MV Doulos (1977-2010) - MS Franca C (1952-1977) - SS Roma (1948-1952) - SS Medina (1914-1948)

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A superbly built American built ship that sailed into History and she remains with us to this very day!

With Reuben Goossens

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer & Author

Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in 1960


A superbly built American built ship that sailed into History and she remains with us to this very day!

Please Note: All ssMaritime and my other related ssMaritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any cruise or shipping companies or travel/cruise agencies or any other organisations! The author has been in the passenger shipping industry since May 1960 and is now semi-retired, but continues and I hope that the well over 675 Classic Liners and Cargo-Passengers ships I have written on will continue to provide classic ship enthusiasts and continue a great deal of information and pleasure!


SS Medina (1914-1948) was sold and renamed: SS Roma (1948-1952)

MS Franca C (1952-1977) - MV Doulos (1977-2010)

Doulos Phos (2010 - ) A land-locked Hotel at Bintan, Indonesia

MV Doulos

A Ship Like no Other”

Part Two - 2008 / Chapter Six

The Engine Room


Please Note: This work is protected under the International copyright laws and the property of Reuben Goossens of No part of this work including any of the images shown may be copied, or reproduced by any means and reproduced by any format, be it for private or commercial usage, without prior written permission from the author at:  


The author is seen here in the propeller shaft

Photograph was taken by Sven Benseler 2008 –

During my time onboard and voyage on the Doulos in August 2008 I was able to take an extensive tour of the engine room and right down the propeller shaft. As these photographs show she is a well-kept ship, considering these are the original Fiat engines which were fitted to the Costa Cruises Franca C in 1970.

Chief Engineer Dominic Bothello is a man who is clearly passionate about his ship and he told me that he firmly believes that the Doulos has at least another twenty years left in her if she was only allowed to carry on sailing. But, regulations are regulations and the new SOLAS - Safety Of Life At Sea regulations come into effect mid 2010, and the Doulos has to be retired, for upgrading her is beyond possibility due to the massive amount of flammable timber that she contains and many other issues that would need to be taken care of. The truth is, to upgrade her would cost as much as to build a brand new ship. Thus, she has to be retired and we will have to find a new future for her, thus, our “MV Doulos Preservation Campaign.” Details at the bottom of the page! I hereby wish to thank Dominic Bothello for his kind assistance with this page.

March 2009: MV Doulos was originally permitted to sail on beyond SOLAS 2010, but with certain restrictions in place. However, this was not to be the case as on December 31, 2009 she was decommissioned, and in March 2010 she was sold to a Singaporean buyer to be refitted. In August 2012 she will celebrate her 100thjbirthday

Let’s head down into the engine Room

Looking down from Boat Deck – Generator and Main Engine Exhaust pipes


Chief Engineer Dominic Bothello seen in New Zealand 2008 - working on the Fuel pump

Photograph by MV Doulos’ photographer & copyright 2008 –


Main Engine Cylinder head platform and Main engine Pistons – Note the spare cylinders on the left


 Air Compressor platform


Main Engine forward exhaust pipe


Fiat 18 Cylinder main Engine starboard bank cylinders 


1970 FIAT Engine plaque

In 1970 the ship received her third engine, for the SS Medina and Roma were steamships. When she was sold to Costa Lines in 1952 she was renamed Franca C and a double-acting six-cylinder diesel engine was installed, which had been built by FIAT Grandi Motori in Turin. However this engine was originally built back in 1949. This engine was installed at the Ansaldo S.A. Shipyards at Muggiano Italy.

It would be eighteen years later in 1970 Franca C received her third installation and these same engines are still powering her as the MV Doulos today. Franca C was taken during the summer of 1970 to the Cantieri del Torino in Genoa and a four-stroke 18-cylinder FIAT diesel engine was installed. The plaque in the photograph above attests to this event, note the “ANNO 1970” at the bottom right.

 Main Engine Control station and Alarm Panel


Spare Liners and main Engine crane 


Work Shop Lathe dating from 1952


Air-Condition Compressors 


Seawater High Sea Suction Pipes 


Air conditioning circulating water pumps 


The green unit is the oily water separator 


The Delaval steam Sludge Purifier is extremely old; it could date as far back as 1914?


The green Weir Bilge pump dates from 1950


 These are Delaval Fuel oil and lube oil purifiers that were obtained from Indian ship breakers

and installed in the 80’s, thus they old and are difficult to date


Fiat Main engine - Bottom Platform 


Main Engine local control


My host and guide, Sven Benseler – Please don NOT press that button! 


Bergen No2 Generator, 900Kw 


 Renk Gear Box and Propeller shaft


Shaft tunnel watertight door 


The propeller shaft is 43mts long and it dates back to 1914 



Above and below: Shaft Tunnel - Note the massive nuts and bolts on the shaft casing 





Escape hatch goes high up and is close to the image below


 Shaft Bearing Lubrication system


The propeller shaft reaches its goal - here it enters the timber casing then the propeller itself



Above and below: Main switchboard changed from Dc to Ac in 1994 




 Generator - Automation switches and controls


 CCS fire detection and Fighting system Room


 CCS (Central Control Station) Emergency Bilge Pump and cables for connection


Small parts store room


 Engine room staff lounge the place for a rest as well as a place for prayers and a study venue



MV Doulos: Her name is Greek word for "Servant"

IMO: 5119105

Call Sigh: 9HKF

Built: as SS Medina - Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company USA

Tonnage: 6,818 GRT (Gross Registered Tons)

Launched: 22 August 1914 as SS Medina a coastal freighter (Mallory Shipping Co)

Length: 130.35m - 410ft

Width: 16.6m - 54ft

Draft: 5.5m - 18.2ft

Engines: Originally - Steam triple expansion (1914)

Currently - Fiat Diesels - four stroke, V18-cyl unit, 5,958kW-8,100bhp, Intermediate fuel (installed in 1970)

Service speed: 12 to 15 knots

Propeller: 1 - fixed pitch propeller

Electric Plant: 3 AC Gen Sets 380V 50Hz
2 Bergen KRG 6 (1125 kVA)
1 Bergen KRG 5 (750 kVA)

Crew/staff: 350 / 414 (variable)

Special feature: Counter stern.

Doulos Phos: New Name 2010 meaning “Servant Light” and will become a Hotel & Tourist venture at Bintan Island, Indonesia 2015.



2007 Maintenance work at Batangas, the Philippines

On November 6 the Doulos entered dry-dock in Batangas for maintenance work. Required was de-fouling of her hull, as well as general paintwork, but also most importantly was the removal of the propeller and its shaft. The photographs below tell their own story. I thank Chief Engineer Dominic for providing these images, it is greatly appreciated!

Please note: The following photographs were provided by my dear friend and ships engineer, Mr. Dominic Bothello and these images are now part of my collection. These images are copyright 2007, therefore they may not be copied or used by any other media in any shape or form without consent!

 Doulos enters Dry Dock November 6


Seen second from the right is Chief Engineer Dominic Bothello and his very worthy and hard working crew!


 November 7, the shaft is dismantled and ready for maintenance


The works supervisor is seen here inspecting the connections and the timber linings 


 The propeller has been removed and is ready for blasting and sanding


 The Propeller shaft Brg Lignum is made of “Vitae hardwood”


 The propeller has been refitted on November 14 and is looking superb!


 By now the Doulos has been completely been blasted, scrapped and repainted and looking a delight!


 The finishing touches are being applied at the stern


On November 16 the Doulos leaves her dry-dock and is ready to continue her world voyage


Go to Part Seven - Speaking with Doulos’ Crew and Staff - Interviews

Return to the Author’s – MV Doulos “A Ship Like No Other” Main Index


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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are: 1. By the author. 2. From the author’s private collection. 3. As provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are photographs provided to me without details provided regarding the photographer concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me, that due credit may be given.

Copyright: “MV Doulos - A Ship Like No Other” is owned, protected under the International copyright laws and is the property of Reuben Goossens of No part of this work including any of the images shown may be copied or reproduced by any means or reproduced by any format whatsoever, be it for private or commercial usage, without prior written permission from the author. & is owned and Copyright by Reuben Goossens - All Rights Reserved.