Posted: 25 October, 2009 by SeaBart in monster, ugly
Tags: , , , ,


IMO : 7349807

Build : 1974 by Flender Werke AG – Lübeck-Siems in Germany, nr 605 as Natalie Bolten (Bulkcarrier)

Converted : 1986 by ??

This is going to be just less of a double-post: A) she is looking menacingly ugly and B) she is one of the largest pipelaying vessels in the world but not the largest one so she scores only about half in our “Monsters of the sea”-category. Anyway: going back to the ugly bit: She just looks bad-ass to me, something not to mess with and considering her size that is about right!

She started life as a bulkcarrier and was converted somewhere in the eighties, below a picture of her sister Erika Bolten as I couldn’t find a pic of her in her bulkcarrier-disguise.

For a while she was the largest pipe-laying vessel in the whole wide world until her owners decided to build an even bigger one: the Solitaire (see below) which is bigger but arbitrary not as ugly.

Solitaire (IMO : 7129049)

She is the real Monster of the Sea here but not the ugliestest.

Which brings us back to our victim of today: Lorelay.

A succeeded Monster of the Sea but still queen Ugly in her class!

BTW: the name Lorelay is an alteration of the name Lorelei: the name of a rock on the eastern bank of the Rhine near St. Goarshausen, Germany where a lot of  boat accidents happened . Lorelei is also the name of one of the beautiful Rhine Maidens who, legend has it, lured navigators of this river to their dooms with their alluring singing, much like the Sirens of ancient Greek myth. All in all not really a nice name for a ship?? (source: Wikipedia)

BTW 2: The owner of both vessels above is now planning building a real hugh Monster of the Sea: The Pieter Schelte. Basically this vessel consists of 2 large hulls in a catamaran-setup. You have to see the pictures to believe the enormous scale of this vessel.

More information can be found here on the Allseas website.


  1. Alex says:

    Hey you posted some of my pictures of the Lorelay. I did a job with her laying a gas pipeline last month in Canada she looks bad on the outside and isn’t much better on the inside.

  2. Henk says:

    She was converted in 1985/86. I was the first radio operator on board and helped constructing the communication room, wich was all the way on top, looking out on the heli-deck. Ugly, yes, but in a way very interesting, and as Alex said, not so bad on the inside….
    Nice pics, I still have lots of pics from the construction (but not scanned in, yet).
    Greetings from the Netherlands

  3. Dave Matthews says:

    Hey Folks, I took over from Henk as Radio Op and stayed 16 years, she may look odd from the outside but is a lot better inside, she was the first of her type and was a world beater in most aspects of laying smaller dia. pipe (up to 36″). Henk I would appreciate any pics you would care to share

  4. Willem van der Plas says:

    One’s got taste or better shut up while you don’t know shit or how a vessel of this kind should look like . Dave all the best en Henk hou je taai neefje !

  5. Jim Barbee says:

    I remember seeing the Lorelay back in 2001 when I was working as 2nd Captain on the M/V Gary John. We were working for Exxon Mobile’s Diana Hoover Deep Water platform out in the Gulf of Mexico, located 125 miles south of Freeport Texas in nearly 5,000 feet of water. At that time, the Gary John was the Field Boat for the Diana Hoover Project and one of Seacor Marine’s fleet of OSV’s, “Offshore Supply Vessels!” Since the Lorelay was on the job laying the Subsea pipeline to the High Island oil terminal in Louisiana, she was unable to maneuver or go into port, so we had to tie up along side her to transfer diesel fuel, groceries and other much needed supplies to her while she was on the job site. During that time, she was the largest Pipe Laying ship in the World. I will never forget her immense size especially when we were tied up along side her. In my opinion, I have seen a lot uglier vessels than she is while working out in the Gulf of Mexico.

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