Past and PresentSealinkSociété Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF)

MV Capitaine Le Goff – Past and Present

IMO Number: 7217145

MV Al Zaher II

ex Capitaine Le Goff, Admiral Carrier I

Capitaine Le Goff – Courtesy of the World Ship Society, East Kent Branch

Steel twin-screw motor vessel built in 1972 at Hatlo Verksted A/S, Ulsteinvik, Norway (Yard No 46), for A/S Larvik – Frederikshavns Linien, Larvik, Norway,as a Ro/Ro freight vessel. 

Technical Data

  • Length: 91.07m (298.8 ft)(overall)/84.31m (276.6 ft)(between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 15.00m (49.3 ft)
  • Depth: 9.57m (31.4 ft)
  • Draught: 4.42m (14.5 ft)
  • Tonnage: 499 gross, 3,194/191 net/998 deadweight, 1,016, 988
  • Engines: Two 16-cylinder B & W type Alpha diesels
  • Power: 2,942hK
  • Speed: 16 knots
  • Capacity: 12 passengers, 25 x 40 ft freight vehicles plus 25 cars or 170 cars or any combination of lorries/trailers and trade cars.
  • Call Sign: FSJK, D6CZ4
  • IMO Number: 7217145
  • Registry: Dieppe/France 🇫🇷, Valletta/Malta 🇲🇹, Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦, Comoros 🇰🇲.
  • Sister Ship: Admiral Carrier (47)


1972: She was built as ADMIRAL CARRIER I for Larvik-Frederikshavn Linjen, Larvik.

May 25th 1972: Launched and immediately sold, during construction, to Locafrance Service, S.A., Dieppe (part of S.N.C.F.). Renamed CAPITAINE LE GOFF.

July 27th 1972: Maiden arrival at Newhaven. “Trials were carried out and it was hoped that she would enter service three days later. Problems during trials showed that modifications to the stern were required after which a dispute with the crew over manning arrangements delayed her second visit.”.

© Derek Longly © Derek Longly

Capitaine Le Goff – © Derek Longly

24th August 1972: A special pontoon was modified to allow her to berth bow first. “She was required to operate one round sailing each day and, because she was slow and unstable, frequently delayed the incoming FALAISE on her 19.00hrs inward sailing at Newhaven.”

© Ted Ingham © A G Jones  

Capitaine Le Goff – © Ted Ingham (left) ©  A G Jones (right)

© Derek Longly

Capitaine Le Goff – © Derek Longly

August 8th 1972: Introduced between Newhaven – Dieppe.

Nigel Thornton Collection 

Capitaine Le Goff – Nigel Thornton Collection (January 1974) (Both)

January 1975: Reactivated to operate extra sailings until the SENLAC arrived back from Middlesbrough on 22nd February.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Capitaine Le Goff – Nigel Thornton Collection

April 1st 1975: She was caught in Newhaven at the Sussex port owing to a 24-hour strike by fishermen at the port.

Capitaine Le Goff – 

January 1978: “Limped off service with a major engine failure, reappearing February/March to assist in preventing the freight and import cars backlog at Dieppe.
This was the final time that she was to operate the link as SNCF’s Paris management refused to run her even though there were times when she could have helped cut accumulations of freight.”

© Tony Garner

Capitaine Le Goff – © Tony Garner (Dieppe, 04/03/1978)

1978: Laid-up.

March 1981: Sold to Ahmed Mohammed Baaboud & Co, Jeddah and renamed AL ZAHER II.

January 1982: Operated between Jeddah and Port Sudan.

April 1982: Reportedly ran aground.

200?: Transferred to Maltese flag, home port Valletta.

April 5th 2004: Transferred to Saudi Arabia flag.

October 24th 2005: Transferred to Comoros flag.

© Marcin

Al Zaher II – © Marcin (Jeddah , Saudia Arabia, 07/10/2007)

2008: Broken up.

We would like to thank: Tony Garner, Andrew Gilbert, A G Jones, Ted Ingham, Derek Longly, Marcin and Andreas Wörteler their assistance in producing this feature. All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions.

Special thanks go to World Ship Society, East Kent Branch

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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