mV Maihar; Mahsud, Lustrous; Luminous

japottinger
14th July 2007, 20:10
I have just been reading an account by Commander K.I. Short, a Director and General Manager of Cunard Tech. Services and Director Ship Design and New Construction in November 1971 Shipping World and Shipbuilder monthly.

This was titled Operational Experience with Medium Speed Diesel Engines, with ref. to above Lindholmen built ships with Pielstick engines.
Boy am I glad I was on SS Maihar (I) and not MV Maihar (II)!

Among the problems:
Pinion and and gearwheel misalgnments
Cracked main wheel teeth
Lub. oil consumption twice makers figures due to various problems with pistons, scraper rings, gudeon pins etc.
Never ending problems with exhaust valves, water cooled and rotocap types
Problems with turbo blowers
Insufficiently robust control switches and general lack of reliability of some instrumentation.
Two instances of control gear sticking leading to engines not shutting down on failure of lub. oil pressure and overspeed, (nice one!)

I quote " When the exhaust valve problems the main engine maitenance load on ship's staff, of which is constitutes the major proportion, will be decreased significantly and some reduction in engine room personnel may be reasonable"

Give me steam any day over grease driven engines!

R58484956
14th July 2007, 21:16
Thank goodness I sailed on steam, no problems with turbines.

Jim S
14th July 2007, 23:10
Commander Short RN - That is a name from the past. I remember he did a part trip on Maidan in second half of 1963. On leaving some port or other he mentioned to the Chief Engineer where he would expect to have the engineers positioned. ( RN Style) I believe Bill Woods told him something along the lines that would be the entire engine room staff accounted for what should he do to man the other watches. The Jnr 3/Eng (Stuart Smith has posted a photo of him elsewhere on Ships Nostalgia) got himself a telling off from the Chief for telling Commander Short that the oil (allegedly) showing in the boiler water level site glasses was to prevent the inside of the boilers from rusting.
There was no oil showing and the Jnr 3/E was just responding to what he thought was a daft question - I believe the Commander was just sounding him out and did not expect him to answer as he did.
That said, and this might be at variance with the opinions of others, I believe that Commander Short and especially Captain Jenks RN did much to drag Brocklebank engineering into a more modern mind set. The reason I say this is that as late as 1957 Brocks were quite happy to order Masirah with Scotch Boilers - tried and tested with out doubt but a bit of a anachronism for the late 1950's. Makrana and Mawana were perhaps a compromise but it was not until Mangla and Mathura could Brocks be seen to be at the forefront of steam turbine design - in fact these two were more advanced than Cunard's Alaunia and Andania of similar vintage.
The only thing missing from Mangla and Mathura's machinery specification was Automatic Combustion Control of the two Foster Wheeler ESD boilers.- but neither did RN ships of that vintage.
They had every thing else including ac power generation that the two Cunarders lacked.

john g
16th July 2007, 15:37
Thank goodness someone else saw the shortcomings of the early Pielstick engines. O how true the problems with exhaust valves and blowers on the Luminous. She was an Eriksberg vessel with I believe the first Eriksberg Pielsticks.....enough said a long time ago but the nightmare remains

Derek Roger
2nd June 2008, 15:20
Although Exhaust valve problems were a pain ; i cannot agree with the general opinion . There were two types of ex v/v s used . the first was a water cooled valve and the 2nd a Roto Cap . The water cooled valves suffered from stem corrosion . This was due largely to the fact the crew would overcool the valves . The temperature was supposed to be kept at 190 F and the engineers in their wisdom decided it would be better around 140 F . When operated at the higher temp there was little or no corrosion .
The company eventually decided in favor of Roto Cap v/vs and they were fine except with high Vanadium content fuel which caused a deposit to build up on the valve face and when a piece chipped off there was a wire drawing effect which caused the valve faces to burn out . This was to a large degree solved by the use of a fuel additive Drew FOTW . Cunard analysied FOTW and found it to be mainly crysillic acid which they then supplied to the ships it being cheaper than FOTW . It was not as effective as the Drew product .
By chance we found that using a water cooled valve stem ( hollow ) with a Roto Cap device the valves lasted for ever ; the company however was not convinced and Roto Caps became the norm .
The problems were all caused by the use of heavy oil in engines that were originally designed for diesel fuel . The problems were solved but took a long time .
Another problem not mentioned was the seizing of fuel pumps . This was caused by the change over from heavy to diesel fuel for stand byes . If left on heavy fuel as they were designed for there were no problems . There were two designs of fuel pump ; one for diesel and one for heavy oil ( with different fuel pump plunger clearances to compensate for temperature ) One of the tankers was supplied with spare plungers for the diesel type and of course they seized at once when used with heavy oil at high temp . ( Oh happy days )

Regarding lub oil consumption ; it was not as bad as made out once the cause was found . A 3rd Engineer ( from Aberdeen ) had put in the scraper rings upside down every time he did a unit overhaul !! He had been on most of the ships and I having found the problem was given the task of following his footsteps and finding which units were changed while he had been on board and redoing all his unit overhauls . Lub oil consumption was cut almost in half on the said vessels .
The engines were not burning the oil except for the scraper ring episode b ; but there were losses attributed to the purifiers and automatic back flush lub oil filters . With these equipments running correctly the oil consumption was normal .
If in doubt read the manuals !!!!
Happy days Derek

Nick Jones
2nd June 2008, 23:30
Never mind the engines, what about the control system. The control room was not air conditioned on the Luminous amd Lustrous, and while checking the cards in the control console sweat would drip onto the motherboard, with dire results. We also heard that the control system manufacturer had gone into bankruptcy so the supply of new cards was none existant. I don't know if the cargo ships were any better, but the manuals we had on the Luminous we're still written in Swedish or Norwegian. Another disaster was the purifier alarm system being based inside the purifier room at god knows what temperature. Altogether it made for an unhappy 6 months voyage, and I was very glad to see Fred Mackay in Singapore at the end of it.
Cheers,
Nick Jones.

Derek Roger
4th June 2008, 01:13
Hi Nick ;
Mahsud and Maihar had air conditioned control rooms and workshop . We had few problems with the alarm cards and most of the control ; circuits were relays which could be easily repaired ( usually bad contacts ) I was fortunate to sail with Allan Atack as Chief and he was a " Whiz ' with things electriacl and electronic ( Would piss around with defective cards and relays and make them work )

I dont recollect the tankers not having air conditioned control rooms but will defer to your remarks as cannot remember !

Mahsud and Maihar had a good alarm system and I do remember the tankers having trouble with the " Autronica System "

Cheers Derek

john g
13th June 2008, 22:28
Nick caught up with you again ! yes even after all these years the Luminous still stands out as a disaster...the (Concordia) Manipur left the poor Lumious standing as far as reliability went. Derek the Autronica system was rubbish even by standards in by go ages..................o how technology has moved on

sidsal
14th October 2008, 20:33
When I peruse the very interesting messages about Brocks engine rooms I feel quite inadequate as a "Mate". The mention of the MATHURA, for instance which mentions that the engine room was air conditioned means that it was the newer ship. I was 3rd Mate on the old Mathura in 1947 for several voyages. She had been shortened in length at Smiths on Southbank on Tees during the 30's slump as she was too long to turncomfortably in the Hooghly. Just abaft the bridge the deck sheer was broken and there was a sudden slope in the deck. In a big seaway this part creaked ominously.
Phil Brand was the Mate - he died a couple of years ago. He was Master with Brocks and then became a BOT examiner in Liverpool I believe. The 2nd Mate was an Australian chap whose name I forget. Eggleston was master. She had grounded off Alex during the war and she went into Smith's to have it straightened. I was told to take the medical stuff including morphine out of the lifeboats and store safely. The master refused to have the morphone in his safe so the canisters were locked in the "lockfast" in No1 hold. I then went on leave and when I returned the shipyard had various CID chaps in plain clothes hovering as the drugs had been stolen. The local cinemas had warnings before performances about the theft.
That wniter was very severe - ice floes in the North Sea and the Elbe, Sheldt etc were frozen solid. Because we could not drop pilots on our calls at the various ports we had on board when we got to the Tees the Dundee pilot,
the Rotterdam dock pilot, the Maas river pilot and the North Sea pilot. Brocks always employed the latter as the North Sea was mined with buoyed channels all the way up the east coast etc.

greenwell
29th January 2012, 22:23
I started In Brocks as fifth Engineer on the old Mathura (Capt. Eggleston, Master) in Oct. 1946 and was transferred in Calcutta to the Manipur in dec. 1946. I left Brocks in Jan. 1954 as second of the Mathura. In between I served on the Manipur, Makalla, Markhor. Masirah, Matra, Martand, Mahseer, Mandasor and Matheran. I also was junior fourth eng. on the Fort Camosun taking it from Grangemouth to lay up in Mobile in Aug. 1947 - came back on the Aquitania. I remember both Peter Sellars and P. Morris as Chiefs on the Mathura. I was third to Tommy Jones on the Matra Nov/Dec 1949 on the coast - I have a reference in his famous copperplate writing, which has been referred to elsewhere in the discussion of Brocks' characters!
Were any of your senior members on these ships between 1946 and 1954?

R781128
22nd November 2012, 15:00
I have fond memories of transferring a complete turbo blower at sea in a lifeboat from Lustrous to Luminous or perhaps vice versa. In the middle of the Timor Sea !

Jim S
22nd November 2012, 19:03
When I peruse the very interesting messages about Brocks engine rooms I feel quite inadequate as a "Mate". The mention of the MATHURA, for instance which mentions that the engine room was air conditioned means that it was the newer ship. I was 3rd Mate on the old Mathura in 1947 for several voyages. She had been shortened in length at Smiths on Southbank on Tees during the 30's slump as she was too long to turncomfortably in the Hooghly. Just abaft the bridge the deck sheer was broken and there was a sudden slope in the deck. In a big seaway this part creaked ominously.
Phil Brand was the Mate - he died a couple of years ago. He was Master with Brocks and then became a BOT examiner in Liverpool I believe. The 2nd Mate was an Australian chap whose name I forget. Eggleston was master. She had grounded off Alex during the war and she went into Smith's to have it straightened. I was told to take the medical stuff including morphine out of the lifeboats and store safely. The master refused to have the morphone in his safe so the canisters were locked in the "lockfast" in No1 hold. I then went on leave and when I returned the shipyard had various CID chaps in plain clothes hovering as the drugs had been stolen. The local cinemas had warnings before performances about the theft.
That wniter was very severe - ice floes in the North Sea and the Elbe, Sheldt etc were frozen solid. Because we could not drop pilots on our calls at the various ports we had on board when we got to the Tees the Dundee pilot,
the Rotterdam dock pilot, the Maas river pilot and the North Sea pilot. Brocks always employed the latter as the North Sea was mined with buoyed channels all the way up the east coast etc.

The Engine Room on the 1960 built Mathura was not air conditioned
albeit probably a bit more comfortable working environment than most other turbine ships in the company.

Jim S

Philthechill
23rd November 2012, 09:32
The Engine Room on the 1960 built Mathura was not air conditioned
albeit probably a bit more comfortable working environment than most other turbine ships in the company.

Jim S You're right, of course, Jim!

As an ex-Industrial Refrigeration commissioning/service-engineer I don't think many ships-engineers could believe an entire engine-room could be air-conditioned!!

Aprops this sort-of-thing. The a/c plants on those monstrous cruise-ships MUST be some size to deal with the heat-loads involved.

The heat/humidity-load would be absolutely astronomical and would need such a massive 'fridge-plant there would, methinks, be little room for carrying any cargo!!

Air-cooling, as on "Maskeliya" etc. was quite a good "fist" at comfort-cooling but to air-condition an engine-room would be very difficult and costly.

On "Atlantic Causeway" and "Conveyor" we had air-conditioning in the Control Room and to go from that luxury into the engine-room was always a trial!!!! (Expecially if you had to change an "aft" or "for'd" gauge-glass,[the boilers were for'd and aft as opposed to port and starboard], as you were in view of some mocking-faced mechanic or fellow-engineer all nice-and-cool, whilst you struggled with those very heavy/very hot Klinger, gauge-glasses! Always a great relief to get back in the control room for a cool-down!!). Salaams, Phil(Hippy)

japottinger
23rd November 2012, 14:44
I have just been reading an account by Commander K.I. Short, a Director and General Manager of Cunard Tech. Services and Director Ship Design and New Construction in November 1971 Shipping World and Shipbuilder monthly.

This was titled Operational Experience with Medium Speed Diesel Engines, with ref. to above Lindholmen built ships with Pielstick engines.
Boy am I glad I was on SS Maihar (I) and not MV Maihar (II)!

Among the problems:
Pinion and and gearwheel misalgnments
Cracked main wheel teeth
Lub. oil consumption twice makers figures due to various problems with pistons, scraper rings, gudeon pins etc.
Never ending problems with exhaust valves, water cooled and rotocap types
Problems with turbo blowers
Insufficiently robust control switches and general lack of reliability of some instrumentation.
Two instances of control gear sticking leading to engines not shutting down on failure of lub. oil pressure and overspeed, (nice one!)

I quote " When the exhaust valve problems the main engine maitenance load on ship's staff, of which is constitutes the major proportion, will be decreased significantly and some reduction in engine room personnel may be reasonable"

Give me steam any day over grease driven engines!

Did I really post that in 2007!
How time flies, correction it zooms, esp. as passed the 77 mark on 9th. Nov.

Philthechill
23rd November 2012, 17:24
Did I really post that in 2007!
How time flies, correction it zooms, esp. as passed the 77 mark on 9th. Nov. I think you'll find, JA, that time is on an exponential-curve whereby the older you get the faster the time passes!

Here we are on Friday, once again, yet it only seems like yesterday that the present week was starting!!!

When I was working time seemed to pass-by in a very sluggish way yet now, even though I surface at around 07.00hrs, the day flashes-by VERY quickly and, once more, it's time for a couple of G&T's, a look at TV, (provided there's something worth watching------right now I watch about four/five-hours a week!!!). More likely, I'll do a X-word and then catch-up on my reading, (current book, "A Brief History of Time", Stephen Hawking), and then head for bed to send a few "Z" skyward!!(@)

I once thought that being alone time would "hang" yet, even though I rarely see/speak to anyone from one week-end to the next the time just hurtles by---------weird!!! Salaams, Phil(Hippy)

Nick Jones
5th December 2012, 22:11
Oh how one remembers the past. While on the Luminous the 2nd renarked that we never had a level alarm on the prop system tank show up. Off i went into the bilges to investigate. We had power to the Mowbray (I think) alarm, so I gingerly pulled it out of the tank, expecting oil to gush out. Nothing, operated the float and lo and behold we had a high level alarm. Shone my flashlight, sorry torch in those days, (been in the States too long) and could not see any oil. Slight panic set in and oil was added to just lift the float. After that every time we shut down we had an alarm. I don't know how long it had been like that, but I joined her in Singapore in May 1970, so maybe a year.
Cheers,
Nick Jones.

sidsal
6th December 2012, 17:27
Phil:
Mention of Phil Pembrudge brings memories of a very nice chap. So glad you fill your time in so well despite not seeing many people form day to day. My wife and I (80 and 86) thank God every day that we have each other when so many of us old ones are very much alone.
Brock ships may not have been the best but the camraderie was second to none. The rot set in wqhen Sir Basil Smallpiece and his "efficiency experts" moved into Cunard. The loyalty of Brocks staff would not appear on any balance sheet and yet it was oneof its most priceless assests in my opinion.

rgrenville
6th December 2012, 18:45
I think you'll find, JA, that time is on an exponential-curve whereby the older you get the faster the time passes!

Here we are on Friday, once again, yet it only seems like yesterday that the present week was starting!!!

When I was working time seemed to pass-by in a very sluggish way yet now, even though I surface at around 07.00hrs, the day flashes-by VERY quickly and, once more, it's time for a couple of G&T's, a look at TV, (provided there's something worth watching------right now I watch about four/five-hours a week!!!). More likely, I'll do a X-word and then catch-up on my reading, (current book, "A Brief History of Time", Stephen Hawking), and then head for bed to send a few "Z" skyward!!(@)

I once thought that being alone time would "hang" yet, even though I rarely see/speak to anyone from one week-end to the next the time just hurtles by---------weird!!! Salaams, Phil(Hippy)
Hi Phil, very true sentiment. An ol' boy from Savannah Ga USA once told me "Son, life is like a roll of toilet paper; the closer one gets to the end the faster it rolls"!!