FerriesMoby LinesPast and PresentRederi AB Gotland (Destination Gotland)Sealink

MV Earl Godwin – Past and Present

IMO Number: 6606026

MV Anemos

ex Moby Baby, Earl Godwin, Svea Drott

Nigel Thornton Collection

Svea Drott – Nigel Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1966 by AB Öresundsvarvet, Landskrona, Sweden (Yard No 202) for Rederi A/B Svea Stockholm as a passenger and vehicle ferry

Technical Data

  • Length: 99.50m (overall), 90.02m (between perpendiculars
  • Breadth: 17.73m (extreme)
  • Depth: 5.67m
  • Draught: 4.61m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 4,018 gross (1966), 3,999(1976), 4,128 (1992)/1,610 (1966), 1,869 (1976) 2,106 (1992) net/800 (1966), 1,064 (1984 – ) deadweight
  • Engines: Two 6-cylinder KHD SBV 358 and two 12-cylinder KHD SBV 350 diesels
  • Power: 8,825 kW
  • Speed: 18.5 knots
  • Capacity: 1,208 (1966) 1,050 passengers (1976)/174 (1966),185 cars (1976), or 20 commercial trailers.
  • Call Sign: SJYE, GUQB, ICEM
  • IMO Number: 6606026
  • MMSI Number: 247049900
  • Registry: Helsingborg/Sweden, London/UK, Napoli/Italy


January 20th 1966: Launched.

Svea Drott

June 8th 1966: Delivered to Rederi Ab Svea, Stockholm. (Home port, Helsingborg.).

June 1966: Commenced service with Trave Lines service between Helsingborg – Travemünde, later changed to Helsingborg – Köpenhamn – Travemünde.

Courtesy of Chris Howell © Robert J Smith  

Svea Drott – Courtesy of Chris Howell (left) and © Robert J Smith (Baltic Sea, September 1971) (right)

March 6th 1974: Replaced by a larger vessel, taken out of service and laid up.

June 1974 – September 1974: Bareboat chartered to Rederi Ab Gotland, Visby. Commenced services between Visby – Oskarshamn.

Svea Drott – 🆕 Postcards

August 1974: Vessels of the BR fleet suffered engine problems and Rederi Ab Gotland offered to sub-charter the vessel to British Railways, Weymouth, England.

August 15th 1974: Final day in service, left Oskarshamn, all operations being taken over by THJELVAR as a quick replacement was required for the SVEA DROTT services.

August 16th 1974: Sailed from Oskarshamn.

August 19th 1974: Arrived in Weymouth. Originally for 35 days, but this was extended.

August 20th 1974 – September 26th 1974: Operated services between Weymouth – Channel Islands ( Keeping her owners insignia “G” on her funnel).

© Ken Larwood

Svea Drott – © Ken Larwood (Left) 🆕 Postcard (Right)

October 1974: Laid up in Helsingborg.

November 1974: Sold to Lloyd’s Leasing Ltd, London, England for 23.25 million Swedish Kroner (£3.5m). Bareboat-chartered to British Rail.

January 10th 1975: Delivered to her new owners at Helsingborg then sailed to Parkeston Quay where she underwent a major engine overhaul.

January 13th 1975: Renamed EARL GODWIN, then sailed to Holyhead for conversion.

February 1st 1976: Commenced service for British Railways between Weymouth – Jersey – Guernsey.

© Ken Larwood © Ken Larwood  

© Ken Larwood © Ken Larwood  

Earl Godwin – © Ken Larwood (all)

November 8th 1977 – January 16th 1978: Operated between Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.

© Fotoflite

Earl Godwin –  ©  Fotoflite, Courtesy of Jim Ashby

January 1978: Commenced operations between Weymouth – Jersey – Guernsey.

January 1st 1979: Registered to Sealink UK Ltd.

January 1979 – February 1979: Operated between Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.

May 1980 – June 1980: Operated between Portsmouth – Jersey – Guernsey.

March 25th 1981 – April 9th 1981: Operated between Heysham – Belfast.

July 1982 – August 1982: Operated between Weymouth – Cherbourg.

November 1982 – December 6th 1982: Operated between Weymouth – Jersey – Guernsey.

© Ken Larwood

Earl Granville, Earl Harold and the Earl Godwin at Weymouth © Ken Larwood

1984: Charter of the vessel was taken over by Sea Containers, Hamilton, Bermuda.

1984: In readiness for privatisation, on their re-appearance from overhaul, units of the Sealink UK Ltd fleet all appeared without the B.R. double arrow logo on their funnels. The vessels gradually appeared with white hulls. From that time the company would trade as Sealink British Ferries and a subsidiary company British Ferries was set up for Channel Island operations.

© Ken Larwood © Ken Larwood  

Earl Godwin – © Ken Larwood (both)

October 15th 1984: Ran aground on rocks east of the Elizabeth Castle breakwater at Jersey. The ship was eventually re-floated and had to be withdrawn for repairs.

October 23rd 1984: Repaired in Holyhead.

June 26th 1985: A bomb scare on the vessel while it was berthed in Weymouth caused 800 passengers to be evacuated . After an extensive search it was discovered to be a hoax.

Nigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection  

Nigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection  

Earl Godwin – Nigel Thornton Collection (all)

January 1986 – February 1986: Rebuilt at Govan Shipbuilders Ltd., Glasgow and painted in British Ferries livery

1986: Commenced service between Weymouth – Cherbourg.

© Ken Larwood

Earl Godwin – © Ken Larwood (Weymouth “Ships Open day”, April 1986)

© Ted Ingham © Ted Ingham  

Earl Godwin – © Ted Ingham (both)

September 1986: Strike-bound.

March 30th 1987 – March 1988: Laid up on the river Fal with the VORTIGERN.

Nigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection  

Nigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection  

Earl Godwin – Nigel Thornton Collection (all)

March 11th 1988: Having spent 17 months laid up, the vessel was sent to Falmouth for dry-docking and overhaul before returning to Weymouth ready for a trade function to open the season five days later.

March 17th 1988: Commenced services between Weymouth – Cherbourg.

July 14th 1988: Commenced services between Portsmouth – Cherbourg.

© Tim Webb © Tim Webb  

Earl Godwin – © Tim Webb (07/09/1988)

October 15th 1988: Laid up in Falmouth.

January 3rd 1989 – March 1989: Chartered to Mainland Market Deliveries (MMD) for services between Portsmouth – Channel Islands.

April 1989 – October 1989: Operated services between Weymouth – Cherbourg.

© Tony Garner © Brian Fisher  

Earl Godwin – © Tony Garner (left) and © Brian Fisher (right)

November 1989 – December 23rd 1989: Operated as a freight ferry between Portsmouth – Cherbourg.

© Ken Larwood

Earl Godwin – © Ken Larwood

January 1990: Chartered to Mainland Market Deliveries for services between Portsmouth – Channel Islands, then an engine failure stopped the charter and she was laid up in Weymouth.

March 15th 1990 (12.00 hrs): With an engine problem she was sold to Nav. Arcipelago Maddalena Spa, Naples, Italy (NAVARMA Moby Line) for some £2 million.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

March 17th 1990: Renamed MOBY BABY and left Weymouth for Livorno.

© Ken Larwood © Ken Larwood  

Moby Baby – © Ken Larwood (both)

April 6th 1990: Arrived in Livorno for rebuilding.

 A Scrimali

Moby Baby – © A Scrimali, Nigel Thornton Collection

June 29th 1990: Commenced service between Piombino – Portoferraio (Elba).

© Frank Heine © Frank Heine 

Moby Baby – © Frank Heine (Piombino, 24/07/1992)

© Frank Först © Frank Först  

Moby Baby – © Frank Först (Piombino, 05/07/1996)

During the early 1990s Navarma acquired further used ferries, which replaced the Moby ferries acquired in the 1980s. During the same time “Moby Lines” was adopted as the official company name

© Frank Heine © Frank Heine  

Moby Baby – © Frank Heine (Piombino, 30/07/1997)

2001: Registered to Moby Lines S.r.l., Naples, Italy.

© Frank Heine

Moby Baby – © Frank Heine (Piombino, 25/07/2003)

© Carsten Dettmer © Carsten Dettmer © Carsten Dettmer

Moby Baby – © Carsten Dettmer (Portoferraio, July 2013)

2014: Still in service Piombino – Portoferraio (Elba).

© Craig Nelson

Moby Baby – © Craig Nelson

September 29th 2015: Proceeded to Genoa for layup.

February 2016: Still laid up in Genoa.

© Carlo Martinelli

Moby Baby – © Carlo Martinelli (Genoa 01/07/2017)

“Sources say that Portucalense, a Greek-backed ferry company which operates services in Portugal’s Azores islands, is in the process of finalising a deal to buy the 5,400-gross-ton (gt) Moby Love (built 1975) and 5,700-gt Moby Baby (built 1966).

No official prices have been disclosed, but brokers say Moby has been marketing the pair for €1.5m ($1.67m)”.

July 5th 2017: Left Genoa under tow.

July 13th 2017: Arrived at Drapetsona, Piraeus, Greece

© Dennis Mortimer

Moby Baby – © Dennis Mortimer

© Dennis Mortimer

Moby Baby – © Dennis Mortimer (Drapetsona 23/07/2017)

August 26th 2017: Renamed ANEMOS.

© Dennis Mortimer © Dennis Mortimer  

Anemos – © Dennis Mortimer (Drapetsona, August 2017)

August 2018: Reportedly sold for scrap.

October 1st 2018: Reportedly, under tow from tug CHRISTOS XXXIV, left Piraeus bound for Aliaga, Turkey.

© Dennis Mortimer

© Dennis Mortimer

© Selim San © Selim San  

© Selim San

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Jim Ashby, Carsten Dettmer, Frank Först, Tony Garner, Frank Heine, Chris Howell, Ted Ingham, Ken Larwood, Carlo Martinelli, Dennis Mortimer, Craig Nelson, Selim San, Robert J Smith and Tim Webb for their assistance in producing this feature.

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


  1. Devastated to hear the Earl Godwin has been sold for scrap as of Aug 2018. The last of the great Weymouth and Portsmouth ships. So sad; I should have liked to have seen her again. Equally I’m greatful to Moby for giving her such a long and wonderful career.

  2. Sad end to a great ferry . Brings back so many happy memories in the 70s and 80s , watching her depart Weymouth when we were on holiday. Never got to sail on it , but did sail out of Weymouth many years later on the condor ferry. I was very surprised to see she lasted that long . RIP Earl Godwin.

    1. Same with me, loved watching her on holiday in Weymouth, condor never had the same majesty about it’ as Earl Godwin and the others. I am gutted her service is over now. It didn’t hurt so much when I knew she was still sailing even if I couldn’t see her. So sad

  3. Sorry to see she has finally been broken up.I have many happy memories of the EG having sailed in her many times whilst working for Sealink UK in Guernsey and Weymouth 1974/1978

  4. Gosh Mark and Kim – interesting to hear how others were moved watching her in Weymouth. Such a small harbour – allowed those ships to look huge and magestic. The Condor was indeed no substitute, although it was nice that crossings still took place then I guess.

    Interesting to hear you work her Peter. Quite a thing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: