The "Rhine" class steamships were built to meet the special requirements of the freight and steerage passenger traffic on the Bremen - New York service. To the Rhine class belonged the steamers "Neckar
" and "Main
". The last two were built by Blohm & Voss
, Hamburg, whilst the "Neckar" was constructed in the yard of Joh. C. Tecklenborg
, Geestemünde. The steamers were built as four-deckers with three steel decks throughout, and partial orlop deck. The measurements were as follows : length 152 meters, width 17.7 meters, depth 11.3 meters. The registered gross tonnage was about 10,200 tons, and displacement about 17,700 tons. They were arranged for 140 first class, 150 second class and, when the full space was utilized, 2600 steerage
passengers. In addition to this the steamers possessed a very considerable freight capacity. All three steamers were twin-screw with double bottoms throughout, and divided into 11 compartments by water-tight bulkheads reaching to the upper deck, thus rendering them extremely safe. As regards superstructures they had a forecastle, a midshiphouse with a large deck-house thereon, and a poop. All cabins on the "Rhine' class steamers, including those of the second class, were placed amidships, which meant a considerable advantage in the case of the second class accommodation, which, as a rule, was placed in the after part of the ship. The steerage passengers were accommodated in the poop on both the main and lower decks. For the rapid loading and unloading of the vessels exceptional arrangements had been provided in view of the enormous quantity of cargo that had to be dealt with. On the 4 masts there were no less than 29 derricks, served by 15 steam winches. The derricks had a lifting capacity of from 3 to 5 tons. Further, there were 8 hatches. The crew of the steamers consists of 140 men. The "Rhine" class steamers were fitted with bilge keels, for the prevention of rolling. The machinery consisted of 2 quadruple expansion engines
, of 5000 indicated H.P. balanced on the Schlick system. The speed of the vessels was about 13½ knots. The "Rhine" class steamers were also suitable for the transport of large numbers of cattle.