Your Price: $13.95
The World War II Voyage of America's Last Large Sailing Ship
by Lawrence Barber
Taken from the log of one of the Tango's crew, this is the story about the last windjammer to run lumber from Astoria, Oregon to the mines of South Africa.
Built in 1904 in Glasgow, Scotland, the Tango started her career as a four-masted barque named the Hans. Used as a cargo ship by the Germans, her capacity was 5,400 long tons in four holds on a waterline of 335 feet. Her beam was 47 feet and depth of hold 26 feet. Her fore, main and mizzen masts were steel tubes 198 feet high. The lower spars were 91 feet long and the bowsprit was 64 feet. She carried a total of 56,000 square feet of canvas, similar to the area within a running track. For the captain there was a suite of six rooms, finished in marble, brass and mahogany.
After World War I ended, the Hans was claimed by the US as part of the German war reparations. She was sold to Robert Dollar, renamed the Mary Dollar, as part of the Dollar fleet.
After Dollar's death in 1932, the ship was sold, and ended up in the hands of Nevada gambling syndicate. The barque was stripped of her masts, and after a large warehouse-like structure was built on her deck, she was towed out past the three-mile limit off of Redondo Beach, CA, and became a gambling ship.
When the three mile limit laws were redrawn in 1939, putting an end to off-shore gambling, the ship was laid-up for two years.
As World War II began to break out, lumber companies began to eye the markets in South Africa. The Hans/Mary Dollar was put into dry-dock where the gambling house was torn away, and some 40 tons of barncles scraped away. After a bit of a debate, she was re-rigged as a six-masted schooner and christened "Tango".
The author Lawrence Barber had covered the Tango for the Oregonian when she set sail from the Columbia River in April 1942, and the story of the ship always stayed with him. In 1985, after learning that two of the crewmen from the Tango were still living in the Pacific Northwest, he set out to tell the story of the Tango.
This remarkable story about a remarkable ship is filled with historical information about the handling of large sailing ships, action and adventure. A real story about real men aboard a real ship.
Softcover: 253 pages