Official Number
Yard Number: 236

The ZAFIRO was the first steel steam vessel ever launched in Aberdeen.

Launched 16th January 1884, named by Miss Forbes of Ernan Lodge. Captain to be Robert Talbot. Fourth steamer built for these owners. Built for trade to Amoy, Hong Kong and Manilla. 30 1st class and 200 2nd class passengers.

Purchased by Admiral Dewey at Hong Kong, 9 April 1898. Commissioned USNC Zafiro, 10 April 1898, at Hong Kong. Armament two 37mm revolving cannons (1900).

Decommissioned, 10 June 1904, at Cavite Navy Yard, Luzon, Philippines
Struck from the Naval Register, 15 January 1906.

Final Disposition, sold, 21 October 1910 to Mr. J.W. Zeeve, Seattle, WA., fate unknown. For further details and photograph of this vessel read: "U.S.Warships of World War One" author Paul H. Silverstone.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 15/02/1884:
(advert) For Singapore, Hong Kong + Manila, direct from Aberdeen, steel A1 new screew steamer Zafiro, will sail about 26 Feb. Has superior accommodation for saloon passengers, passage money £40.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 26/02/1884:
Trial trip of s.s. Zafiro - handsomely modelled, first steel steam ship constructed at Aberdeen, specially designed for trade between Amoy, Hong Kong + Manila. Is fitted with new design of compass intended to give greater steadiness. Saloon is beautifully fitted up with satin wood + birds eye maple. Staterooms and bathrooms are large + well ventilated, with accommodation for 30 first class + 300 second class passengers. Complete set of awnings cover the deck fore + aft. Steam supplied by 2 large boilers, feeding compound surface condensing engines of 200 h.p.Vessel made trip to sea of 4 hrs, during which she achieved mean speed of 13 knots. Presents as trim an appearance as any vessel which has left port of Aberdeen.

On voyage East from Aberdeen reported at Suez Canal 20 March (Aberdeen Journal), Singapore 24 April + Hong Kong 8 May 1884 (both Glasgow Herald).

Aberdeen Journal, 13/04/1885:
Steamer Zafiro reported ashore on Rees Island, Swaton, S.China coast.
York Herald, 14/14/1885 reports badly holed + full of water.

Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 18/09/1891:
Death of Capt. Robert Taylor, age 41, of well known seafaring family + very skillful mariner. Superintended in Aberdeen construction of steamer Zafiro, of which he was part owner, sailed this vessel to China + successfully engaged in the coasting trade there. Commanded several of steamers built by Hall Russel for China trade. Returned to his country a few months ago on account of illness.

Liverpool Mercury, 20/11/1894:
Steamer Zafiro, ashore at Amoy, was got off slightly damaged, discharging cargo + effecting temporary repairs in dock. Will proceed to Hong Kong.
Hall, Russell & Company, Limited
China & Manila Steamship Co., Ltd, Hong Kong
length 213' 7" x breadth 31' 8" x depth 21' 3"
Gross Tonnage: 1062 ton

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