SHIPPING: Golden Bear in the Pacific

In Bethlehem Steel's San Francisco shipyard, dungareed workmen bustled about under a towering new ship, greasing ways and loosening chocks. Then, as a whistle signaled, a bottle of California champagne was smashed against the be-flagged ship's bow, and the Pacific Far East Lines's S.S. Golden Bear slid smoothly into the bay.

The Golden Bear, a 546-ft.. 22.500-ton Mariner-class freighter, is the first major private vessel built on the West Coast in 25 years. The launching was also a high watermark for Pacific Far East Lines: though only eight years old. Pacific Far East has already passed American President Lines as...

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