Doxford Stand By

scottie dog
19th March 2005, 12:02
Love of low speed diesels.

Having sailed with many types of engines, low, medium, high speed and even gas turbines, my fondest and funniest memories are on the old low speed engines.
Stand- by,s were fun and you were in ultimate control the bridge had no input bar the telegraph.

Doxford LB
I sailed with Palm line in the seventies starting as junior engineer, at this time Palm Line had around twelve dry cargo and one Palm oil tanker.
The majority of vessels were DC and had Doxford engines, the engine rooms suffered from extremely poor lighting but they were kept spotless,
Painted mostly white with all brass and copper pipe work and fixings highly polished, but the centre piece was the engine control station with its polished stainless steel consul and brass pressure gauges and telegraph.

My first vessel was the Ibadin Palm, I joined in Rotterdam in May 1975 and we set sail for West Africa, what a site! A four cylinder twin opposed piston engine thumping away at 110rpm, Pistons and side rods trying to escape through the engine room sky lights and your ears popping as the pistons compressed the engine room atmosphere I was absolutely awe struck.

Stand By was awesome and the 3rd engineer my hero, what was this man doing and how was he doing it! The telegraph would ring, HALF AHEAD and the third went into action, how many hands has this man got? First the air start lever then the fuel lever through the gate, return the air start lever to rest and a quick change of hands onto the fuel pump wheel must keep that fuel pressure up!
My God! What’s this double ring FULL ASTERN what’s happening? The thirds reactions are immediate but why does he look so concerned? Time stands still as he waits for the engine to come to a stop before repeating the whole process again with the engine rapidly reaching 100rpm astern. It’s ok though the dock gates are still in one piece.

As time went by I eventually mastered this ampedextrous feat but not before lifting many a relief valve and the chief engineer screaming what the …… you doing,
But I got there in the end and once there nobody was going to get me off this was mine and i,m keeping it.

Single Handed
I,m now 4th engineer and im the hero, but somebody somewhere decides I still need to be tested!
All pre stand by checks have been carried out I think! Where is everyone? What’s going on up top?
S…. the telegraphs ringing stand by! Ok engines on diesel plenty air in the receiver Turning gear out I hope! Right answer the telegraph fill in the movement book still time for people to arrive WRONG! HALF AHEAD.
Right not too bad used a bit too much air though, engines settled fill in the movement book, wind up them manual start DC hamworthy compressors close the blow down valves S….. What’s that ringing? bloody hell it’s the telegraph STOP ENGINES my feet cant grip the shiny floor plates as I make a dash back to the consul what’s this! HALF ASTERN I haven’t stopped the engine yet! Ok panic over fill in the movement book get back to those compressors STOP ENGINE! Where the hell is every one? Not doing too badly though only lifted two relief valves but will still cost a few beers.
OK full away Heavy oil temperature coming up nicely time to change over, fuel pressure ok all Ts and Ps ok By where moving about a bit must be a bit of a sea out there, engine revs are erratic reduce the revs a bit B…..s too late revs dropping off fast over speed trip where’s that bloody hammer? Three steps at a time to get to the trip and one violent attack with the hammer does the trick revs are picking up again.
Hang on what’s that movement behind the boiler, need to wipe the sweat out of my eyes is that the second the third the junior lecky why are they all laughing what’s so bloody funny.
What a bunch of B……..s you wont ever catch me doing that to somebody well! Not today at least.
Shower changed and in the bar best lager I’ve ever tasted even if it does cost 20p a pint.

Santos
19th March 2005, 20:57
Hi Scottie Dog,

The thing I remember most about Doxford engines ( 5 cylinder Centre Scavange and 6 Cylinder ) is very loud bangs and perfect smoke rings from the funnel following an engine movement request, normally at a vital moment when manovering. I was on the bridge thank goodness and not below. However we were still deafened. ( The best one I ever heard lifted the fiddlelies ( ventilation hatches ) on the boat deck. ) We were then deafened by the Old Man questioning the parenthood of the man who invented Doxfords and the Pilot screaming for action ( Usually ' LET GO FORRAAAAAAAARDDD.......... ' )

Hey I forgot scavanger fires as well --- large ammounts of black smoke from the engine room and loads of very pretty coloured sparks from the funnel, which left soot all over the boat deck and whoever happened to be on deck at the time ( this normally also accompanied by much use of very bad language !!!!! from whoever was on duty in the engine room at the time. This was closely followed again by a big reduction in speed and the Old Man once again castigating anyone and anything to do with Doxfords.

Great fun, still smile at the memories. Thanks Scottie Dog for reminding me. Long live Doxfords.

Santos

cassim
20th March 2005, 09:40
Very interesting - I was on Union Cos "Ngatoro" entering Hobart Tasmania about midnight leaning on the bridge rail talking to the skipper when the engines stopped. Suddenly we were drifting through the water with no sound, no vibration - the skipper never even got concerned! Eventually after about 5 mins the engine was restarted - I never did find out what happened. The Ngatoros forward bulkhead had a ruddy big patch on it where steel had punched through the bulkhead in bad weather. Glad I was not on board at the time!
Your talk about telegraphs reminds me of a story told to me by a B.I. Purser. He was on a cargo vessel transiting the Suez Canal with an Egyptian tug on the port quarter forward. She was of the old type with open bridge wings and a telegraph on each wing. The mate is down the bow ready to slip the anchor when requested and the skipper is on the port wing..... he rings down half speed ahead. When takes his hand off the telegraph immediately moves to Full astern. The skipper grabs the the telegraphs and moves it back to half speed ahead. Immediately it goes to full astern. Poor engineroom! Then the skipper looks across to the other bridge wing and spots the offending apprentice who is cleaning the telegraph. The skipper bellows out"Let go you b........ fool" wwhereupon the mate goes "aye aye sir" and slips the anchor. The Egyptians on the tug were quite upset as the anchor narrowly missed sinking them! Afterwards when the Captain confronted the mate the mate said that was the way the captain normally spoke to him! I laughed so much as this story was told to me and even now the mental picture of this incident makes me chuckle!
Cheers
Selwyn
Cassim

scottie dog
20th March 2005, 09:59
Ahh yes the scavenge fires and the soot, remember it alll too well.
Unfortunately so may one very irrate skippers wife whom happened to be sun bathing on the monkey island at the time.
Glad to be of service
Scottie Dog

Doxfordman
29th March 2005, 03:48
God the memories flood back, most of the jobs i was on where twin 5 cyl LBD Doxfords, some with solid upper cooling pipes others with hoese. It certaqinly was not unusual to get an early morning shower of hot upper psiton cooling water once in a while. Stops at sea were constant. One engine down and in to the c/case for water leaks, cross head bearing failures etc etc. Oh what a huge learning curve. Doubt young engineers enjoy the same camaraderi - can't spell - which did on those older ship. So many enginners and such a great time!

scottie dog
29th March 2005, 10:25
God the memories flood back, most of the jobs i was on where twin 5 cyl LBD Doxfords, some with solid upper cooling pipes others with hoese. It certaqinly was not unusual to get an early morning shower of hot upper psiton cooling water once in a while. Stops at sea were constant. One engine down and in to the c/case for water leaks, cross head bearing failures etc etc. Oh what a huge learning curve. Doubt young engineers enjoy the same camaraderi - can't spell - which did on those older ship. So many enginners and such a great time!

Iye Doxfordman probbably too many incidents to remember never mind list. I think we all must have experienced the UPCW showers.
Pulling an upper piston was great fun, cant remember how many times I missed the target when loosening back upper side rod nuts and momentum carrying me thro the air when I forgot to let go of the 30lb hammer shank!
Crankcase inspections were not to be missed, doubt you would find the happy smiling faces these days emerging from a cranckcase saturated in lube oil and sweat.

Guest
29th March 2005, 18:26
The sun was setting astern on a calm summer Aegean Sea as the London Majesty made her way to Istanbul and thence Novorrossisk on the Black Sea. The idyllic scene was disrupted by great belching black clouds of smoke from the funnel combined with a splendid display of sparks. They showed up wonderfully against the darkening sky. There was a flurry of activity on the bridge and the Old Man turned to and told the 3rd Mate to ring down to the engine room and tell them about the sparks. When he hung up, the Old Man demanded to know what the response was. The 3rd Mate mumbled something about Okay and as the Old Man went out of earshot he grinned and said "What do you expect, bloody snowballs ?"

It may well have been a stock Geordie response under such circumstances but it amused us.

DaveM

Doxfordman
30th March 2005, 06:44
Well indeed, the memories continue to flood back, one fine day chugging through the South Atlantic on watch with a "proffesional third", we had lots of them, they were the back bone of the engineering staff in the company, one of the engines became eratic in RPM, a voice was heard from the workshop as this mad man ran out of said workshop, jumped down over the rail on to the top of a running 6 cylinder Ruston DC genrator, open valve gear, which was running, screached to a halt at the control station between the two engines and bellowed "hit the deck she's gonna blow". The day work 2/E/O appeared from behind the other engine red faced and agast, "what the f.... is going to blow?" he shouted, the "f.....g smokoe kettle" the 3rd retored, christ you didn't have to be shot away to be at sea but it certainly helped!
Crank case inspections in Curaceo outward bound for KIWI, oh such fun, pulling numerous units on the KIWI coast, as Scotie dog suggest getting air bourne accross the top plate closly following a large hammer! Crawing through scavange spaces and the centre scavange pump, undoing cross head nut retaining bolts remembering that they had a left handed thread! Sperical bottom end bearings, it was certainly a great time , by golly you played hard and certainly worked hard.
Graham.

Guest
30th March 2005, 09:07
I'm embarrassed to admit I never got my hands dirty but,

I was R/O on the London Confidence, no Doxford there, she had a Sulzer and was the most powerful single engined merchant ship in the world when launched in 1961.

We'd sailed from Alexandria and were bound for Quebec. It was around late June, forty years ago. I remember the time because we were in Quebec on the 4th July. It hadn't been the best of passages because calm as the Atlantic was, we'd had days of fog. Whilst that might be thought to be no big deal, the Old Man had made a meal of it, and not been off the bridge for seventy two hours straight. He managed to keep everyone else wound-up as well and wanted DF bearings every half hour, that he then refused to believe. They all turned out to have been spot on once they got a look at the sun.

On the day in question the fog had cleared, the Old Man had disappeared, and all was well with the world, sunny, warm and relaxed.

Suddenly a couple of engineers came into the radio room looking a bit agitated and wanted to know if I was in contact with the London Splendour, because she was in distress. I said that the morse code they could hear was just normal stuff on '500' and nobody was in distress.

The junior of the two, confessed he'd been scouting around for a medium wave broadcast when he heard a ship's transmission, with the R/O asking the coast station to connect to London Grosvenor 4941. That was our head office, so he assumed it had been me and that if he'd listened, he'd have been able to hear the Old Man talking to the office. Instead he heard someone on the London Splendour explaining a tale of woe regarding their engine. This is the Doxford bit.. :)

They'd had to stop and do some messing around inside the crankcase, I don't recall what. Having got it all boxed up again, they had turned it over on air...and bent the crankshaft. There had been water in one of the cylinders, something not known for its compression capabilities.

The head office had then told them to get a tow into Halifax.

Whilst we were discussing this, I heard the Splendour in normal communication and when he was free I called him back.

Their R/O told the same tale himself, and I was able to go and tell the Old Man, leaving out the espionage bit.

The Old Man demanded to know if they'd actually sent out a distress message, but they hadn't, they were just waiting for a tug. So he said not to talk to them again. I assumed it was just in case they had the great idea of us giving them a tow.

Anyway, they got their tow and our engineers were pretty fed up because we'd passed up the chance of salvage money.

When the Splendour got to Halifax they set a new world record for swapping a Doxford crankshaft. Was it eleven days or something, I don't really remember now.

DaveM

scottie dog
30th March 2005, 11:24
This is great didnt expect such a good response!
Keep it comming.
I recall one crankcase incident alongside Freetown on the Ilorin Palm.
It started as a routine side rod x-head bolt change out on one unit, somehow the nut/bolt cross threaded and all usual attempts to to seperate these two lovers failed.
It was decided to resort to chain drilling and hammer and chisel, three of us in the crankcase taking shifts with the hammer whilst the 2E paced the floor plates with a worried frown.
We were well behind schedule and should have sailed hours ago, we had now clocked up around thirty hours inside the belly of this engine taking it in turns to cat nap on the internal access platforms.
The seconds anxiety increased with every hour that passed and we were concerned for his apparent sanity.
Desperately needing sleep and refreshment we battled on then it happened!
The unmistakable sound of the release of compressed air, sh.. the 2Engs finally lost it! hes starting the bloody engine EVERYONE out NOW!
Three bodies soaked in Lube oil and sweat all trying to squeeze through the crankcase door at the same time would have been commical if we werent all so scared.
Panick over, the second had just got board and decided to run and blowdown the three Hamworthy air compressors and top up the air reciever.
Nervously we returned to our task and completed around around three hours later, Guess who ended up taking the first watch leaving Freetown?
Never been so knackered in all my life but great fun.

Guest
30th March 2005, 20:48
Keep it coming eh ? :)

I've been scratching my head, wondering if there was anything else Doxford-wise I could dredge up.

Then I remembered, the London Majesty. I think I might be able to turn up a murky photo of her too, but I have seen better ones on the web.

The London Majesty was a brilliant ship. She was a small tanker, built around 1950~51, with great accomodation and the barmiest bunch of lads I ever sailed with.

I'd joined her in Falmouth in August '64 because her previous R/O had been pinched and flown off to the USA to join one of the cargo ships. Her Doxford story had begun weeks before and was the reason she was enjoying a Summer in Falmouth.

She'd been on her regular run carrying Russian oil from the Black Sea to Cuba. It was customary to call in at Ceuta for bunkers with a secondary purpose of visiting George Armatides, the chandler on the docks. It was not uncommon to slip ashore with ones suitcase, returning with it laden with 'docking bottles', at 7/6d a throw. Spirits were unobtainable on board, apart from the company supplied tot of rum. The older hands recalled that it was a rule that had been brought in when a bunch of drunken engineers in New York had set about demolishing the accomodation with a fire axe. Just the sort of stuffed shirt, head office response you'd expect, eh ?

Well, I digress. Just as they were entering Ceuta, there was what was described to me as a "God Almighty bang" from the engine, but it kept running and so they continued into port and decided to have a look when they go alongside. It turned out to be a trivial matter. The crankcase had cracked. As I recall, they had assistance from a tug to move from Ceuta over to Gibraltar, where temporary repairs were effected. After a while, a couple of weeks maybe, she left and sailed back to Falmouth at four knots.

She was at Falmouth for about six weeks in total. She anchored out, and each day a gang from the dockyard would come out and work on the engine, returning home in the evening. I do recall a young lady trying to hitch a ride back on the dockyard boat one morning, at the same time trying to dodge her dad, who was getting off it.

Whilst there the Majesty became a tourist attraction, with the sightseeing boats taking a turn round her. It was great, simply being "off the Majesty" was a killer chat-up line.

We eventually threaded our way out of Falmouth in Regatta week, to complete the almost forgotten trip to Cuba.

That wasn't the end though. Before departing we took delivery of two Taiwanese engineers. The senior, a 2nd, didn't speak a work of English but continually grinned and nodded at everyone. The other was a 4th engineer and he spoke pretty good English. The reason for their presence was undeclared as I recall. However, it didn't take long to figure out that the company had decided to "get rid".

We did a short trip from Novorossisk to Naples and then to dry dock in Malta, with the ship supposedly being due to hand over to new owners. It was something of a cliffhanger, as it turned out that Lloyds had only certified the engine repairs as satisfactory for something like 12 months. This threw the deal into turmoil and we got the impression the fact had slipped folks minds when giving the Taiwanese the sales pitch.

We left her there and flew home on a Comet 4C in November.

I'm pretty sure that this is my very last ounce of Doxford nostalgia, but the fun and games on the Majesty could fill a book. Thanks for reminding me of it.

Cheers,

DaveM

Doxfordman
30th March 2005, 23:30
Just put a post in the BI section of the Dwarka, she had a single 5 cyl Doxford and all steam aux's, wow what a ship. 2 x 30 ton scotch boilers and steam aux's including the gennies, little 3 cylinder Allens. During St bys, because of the all the steam requirements, steam winches, steam air compressors, and all steam pumps, the hot well used to over flow, the poor old condensor couldn't stand the shear volume of condensate and used to over flow the hot well, with a consequence of the engine room bottom plates becomming like a sauna. One of the only electrical pumps was the fuel primming pump for the main engine, which had to be used before each and every start. The old girl ran like a sowing machine, with very few problems. Unfortunately she was the last "old" Doxford I had the pleasure of sailing on, the new J types were about and I was wisked of to lean the new.
Had a similar occurance with a J type top piston side rod nut. These nute were pretty large bits of kit, and this one had seized solid. Big hammers, hydraulic gear was useless to release this nut, The old priciples came out in the shape of a drill and chizzles. We got it off and without damage to the side rod threads, the old problem was we did not have a spare, which meant we were delayed in Aukland, oh such a shame, until a new one could be made up ashore. Happy days.

scottie dog
31st March 2005, 10:46
Just a note to say going back to sea for a while on DSVs (no not Doxford engines such a shame) back in a few weeks and most certainly pop back in on my return.
scotty Dog

Doxfordman
31st March 2005, 23:31
Have good and safe trip mate. And for memory look at the attached.

japottinger
2nd April 2005, 17:59
Methinks you got what you asked for, far better on ssshteam ships!

Guest
2nd April 2005, 23:21
the ship was half full of spares

LOF did the same thing with radar sets. They cut their costs by fitting new ships with second hand Cossor Radars that BP was disposing of. They were total rubbish. Around the mid sixties they started replacing the Cossors with AEI 651 sets. They gave a good picture when working but the display mechanicals were flakey. The company had the same rule, the Cossor garbage was to be passed on to ships that hadn't upgraded yet. When I joined the London Splendour, she'd had the new radar a while, but she'd also got a complete spare Cossor radar in a spare cabin, boxes of spare parts and half the drawers in the office were full of correspondence about Cossor radar faults.

It was all tastefully buried at sea. Throwing a Cossor radar over the side was surely a dream of many, that was lived by few. (=D)

Dave

Ron Stringer
12th April 2005, 23:39
Hi Dave,

When first working ashore with Marconi on the Tyne we had to fit any number of the AEI 651 radars. Most gave trouble at switch-on but the circuits in the handbooks never looked anything like the actual boards in the sets. When you rang AEI's Blackbird Road site for guidance, the word was always that "Oh, there has been a modification, we'll send you a new circuit diaram and parts list for that." Always after the event, never before. Made the job a nightmare when (of course) we were always the last to be able to gain access to commission the radar. I never did find out why shipyards thought it was OK to leave it until the day before sailing to refit the radar mast that had been taken down, or re-sited, to gain improved access to the engine room top. 3 days' work concertinaed into 12 hours - no joke.

Regards

Ron Stringer

Guest
13th April 2005, 01:04
Hi Ron,

The most common fault I found at sea was that the scan coil motor/gearing would stall repeatedly, giving a dartboard effect to the display. But, as I said, they were great when they worked.

Cheers Mate,

Dave

pete
24th April 2005, 11:40
Going back to Doxford's I was sailing as Master in Bank Line and had my Wife and 3½ year old twins on board, it was noonish on a calm Sunday Morning, the Twins were out on the Boat Deck quietly playing and all was peaceful. The C/E and the Mate turned up (Gin Time, you know how it is) and we had just settled down when, you guessed it, BANG!! The Chief shoots off saying rude things about Mr. Doxfords parentage and although we are a thousand miles from any real estate I thought I would wander off to the bridge to have a look around.

Suddenly a mad rush into the cabin and there before me are two miniture Al Jolsons. "Daddy, Daddy" says one, "There was a Big Bang and the Engine Stopped"

"Ah!" says his strange looking partner sagely. "I think the Engine's on the Bum!"

How quickly they pick up seamans language.

Wonderful Days......pete

R58484956
1st June 2005, 18:09
Not a Doxford story but a Wartsila one, have a look at website www.atsb.gov.au, go to marine site and look at report number 193 and see what the engineer found when he entered the engine room, you do not know whether to laugh or cry. Surely you could have heard it? I am a steam man.

Stuart Smith
2nd June 2005, 10:02
This Doxford thread was about the best thing that I have read for a while. Although a turbine man and a one time Sulzer engineer I was highly amused to read all those tales of woe about the b*****d Doxfords.
This is what makes this site so good.

KIWI
28th March 2006, 04:07
On P&O's Palana we have just left Cockatoo Dockyard after a complete engiroom overhaul.Somtime earlier the ship had tried to go overland but there was still enough water around to flood everything.Just passed under the bridge & the Doxfords stop & there is a complete blackout.Skipper tells apprentice to ring E/R .Apprentice does so but tells skipper all he can hear is local radio station.Skipper rather irritably grabs phone to try himself.Over the radio music gets a first trip engineer who over all the background yelling plus music tells him"If you think you have trouble up there you want to see this lot"The C/E much later told me that once he had calmed down the skipper could could make a weak grin.Never traced who the engineer was. KIWI

Coastie
28th March 2006, 04:59
Not a Doxford story but a Wartsila one, have a look at website www.atsb.gov.au, go to marine site and look at report number 193 and see what the engineer found when he entered the engine room, you do not know whether to laugh or cry. Surely you could have heard it? I am a steam man.

Wow, what a story, you wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere near the engine when that happened! (EEK)

raybnz
28th March 2006, 07:58
Having to file the bottom piston nut to give it .005" clearance on the crosshead of the Doxford was something I never got to the bottom of.

I enjoyed my sea time on them and apart from scavenge fires we had very little trouble from the two six cylinder engines.

Enjoyed working the controls and we had start up competitions to see who was the fastest.

The open cam shaft in the middles was great for flogging the log in regards to the average rev but that is another story.

wakaman
28th March 2006, 09:32
The first time I had a go at the controls of a Dox..I was jun/eng entering
Havana harbour,the 2nd just said,take over,I,ve never been here before,I want to take a look!!!!
On the same voyage,the bosun drank himself to death,the cook went mad,
one of the ab,s lost 4 fingers off his right hand,The governor rod broke at
the bottom,in the middle of the Atlantic,the electrician went ashore in Havana
and wasnt seen for 9 mnths,2 german crewmen jumped ship in Novorrossisk,4 of us were banged up in jail in the same place,the top pintel bolt fell off
somewhere between Hull and Makatea,coming back from Shanghai to Cuba,
we arrived at Panama with half a set of m/e piston rings left,forget how many
times we pulled pistons,all the steel hatch covers fell down no.2 hatch in Peru
our sulphur cargo caught fire off NZ,then we had to deal with the sinking of
the Clan Keith,all in all, a fairly eventfull first trip !!!

BarryM
28th March 2006, 09:48
All these stories about Doxfords remind me of why I preferred turbines (Gentlemens' Engineering) rather than motorships (Mechanised Plumbing). I shall now withdraw and close the hatch.

bobby388
28th March 2006, 10:36
God the memories flood back, most of the jobs i was on where twin 5 cyl LBD Doxfords, some with solid upper cooling pipes others with hoese. It certaqinly was not unusual to get an early morning shower of hot upper psiton cooling water once in a while. Stops at sea were constant. One engine down and in to the c/case for water leaks, cross head bearing failures etc etc. Oh what a huge learning curve. Doubt young engineers enjoy the same camaraderi - can't spell - which did on those older ship. So many enginners and such a great time!

C/case wtr leaks tell me about it at least once a week for 11 months
mv durham trader 1960s
Bobby.

Paedrig
28th March 2006, 10:44
All these stories about Doxfords remind me of why I preferred turbines (Gentlemens' Engineering) rather than motorships (Mechanised Plumbing). I shall now withdraw and close the hatch.
Ah so thats why I'm no gentleman, I would go so far as to admit spinning wheels might look a bit more flash than heaving at what look like railway points levers but.....at least you can see (and hear) it moving.

BarryM
28th March 2006, 12:01
Ah so thats why I'm no gentleman, I would go so far as to admit spinning wheels might look a bit more flash than heaving at what look like railway points levers but.....at least you can see (and hear) it moving.

A pity it was mostly the sound of bits falling off............

Paedrig
28th March 2006, 12:35
A pity it was mostly the sound of bits falling off............
Funny you should say that....piston crown nuts coming adrift...Indian Ocean... . :)

billyboy
29th March 2006, 01:28
Never had any experience with doxfords (steam recips, turbines and laterly diesels)
Just wanted to say how great this thread is and how it shows how much i have missed out on. Keep the storys comming lads!! nearest i ever got to that was being the victim of a practical joke . the 2nd had primed the cylenders with a few shots of Oil. I as 3rd had the watch taking her out. the old man rang down slow ahead and i spun the start wheel over and grabed the throttle lever. 6 loud bangs from the relief valves and a cloud of smoke scared the hell out of me. looked up at the skylight to see grinning faces staring down at me. (if only their mothers had been married....)

jam butty
30th March 2006, 10:19
Just stopped laughing as the memeries flood back. Those controls where magic and how about doing leads on cross head bearings. I was 10 stone ( wet through) and a first trip junior and the 3rd was a 16 stone weight lifter who loved to flog them up and then let me try to flog them off. I can smile now.
Jam Butty

Peter Fielding
30th March 2006, 10:36
Funny, isn't it, how everyone remembers the same things. Seeing the lub. oil in the sight-glasses start to emulsify and thinking "Oh joy, oh rapture, a stop at sea to go crankcase-diving!" Taking leads and deflections, scavenge fires.... What a wonderful sense of humour old William Doxford had!

Paedrig
30th March 2006, 12:36
Funny, isn't it, how everyone remembers the same things. Seeing the lub. oil in the sight-glasses start to emulsify and thinking "Oh joy, oh rapture, a stop at sea to go crankcase-diving!" Taking leads and deflections, scavenge fires.... What a wonderful sense of humour old William Doxford had!
Thanks a bundle, I'd forgotten all about those bits! :D

jaigee
30th March 2006, 16:11
Seeing the lub. oil in the sight-glasses start to emulsifyOr in my case, wondering why we now seem to have more lub. oil than the last time I checked! (?HUH)

lakercapt
30th March 2006, 16:30
Not being an engineer I really don't know the pros and cons about the different types of locomotion but a story from the depths of my memeory.
Neil Campbell my c/e was having a major problem getting the engine started(British Polar) when the 3/e suggested "Brasso"
Brasso said Neil how will that help you silly bugger.
I will show you the 3rd said.
Got a tin of brasso and poured it down the indicator cock on each cylynder.
Now try he said.
With a mighty bang and smoke the old girl started and ran smoothly.
Guess they were not concerned about liner wear.

billyboy
2nd April 2006, 00:14
First time i heard of brasso being used. seen that done with ether though1 can still feel the ringing in my ears from relief valves popping on the crossley

jam butty
2nd April 2006, 08:14
My first trip was as a junior engineer on the City of Chester, a twin 4Cyl 670 Doxy. Oh! What joy! I feel sorry for anyone who had the privilege to be in the British Merch in the 60s and 70s but did not experience the pleasure of standing on the maneuvering platform and feeling that pure (almost uncontrolled) power.
Yes the old dry cargo ships where brilliant, a week in every port out and a week in every port back (and then sign on for the coast to pay off the bar bill) but the camaraderie amongst the ginger beers on the old Doxfords was something special. Partying and drinking all night and spending the following day in the crankcase of a doxy you need to be good mates.
I remember one Second who’s idea of fun was to sneak down below at night, in the middle of the 12 to 4, secrete himself under the plates, on the tank tops, and whistle 115 times a minute The first couple of times he did it certainly got the adrenalin flowing.
Thanks to all who contributed to this thread it’s great and I’d love to hear more Doxford stories
Jam Butty

Steve1
3rd April 2006, 23:35
I sailed on the N.Z. Cumberland with two 5 cyl doxfords.
Anybody remember dropping the bottom piston bottom end bearing using chain blocks attached to the top of the bolts.
The bolts once got jammed half way down. It took 6 hours of flogging, with sledge hammers and jacks before it finally gave up and freed itself.
The Chief was almost having a heart attack.
Also getting fined if you blew the relief valves whilst starting the engines during manouevering.

4eyes
4th March 2008, 21:19
New member so its nice to see so many memories about Doxfords. My first ship, the E.D.'s Perang had one of those nice water cooled piston types. Again quite awestruck when I saw my first opposed piston exiting out the top of the engine. Seemed like you needed an extra hand when starting, getting control of the fule pressure was a bit of an art.
Engine driven lube and water pumps were something else again when sliding down the plates in a force 9 towards the beam motions. Some many 'good' days though hove to in the middle of nowhere standing astride webs in the crankcase repairing pin holes in elbows or leaking packings (all hands to the pumps as they say). 'Good' days, as the chief would always provide a couple of cases on tennants larger once we were back underway again. Do you remember the girls on the tins?

4eyes from Bugie Street

HALLLINE
6th March 2008, 22:18
Well you Doxford boy's have just made my day. When I transferred from Ellermans steamers to motor ships, I was on the City of Newcastle going up to Hamburg when the telegraph rings dead slow ahead, the fuel lever is moving in time with the camshaft, its pushing one way and I'm pushing the other,as the engine is about to stall the fuel pressure shoots up, the lever suddenly goes forward and all SIX relief valves lift. The trouble was, the Chief was on the middles. I though I'd commited the crime of the century.
Now I know after all these years, it wasn't just me that lifted relief valves.
I spent most of my time on Sulzers after that, BLISS.
Dave

Steamseadog
28th May 2008, 13:11
A professional third getting ready for standby departure left the timing blocks spragged and filled the piston crowns with diesel after lifting the rail pressure from 2000 to 6000psi.
A decision was made to clear it out into the scavenge space with starting air with the indicator cocks open.
Being a lousy starter with a low compression ratio no problems envisaged,however the opposite happened.Off she went with noise and flames roaring out of the cocks.The astern air had to be applied to stop her as we were still tied up.
A mystical yell from up at the middles only revealed it's source when the 3/e took off his glasses showing the only white bits of his face."Do it again!!!" in a broad brogue.

doric
29th June 2008, 08:54
My first deep sea voyage was on the Dominion Monarch ( Demented Maniac ) in 1950, she, at the time was considered the Doxford Champion, and had four of them!. Terence Williams. ( doric ). R538301

Andrew Craig-Bennett
26th February 2010, 17:58
I'm not an engineer but I was brought up to understand that in manoevring a Doxford engined ship you should be alert to the possibility that the engine might decide to start in the opposite direction to that intended.

Is this indeed so and if so could some one explain why?

Thanks.

gordy
26th February 2010, 19:18
I'm not an engineer but I was brought up to understand that in manoevring a Doxford engined ship you should be alert to the possibility that the engine might decide to start in the opposite direction to that intended.

Is this indeed so and if so could some one explain why?

Thanks.

Andrew,
It did happen, and was usually caused by the fuel timing being out.
Gordy

workforfun
26th February 2010, 21:02
Hi Guys,

New member here - I am really enjoying this particular thread as I have experienced nearly all of your enjoyable moments (Jester) (Jester)

One thing that will forever stick in my mind is when the drinking in the ships bar got to the level that the engineers wanted to play doxfords !

So, each man lined up - one man at starting stations, next man the scavenge pump, then three or four lined up in a row behind. A loud shush sound starts and the engine starts DSAhead, the scavange pump starts a'bobbing up and down then the four men behind take it in turns to bob up and down and in time with the scavenge pump - all very impressive and humerous and then the telegraph rings full away - that is when the whole things falls apart and odd person starts chucking up his beer.

Seemed great fun at the time when quaffing large anmounts of beer, but next morning - oh! me head !!!!

I also can remember similar scenes at the local dance halls - much to the amazement of the local patrons.

Yes, the fun days and when you look back at it all in fondness, you thinks where the hell did all that time go - that was fourty years since !!!

workforfun

Abbeywood.
2nd April 2010, 16:53
Having to file the bottom piston nut to give it .005" clearance on the crosshead of the Doxford was something I never got to the bottom of.

I enjoyed my sea time on them and apart from scavenge fires we had very little trouble from the two six cylinder engines.

Enjoyed working the controls and we had start up competitions to see who was the fastest.

The open cam shaft in the middles was great for flogging the log in regards to the average rev but that is another story.

The reference to the open cam which operated the rev' counter, brought back a memory of fun during stand-by's.
On one ship, the Chief insisted on being near the controls throughout Stand by and had an annoying habit of draping himself over the telegraph, thus making responding to the orders a matter of continually pushing him out of the way, only for him to return at 'Stop'.
On one occasion, having rung down for 'Stop', the 4th Eng' responded and then reset the controls for the next start. The Chief hanging over the telegraph suddenly noticed that the rev' counter was slowly ticking over at which the Chief seized the controls and heaved them back to the zero settings, but the counter continued slowly clicking. Panic.!.
Having danced around the bottom plates , the Chief then headed for the middles, by which time the counter had stopped, - and the 3rd had shot off round the back of the engine. The 4th, who had realised what was going on, had a clear run at the next start. and the 3rd appeared on the bottom plates , full of innocence. The Chief not finding any problem, then decided to carry on upwards and out of the ER.

Hugh Ferguson
2nd April 2010, 21:50
I lived up on the white cliffs of Dover for many years (otherwise known as the South Foreland). It was close enought to the passing ships, especially if they were flat out for the high water in London, to have our windows vibrating to the sound of a powerful diesel engine: the sound of the Doxford engine was unmistakeable, or at least so it seemed to me. No wonder some people missed it when they went home and found they couldn't fall asleep without its distinctive rhythmic beat!

eldersuk
3rd April 2010, 01:19
One Doxford incident I remember was on ED's Eboe. We were doing a routine change of a couple of cylinder relief valves. The usual way of handling these substantial pieces of metal was to heave them up and slide them along a plank across the back camshaft and into their housing with many cries of up a bit, down a bit, mind my bloody fingers. Along comes a cadet, a cadet mind you, who looked like a cross between Wayne Rooney and Desperate Dan. He picks up the spare valve from the plates and casually leans over the camshaft and slides it into place. While I, the mighty 3rd Eng., fount of all knowledge on Doxfords stood there, as Shakespeare said, "Gaping like a loon."
Needless to say, he did himself no good as he was roped in for all Monday hammer type jobs after that.

Derek

ARGK342
3rd May 2010, 14:48
My first trip at sea was on the M.V. Stonegate [Turnbull Scott] and I have to say................I absolutely DETESTED Doxford engines.

I seemed to spend half my time fighting scavenge fires on the damned thing. (Cloud)

If memory serves me we also had 'experimental' Doxford alternators too.[ well, they would've been when the ship was first built.]

Definately, an engine built with the thought of having an octopus employed as engineer.

Pampas
3rd May 2010, 17:59
Where are all the B&W boys?

uisdean mor
5th May 2010, 13:29
Yup same experience with Sulzer air starts and relief valves as well as injectors. Fall guy this time was a small but broad maori by the name of John Taiarrua from Rotarua. John was small but he was very powerful. Went on to sail on the west coast states tuna boats but know nothing of him after that.
Rgds
Uisdeam mor.

surfaceblow
5th May 2010, 22:31
Where are all the B&W boys?

Reading about all of the Doxford faults. Since 1992 I have been sailing on mostly B & W engined ships. The last one was a 3 screw, 32 pistons, and 96 injectors installed. With seven turbochargers on the three main engines. I was just glad that the B & W's did not have reed valves just large metal flappers so cleaning the scavenger spaces was relative easy especially burning MDO.

Joe

Ian J. Huckin
11th May 2010, 20:41
Mr. surfaceblow......that picture attached sure looks like my second engineer on the maiden voyage of the M.V. Taichu out of Mitsui, Tamano......

Ian J. Huckin
11th May 2010, 20:51
First ship (M.V. Rievaulx) four cyl LB Doxford but not the mechanical fuel valve type. Joined through a hole in the side of the engine room where the ship had been in a NA collision. My very first impression was the smell of almonds as she was using some wierd type of oil in the ME. I cannot beleive it was a veggie oil because we used to water wash it through the purifiers.

After six weeks of repair myself and the other eng. app. (one "tiny" Tate from Marsden) were on the bottom plates waiting for the first engine order (we were already on St. By) The 2/E told Tiny to go start the aux SW p/p and as soon as Tiny yanked on the starter the 3/E blew a relief valve on starting the engine. Tiny is famous for leaping vertically about three foot, piroutting several times, going from Geordie pink to deathly white in about 0.3 of a second. His first words were "it wasn't me sec!!!!"

I still get teary eyed when I smell almonds..........

Billieboy
12th May 2010, 04:47
First ship (M.V. Rievaulx) four cyl LB Doxford but not the mechanical fuel valve type. Joined through a hole in the side of the engine room where the ship had been in a NA collision. My very first impression was the smell of almonds as she was using some wierd type of oil in the ME. I cannot beleive it was a veggie oil because we used to water wash it through the purifiers.

After six weeks of repair myself and the other eng. app. (one "tiny" Tate from Marsden) were on the bottom plates waiting for the first engine order (we were already on St. By) The 2/E told Tiny to go start the aux SW p/p and as soon as Tiny yanked on the starter the 3/E blew a relief valve on starting the engine. Tiny is famous for leaping vertically about three foot, piroutting several times, going from Geordie pink to deathly white in about 0.3 of a second. His first words were "it wasn't me sec!!!!"

I still get teary eyed when I smell almonds..........

Well, that was a case of beer! Thanks for the laugh, the tears are rolling down my cheeks!

surfaceblow
12th May 2010, 18:54
Mr. surfaceblow......that picture attached sure looks like my second engineer on the maiden voyage of the M.V. Taichu out of Mitsui, Tamano......

Hello Ian

I do not think Chris was on the M. V. Taichu. Chris only had a US Second Assistant Engineers License when I last sailed with him in 2004.

Joe

Ian J. Huckin
12th May 2010, 19:38
Hello Ian

I do not think Chris was on the M. V. Taichu. Chris only had a US Second Assistant Engineers License when I last sailed with him in 2004.

Joe

G'day Joe,

Spittinimij though...freaky. Thanks.

Ian