipyard technicians began to dissect the hull, obtaining 90 parts of about 10 tons each, which were then transported by lorry to Milan, the transfer of the bow (deprived of the bowsprit to make it lighter) was the most complex. Unlike other loads, which were transported along the Cisa pass, the bow was transported on a low cart, it followed an alternative route that was supposed to encounter higher bridges that should have been sufficient to let through this special cargo. Despite these precautions, the convoy encountered an overpass that prevented the cargo from passing through. A group of Museum technicians with minimal equipment reached the place on that same night and managed to cut off the top of the bow and have the convoy continue its journey to Milan.[1]

Meanwhile, at the Museum in Milan, the Air&Water pavilion was being built. It had been specially designed by architect Nichelli to accommodate the more than 1,000 tons of the deck of the Conte Biancamano ocean liner and the entire hull of Ebe training ship with all its masts, the ship was placed on a 30 meter long reinforced concrete beam supported by pillars able to carry more than 1,000 tons. The last parts to be removed, such as the keel, were the first to be relocated, the reconstruction lasted until the end of 1963. All the rigging and sails were remounted by old toolmakers from Castellammare di Stabia, who were purposely recalled for this operation.

In 1963, during the musealization of the ship and the relocation of the mainmast, engineer Guido Ucelli di Nemi (President of the Museum) donated a gold coin that was placed in the mast step, as was in use in ancient times when the construction of a ship was completed.

The Ebe training ship and the rest of the Air&Water Transport pavilion of the Museum were inaugurated on April 12, 1964 in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Antonio Segni.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Orazio Curti (1964). Due navi in museo (estratto da Museoscienza n 5/1964) (in Italian). Museoscienza, Milano. p. 4. 
  2. ^ Orazio Curti (2000). Un Museo per Milano (in Italian). Anthelios, Milano. pp. 80–85. ISBN 88-8394-093-8. 
  • Flavio Serafini (2010). La flotta scomparsa (in Italian). Gribaudo. 
  • Giorgio Giorgerini; Augusto Nanni (1996). Almanacco storico delle navi militari italiane (in Italian). Ufficio storico della Marina Militare, Roma. 
  • Orazio Curti (1964). Due navi in museo, estratto da "Museoscienza" n5/1964 (in Italian). Edizione Museoscienza, Milano. 
  • Orazio Curti (2000). Un Museo per Milano (in Italian). Milano Anthelios. 

External links[edit]