Following the commissioning of HMS Manica the yesterday, the RNAS commissioned another ship today – this time seaplane carrier HMS Ben-My-Chree. She was ordered in 1907 by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company and was built at the Vickers shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness costing GB£112,000. The ship was launched on 23 March 1908. She is powered by Vickers direct-drive steam turbines coupled to triple screws, able to achieve a speed of 24 knots. However, her engines burn up to 95 tons of coal a day, which makes her an expensive ship to run, and so she was only used in the busiest three months of the year.
The ship was chartered by the Royal Navy on 1 January 1915 and then began work to transform her to into a seaplane carrier, at the shipyards of Cammell Laird in Birkenhead. Part of her superstructure was removed, aft of her second funnel, and a hangar was constructed. She is capable of housing six seaplanes, which are lifted in and out of the water by a derrick. There is also a 60-foot-long (18m) flying-off platform forward. Her armament consists of four quick-firing 12-pounder guns, and two 3-pounder guns.