While Pakistan continues to feature on the world stage for its political challenges and a new assassination, Pakistan's navy has quietly inducted its latest sail training ship for the training of cadets. She is the beautiful square-rigged PNS Rah Naward, purchased from a British naval training charity where it operated as Prince William, and sailed to Pakistan in September.
With her mellifluous name meaning 'swift mover' the 195ft grand ship, she sailed the 7,000 nautical mile journey with over 10,000 square feet of sail and a crew of 38, reaching Karachi in December
The two-masted brig was under construction in German shipyards in the 1990s and designed as a tourist sailing vessel for West Indies holiday cruises. It wasn't intended for serious sailing, according to the Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT).
The German owner canceled the project and TSYT purchased the vessel, hull-finished only, in 1997. It was sent to Appledore Shipbuilders in England for modification and reinforcing to take a full sailing rig, to improve sailing properties and for the addition of a deeper keel, holding 50 tons of ballast.
The Prince William competed in many races, including the 2005 Tall Ships' Races. It also was registered as a U.K. auxiliary coast guard vessel and during the 2005 it stood by a stricken vessel in case it was needed as a rescue ship.
Nah Raward - another angle - .. .
In 2007 the trustees of the TSYT decided to sell Prince William. It was laid up in Portsmouth Dockyard in England and later in Hull, before being sold to the Pakistan navy earlier in 2010.
Prince William's rig was designed according to traditional rules and is occasionally modified slightly with trainees in mind. The foremast is slightly shorter than the main mast, but they are otherwise identical. Each consists of a steel lower mast and topmast and timber topgallant and royal mast. Spars are steel on the lower and topmasts (course, lower topsail and upper topsail yards) and timber above this (topgallant and royal yards). Access to the tops is by a vertical 'jacob's ladder' down to the ratlines, rather than inverted futtock shrouds. There is a gold sovereign placed under the foremast where it meets the keel, a tradition supposed to give the ship luck.
The accommodation for voyage crew (ie ordinary paying crew members) is in six eight-berth cabins, two for each watch. Volunteers are in 2-3 berth cabins and the permanent crew have individual cabins. The accommodation is air-conditioned, because the ship spends a significant amount of time in tropical waters each year.
Pakistan's Admiral Noman Bashir, chief of the naval staff, praised the ship during his speech at the annual parade at the Karachi dockyard, saying the vessel will help teach cadets the need for good teamwork and the rewards of hard work.
Adm. Noman Bashir, chief of the naval staff, praised the ship during his speech at the annual parade at the Karachi dockyard, saying the vessel will help teach cadets the need for good teamwork and the rewards of hard work.