Stephen Davies: My favourite early, short-lived, Hong Kong shipyard is the German Ulderup and Schlüter, which only seems to have operated from c.1900-1914. It had the actual shipyard in Shamshuipo and an office at 21 Connaught Rd, Central.
They became the local agents for the Swedish Bolinder marine diesels (Bolinder Rohölmotoren – strictly semi-diesels) – two strokes that for the first two decades of the 20th century were probably the world’s most common small marine diesels although most of their early output seems to have been small steam launches.
The directly reversible Bolinder ‘E’ type engine Courtesy: www.oldengine.org
One of their biggest customers was the German colonial government in the Carolines and New Guinea. In 1910 they built the steam launch the Kolonialgesellschaft, which was taken on a ship (the Nord-Deutscher-Lloyd Coblenz, along with another Ulderup and Schlüter launch for Borneo) to New Guinea, where it was the main vessel of a major expedition up Sepik River (the Kaiserin Augusta Fluss Expedition 1912-1913).
Later, once WW1 broke out, some survivors of it, after it was deliberately wrecked on a reef north of Rabaul, claimed it had been responsible for sinking the Royal Australian Navy’s submarine AE1, the exact location of the wreck of which is still a major research exercise for an active group of Aussie naval historians.
HF: Carl Smith writes “Ulderup and Schluter opened an establishment in Hong Kong in 1906 as general merchants, engineering agents and motor boat builders. The partners were Johannes P Ulderup and Carl Schluter. When Jebsens returned to Hong Kong after the Second World War, Mr. Ulderup was head of their machinery department.” German Speaking Community – Part Two linked below.
This article was first posted on 25th November 2015.