British Patience -degaussing gear

Steve Hodges
31st July 2007, 18:03
Reading the thread about the Valour and the Courage as government -funded "specials" reminded me about the Patience, which as I recall had full electrical degaussing gear for countering magnetic mines, paid for by HM Government. I was told that she was the largest vessel ever thus fitted. Is my memory playing tricks or can anyone confirm?
I seem to remember some special switchgear on the flat below the ECR in a caged off section, with massive cables leading off to port and starboard. These went in a complete circuit of the main deck, the cost must have been enormous. Does anyone know if the Governnment reclaimed it all before she went to scrap?
Or did I dream it all after a bad curry??
Regards
Steve

BlythSpirit
31st July 2007, 23:45
Steve - one of the shell tankers I sailed on had degaussing gear on and when we had orders to scrap it the degaussing gear got cut up for scrap, the wiring was armoured and an absolute nightmare to retrieve the copper for the scrap man! But we managed it in the end and a very welcome bonus for us engineers!
The purpose of the gear was to reverse the polarity of the hull to defend against magnetic mines.

Derek Roger
1st August 2007, 02:14
My first dep sea trip was on the Brocklebank vessel SS Maipura and she was fitted with degausiing wiring . I dont recollect the switch gear and assume it was removed at some time ( I sailed on her in 1965 ) Also what is of interest to me was how much power did it require ?? The Maipurs was a dc vessel with only a couple or was it three steam generators ( Ashworth and Parker )

Any Brock lads out there help ???
Derek

raybnz
1st August 2007, 07:26
During my time with Shaw Savill the ships I sailed on had deguasing gear which if I remember rightly was checked on a regular basis. The apparatus was situated in a mesh cabinet simular to what you described.

Steve Hodges
1st August 2007, 09:08
Thanks for the info.
I thought that other merchant ships had been fitted with degaussing gear in the past, it was the scale of the installation on the British Patience that struck me. She was a 250,000tonne VLCC, so each cable circuit was about half a mile long, and I seem to remember two or three cable circuits making up the installation. She was launched in 1974, and I'm surprised that the Government was then still paying for things like that. I would be interested to know how much taxpayer's cash was spent on it, and whether any other VLCCs were fitted with it. The Patience was scrapped in 1982 - maybe the engineers did get an almighty payout from it, but I bet they kept it very,very quiet!
Regards
Steve

J Boyde
1st August 2007, 09:44
When I joined the Galway in 61 whe had de gausing gear and cables in her. I was never explained how it was used. When I joined the Wairata, she still had bits left. The trip we were to carry bombs was interestind. The navy calls the Union Co, what's the state of the Wairata's degausing gear. Call to the chief, same request, reply, the cables were removed some time back, actual time, very vague, but we do still have about a yard of cable left. Chief said he had been told that they didnt managed to remove the last bit. We still carried the bombs to Singapore.
Jim B

John_F
1st August 2007, 21:13
I joined the British Glory in 1959, built in 1957, & she had degaussing gear, although it was never explained to me how it worked. I think that most of BP's vessels built about that time, certainly the larger ones, had it fitted.
Kind regards,
John.

paul0510
1st August 2007, 21:58
If I remember correctly, every BP tanker that I sailed on had a degaussing coil. In fact, I am pretty sure it was employed on the Osprey during our 'internment' in Alexandria during the 6-day war despite the Gypos chucking anti-frogmen grenades into the oggin around the ship. With empty tanks the noise and reverbration was something else...especially at 3 o'clock in the morning!!! Can still remember slurping Oranjeboom during the blackout under a green lightbulb.

BTW, Steve, I was on the Destiny from April 69 - May 70 (!) and May - Nov 73

barnsey
3rd August 2007, 10:58
Here you are Paul ... British Destiny in Aden 1962, the photo caption was wrong but taken by me while on the British Vigialnce!!

Strange she was bows out, I thought they always berthed bows in at Aden? did it enough times whilst on the Mina Aden run on the British Power

Barnsey

HENNEGANOL
3rd August 2007, 12:09
One of the ships on which I sailed, and the British Valour springs to mind, after drydocking on the Tyne called in at Portland and made several runs over the degaussing range in order to test our system.

I also think that there may have been another degaussing range in Gibraltar!

Gerry.

RonF
23rd August 2007, 13:08
Reading the thread about the Valour and the Courage as government -funded "specials" reminded me about the Patience, which as I recall had full electrical degaussing gear[...] I was told that she was the largest vessel ever thus fitted. Is my memory playing tricks or can anyone confirm?
[...]
Or did I dream it all after a bad curry??


I'm not sure about the other ships I was on, but the Patience definitely had degaussing gear fitted.

(Unless we both had the same curry!)

Ron

Vital Sparks
21st September 2007, 11:30
Maintenance of the degaussing gear was paid for by the MOD and switchgear was in locked cabinet not normally accessible to ship's staff. I saw the gear removed from British Holly after vessel deemed too old for military service and MOD stopped funding. Cables were 2 inches is diameter, copper stranded, but surprisingly flexible once cut free. Short lengths passing through each frame were left in place. All sold to Amsterdam scrappy.

captkenn
21st September 2007, 14:10
Reading the thread about the Valour and the Courage as government -funded "specials" reminded me about the Patience, which as I recall had full electrical degaussing gear for countering magnetic mines, paid for by HM Government. I was told that she was the largest vessel ever thus fitted.
Steve

Hi Steve,

here is a picture of degaussing equipment fitted to the Sheaf Royal. It consisted of 4/6 massive cables boxed in brackets, running on the deck under the rails all round the ship and then you can see it in a trunk going from the deck into the forecastle. It was a pain painting it!

We also had under deck strengthening for the fitting of an AA gun forward and also on the poop. The ship was built on 23 Nov 1953

BlythSpirit
22nd September 2007, 08:14
Cheers -- from Ken in fhe NE of England

Ken - you may wish to change your spelling.

captkenn
23rd September 2007, 01:01
Ken - you may wish to change your spelling.

Fhanks BlyfhSpirif -- done if. :)

BlythSpirit
24th September 2007, 07:47
You're welcome - we can't let all the Doric fisherman think we geordies have highjacked their patois!!(Thumb)

Sarky Cut
13th October 2007, 01:13
Degaussing was fitted to many BP Tankers. Remember that the government owned a majority share in the company and could in fact dictate what was fitted.
A demurrage was paid on the gear as it was heavy and therefore took away a few tons of capacity that could mount up over the period of the ships life.

Four multicore cables were fitted and they were connected so that there was in effect one conductor around the entire hull giving a huge coil. The power was DC via a plate rectifiers fed with low voltage from a transformer. The current was adjusted by altering the value of the ballast resistance.

Most naval bases had a range with in easy reach.

There was a range in Gibralter and most of the new DG equipted ships built in the UK with coated tanks would load fresh water in Southampton and proceed to Gibralter,discharge the FW into tanks ashore ballast with seawater and run the range.

Reading would be taken of the magnetic signature by the range officer and passed to the ship for the adjustments to be made to the coil for optimum effect.

The maintenance would consist of a visual inspection and checking the connections in the various boxes around the ship. Followed by a "megger" test.

There were also compass correction coils fitted to the Magnetic Compass Binnacle that had to be opened ,checked and tested for resistance and insulation value.

Many of the systems were useless after a few years as the armouring deterioted in the weather or became damaged. The cables were often underwater the moment the ships left port as the swell broke over them continously.

The insulation values were low at the best of times but in an emergency situation they may have improved with the current being applied.

stan mayes
13th October 2007, 11:52
Sarky Cut ,
Thankyou for the interesting info on degaussing.
During WW2 I sailed in 7 tankers - 5 cargo ships and 2 troopships yet my knowledge of degaussing gear was virtually nil,until I read your posting..
Regards,
Stan.

Sarky Cut
13th October 2007, 13:15
Sarky Cut ,
Thankyou for the interesting info on degaussing.
During WW2 I sailed in 7 tankers - 5 cargo ships and 2 troopships yet my knowledge of degaussing gear was virtually nil,until I read your posting..
Regards,
Stan.

My description is basic but the RN ships were much more sophisticated with heeling coils and all other sorts of additions. There was a special department in MOD with men in suits based at Fort Rowner Gosport that would visit merchantmen with their little box that contained a compass. This would be walked around the ship with the system on and end up by the binnacle to set the coils for compass correction.

I omitted to say that there was a range outside of Simonstown as well.

As the vessel passed into the Southern Hemisphere the coils set up in the North became somewhat useless.

Psss want to know about Impressed Current Cathodic Protection?

DaveO
24th October 2007, 09:01
Steve,
I can confirm that the British Patience had degaussing gear. I joined her as fist trip E/C in June 1977 at Milford Haven. Left her in January 1978 !! Long trip slow steaming to the Gulf and back to Europe.
Regards
Dave

mofnotmuff
15th January 2008, 19:57
Reading the thread about the Valour and the Courage as government -funded "specials" reminded me about the Patience, which as I recall had full electrical degaussing gear for countering magnetic mines, paid for by HM Government. I was told that she was the largest vessel ever thus fitted. Is my memory playing tricks or can anyone confirm?
I seem to remember some special switchgear on the flat below the ECR in a caged off section, with massive cables leading off to port and starboard. These went in a complete circuit of the main deck, the cost must have been enormous. Does anyone know if the Governnment reclaimed it all before she went to scrap?
Or did I dream it all after a bad curry??
Regards
Steve
steve

I was on the patience when we scrapped at Ulsan south Korea - i seem to remember me and some of the other lads being told to smash up the degausing control gear before we left the ship.

david freeman
18th January 2008, 16:54
Maiden trip Br Mariner 70,000tdw from John Browns 1963 was sent to the Gibralta Range for DG

makko
18th January 2008, 17:03
I was informed that T&J Harrisons vessels also had degaussing gear, this was because of their perceived usefulness due to heavy lift capacity.

Rgds.
Dave

robbie 1954
19th May 2008, 18:59
British Admiral had degaussing gear fitted andwas tested regularly. Don't recall ever going to a range though.

Electric Al
23rd May 2008, 11:58
Served my time at Brigham & Cowans. Stripped out a few ships of deguassing gear. Sometimes a Superintendent from the Ministry would come and supervise the disposal of the cable. It used to be cut into 6 foot lengths and was divided up as follows, 1 for the Government, 1 for the Superintendent and 1 for the leckies. a nice little earner. I,m pretty sure the superintendent was an old retired guy.

Was also on the British Venture when the Mate got the cadets to remove all the old deck brackets with hammer and chisels, took them weeks.

Dickyboy
27th June 2009, 06:39
Reading the thread about the Valour and the Courage as government -funded "specials" reminded me about the Patience, which as I recall had full electrical degaussing gear for countering magnetic mines, paid for by HM Government. I was told that she was the largest vessel ever thus fitted. Is my memory playing tricks or can anyone confirm?
I seem to remember some special switchgear on the flat below the ECR in a caged off section, with massive cables leading off to port and starboard. These went in a complete circuit of the main deck, the cost must have been enormous. Does anyone know if the Governnment reclaimed it all before she went to scrap?
Or did I dream it all after a bad curry??
Regards
Steve
Hi Steve
I was on the Br Patience 11/04/76 - 01/09/76, as GP1, and I too understood that she was the largest ship in the world to have Degaussing Gear. One of my few claims to fame. 'I was on the largest ship in the world to have.........' :o
Three huge loops around the deck, Aft, Midships & For'd. Each loop consisted of. if I remember correctly, six well insulated cables as thick as your wrist. If made of copper they would have been worth a fortune. As I recall, they were a pain in the backside for us crew, who were used to flat decks with few obstacles to trip over. Especially when having to move heavy tank cleaning gear etc over the ramps provided to protect the cables.
We (The Crew) all thought that we might be electrocuted if we fell in the water when/if it was running. Would we have been?
The only time I saw degaussing gear in use was on a Titty, or River boat while we were up the Baltic.
Cheers!
Dickyboy

david freeman
27th June 2009, 07:53
On reflection one of the more interesting aspects of degausing gear besides the switchgear was the generator. On most of the 28's 32, I sailed with in BP the Generator was driven by a Belis and Morcm enclosed crankcase compond staem engine, and was a dc generator. Question what about emergeny power on these steam Hih Pressure Plants (440PSI 600Superheat) and 440 v ac as the main characteristics of the engine room.?

Old Janner
27th June 2009, 08:39
Here you are Paul ... British Destiny in Aden 1962, the photo caption was wrong but taken by me while on the British Vigialnce!!

Strange she was bows out, I thought they always berthed bows in at Aden? did it enough times whilst on the Mina Aden run on the British Power

Barnsey

Barnsey, When were you on the British Power ? I did quite a few of those runs, I think it was Capt Uridge, and the Chief Steward was from South Wales, bit of a Camera buff, developed his own film.
Also did a Banias to Teneriffe run, down to Marricaibo then back to Grain.
Where you there ?

sidsal
27th June 2009, 09:52
Didn't realise ships were still degaussed. Of course in ww2 the ships I was on were degaussed.
In March 1941 the Training ship HMS Conway was anchored at RockFerry in the Mesey with the Tacoma City anchored close to them. Two parachute mines were dropped . The Tacoma City , later on, changed generators and on the change oover the degaussing was momenarily off and she was mined and sank. Some boats from the Conway rescued her crew.
This occurence prompted the powers that be to evacuate the Conway and she was towed to the relative safety of the Menai Straits wher she remained until after the war when she was towed to Plas Newydd - home of the Marquis of Anglesey. In 1953 she went ashore near Menai Bridge whilst being towed to Birkenhead for a refit.

dab
27th June 2009, 10:11
It was mentioned in this thread that coils set up in the Northern hemisphere were useless in the Southern hemisphere. Its a long time ago (1960s), but on the RFAs I am sure that the polarity could be reversed. The supply was AC to a Trans/Rec, Ward Leonard Converters and a separate switchboard located in the engineers workshop. This meant that the coils were protected from the elements. There were a number of junction boxes at various points where sections could be isolated when trying to trace low megger readings, although I don't remember having any low enough to worry about.

daveywoods
27th June 2009, 18:39
i sailed on several houlder Lines ore carriers out of port talbot late sixties. most had de-guassing gear fitted but most of of copper cables had been replaced by persons unknown with two inch black rubber hose. woodsie

eldersuk
27th June 2009, 23:52
The only ship I sailed on with DG gear was ED's Tarkwa and I'm pretty sure all the cables ran through the hatches under the main deck.

Derek

forthbridge
28th June 2009, 01:34
Ben Line's Benvrackie and I think the other ships of that class had degaussing gear.The cables run through the hatches under the main deck there as well.I heard that when they went through the range to test the equipent it was found that the cables were missing. No one knew why.