Did you know ...? #18

Did you know that Cockerill manufactured the engine for the Mercator?

This year of celebration is also the occasion to salute the renovation of the prestigious ship ‘The Mercator’. This schooner with a gross weight of778.86 tonnes, 78.40 m long, 11 .09 m wide and with a depth of 4.50 m, had 15 sails with a total surface area of around 1,600 m². With a favourable wind, the Mercator could reach a speed of 13 knots. The most famous training ship in Belgium was cruising the seas from 1932 to 1960.

While the construction of the Mercator was not Belgian (it was contracted to the Ramage and Ferguson Naval shipyard, of Leith in Scotland), this magnificent sailing ship is nevertheless fitted with a 500hp auxiliary engine made by Cockerill.

It will be recalled that from the very beginning the Cockerill company launched itself into naval construction and was behind many prestigious vessels. And while at the start the engines of these ships were steam-powered, from the 1930’s the company developed maritime diesel engines which confirmed the reputation of the enterprise in terms of mechanical manufacturing. It is therefore no surprise to see, today in Ostend (Belgium), the name Cockerill written on the famous and totally renovated Mercator.