FD/ID Fans (A yarn)

Philthechill
23rd August 2007, 14:40
"Mangla" and "Mathura" had ID as well as FD fans, as anyone who sailed on these two ships will remember.
They had flaps to regulate the amount of air being pumped into, or "sucked" out of, the boilers. These flaps were hydraulically controlled, via a couple of levers, from the console in the middle of the starting-platform. One set on each end of the console. Usually the senior watch-keeper would be spinning the wheels (and what a joy these ships were to manouevre!!) whilst the junior would be answering the telegraph and working the fan controls. Simple enough job as, basically, all he had to do was keep the smoke periscope clear by deft use of the fan-controls and keeping a weather-eye on the draught (positive on the FD and negative on the ID).
I had a particularly supercilious apprentice on watch with me (his name escapes me at the moment, not that I would have included it if I could remember--------much!!!!!) and he gave the impression that anyone over 24 who didn't have an Extra Chiefs ticket was a buffoon. I was 32, S3E and was, obviously, "beyond the pale".
We had departed London, dropped the pilot and got "Full Away". After getting the Bellis & Morcom (I'm sticking to that!!!) on line, and shutting the diesels down, the next job, of course, was to blow the tubes, which the apprentice and myself carried-out. He wasn't too keen on this job as he obviously thought it a bit below him being as he was, (in his eyes, at least!), a future "Super".
After we'd blown tubes I got the job settled-down and, bidding him not to touch anything, headed up to the workshop (which, in view of what happened, was, fortunately, just above turbine-level) to make a start on my latest model cannon (I hope you're reading this Donald!!!).
After about 15 minutes I sensed the engine slowing-down and hurtling down onto the plates saw the revs were on about 65, the boiler-pressure way, way down and glancing up at the switch-board saw the frequency starting to drop below 60cps!!! (On the turbo-alternator!)
Ring-piece started to fluctuate rapidly------------half-crown/sixpence, half-crown/sixpence etc. etc.
Frantically shutting the Ahead wheel in to bring the boiler-pressure up I, at the same time, tried to find-out what had caused this rapid pressure-loss! Fuel-pressure?, OK!, Water-levels?, OK! Fans? NOT OK! The draught pressure-gauges were fluctuating back and forth from max to min and back again and the smoke periscopes were totally obscured! I asked the apprentice if he had altered anything and he said that he had been attempting to get the fan-pressure set, "to give better steaming conditions!"
I grabbed the fan control-levers and soon got the smoke-periscopes clear at which point, of course, the boiler-pressure started to climb and I was able to open the Ahead wheel once more to give us normal revs.
I asked the apprentice just how he, having just joined the ship for his first trip, had the experience to know how he could promote " better steaming conditions?"
I also pointed-out that because of his messing-about with the firing there would be no doubt that the tubes would be, once more, heavily fouled with soot and, because he was the cause of this fouling, he could now have the pleasure of operating the blowers on both boilers-------by himself!!
He wasn't too keen on this and said he would was doing it, "under protest".
I said that he was welcome to report me to either the Second, Martin Lanphear(?) or the Chief, John Pedley.
He never bothered.
I'd like to say that the apprentice then settled-down and became a "thoroughly good skin" but he retained his air of being a cut above everyone else until we paid-off! Salaams Phil:sweat:

JoK
23rd August 2007, 15:56
Good story!

Jeffers
23rd August 2007, 17:42
Good tale.

Having spent my time at sea above decks, a lot of the terminology can be a mystery (never sailed on a steam ship anyway,) but the stories are still a good read. For example, what are ID and FD? I'd guess that the "D" is for draught but not too sure about the rest?

I sometimes wonder if I'd have gotten on better, and stayed longer, if I'd been on the engineering side of things, as I ended up in a technical career after leaving the MN.

R58484956
23rd August 2007, 18:48
ID Induced draught. FD forced draught. Suck & Blow.

jock paul
25th August 2007, 10:37
A great story, I am reminded of the old 'technical' description of a 4 stroke engine - suck, press, bang, blow! Cheers Jock

Landlubber
25th August 2007, 11:11
Jock, I am doing my commercial pilot's licence at the moment. I was taught that phrase for remembering the order of the four-stroke cycle. There was a slight difference in that I was taught suck, squeeze, bang, blow.

Ed.(Fly)

BlythSpirit
25th August 2007, 16:47
Phil - great story!!
One of the most valuable lessons I was taught as an apprentice - if it ain't broke - don't fix it!!

Don A.Macleod
29th August 2007, 18:53
I'm reading Phil,you have no luck with FD Fans!It was a Sunday morning on the MAIPURA (Leckies day off!)whilst heading for Port Said the port FD motor bearing failed. Schub. the chief turned to with me and we worked all day replacing the bearing.Come lunchtime we retired to the chiefs room for sandwiches and beer much to many peoples amusement as no one had got a beer out of him before(as I remember you and Max were astounded!) fan was back in operation at 16-00 happy days! Salaams

Donald

Philthechill
30th August 2007, 14:58
I'm reading Phil,you have no luck with FD Fans!It was a Sunday morning on the MAIPURA (Leckies day off!)whilst heading for Port Said the port FD motor bearing failed. Schub. the chief turned to with me and we worked all day replacing the bearing.Come lunchtime we retired to the chiefs room for sandwiches and beer much to many peoples amusement as no one had got a beer out of him before(as I remember you and Max were astounded!) fan was back in operation at 16-00 happy days! Salaams

Donald Don! Another story about "Reg".
I have to thank Reg for my stopping smoking!
We'd arrived in The Seychelles, on "Maipura" (were you there Don?) and I'd had a particularly heavy night on the Tennents (with a gin or twelve thrown in for good measure!!). I'd turned-to at 07.30, gone out on deck, fired up my first tab of the day and promptly started coughing for England! I legged the offending Embassy over the wall and said, "F**k it! That's the last cigarette I'm ever going to smoke!!!!" Reg, who was standing alongside me puffing on his pipe said, "I bet you a case of beer, payable on docking-day in London, that you're smoking before the end of the trip!"
You knew, as well as I did, Don, that to get Reg to pay for any grog was like "The Second Coming" so I said, "Right, Chief! You're on!!" Actually I'd been trying to stop smoking for quite a while but, after the usual half-hearted attempts, had soon gone back to it, so I saw this challenge as just the incentive I needed!
Reg told all hands about the bet and told everyone to let him know if I ever succumbed to the temptation!
Many were the fags I was offered, (especially when strong drink had been partaken thereof!!!) but I'd decided that it was a bloody good chance to (a) stop smoking, which I really wanted to do and (b) to get Reg to dip his hand into his pocket, which I wanted to do even more!!!!!
Come docking-day and I went to see Reg and, in all fairness, he was very jovial about it all and said that he didn't think I'd manage to last out. When I told him I'd wanted to stop but had never had the necessary "challenge" he said he was pleased that he'd been the one to provide it!!
I presumed the tears he was shedding, when he gave me the (signed!!!) bar card to get a case of ale off the pantry-man, were tears of joy at helping me quit the dreaded weed!!!
Here we are 43 years later and I've never smoked from that day to this!!!!(Thumb) Salaams Smoke-free-zone Phil

Tony Selman
30th August 2007, 16:44
You certainly tell some good and interesting stories Phil. Keep up the good work.

JoK
30th August 2007, 18:06
I had the misfortune of sailing with a 2nd who was trying to quit smoking, a very good friend. After he came into the C/R and snarled at me one afternoon, I calmly told him, if he didn't start smoking again I would do unspeakable things to him with a spanner.
He started smoking the next day. He did quit, but not when I sailed with him.

Don A.Macleod
30th August 2007, 21:47
Don! Another story about "Reg".
I have to thank Reg for my stopping smoking!
We'd arrived in The Seychelles, on "Maipura" (were you there Don?) and I'd had a particularly heavy night on the Tennents (with a gin or twelve thrown in for good measure!!). I'd turned-to at 07.30, gone out on deck, fired up my first tab of the day and promptly started coughing for England! I legged the offending Embassy over the wall and said, "F**k it! That's the last cigarette I'm ever going to smoke!!!!" Reg, who was standing alongside me puffing on his pipe said, "I bet you a case of beer, payable on docking-day in London, that you're smoking before the end of the trip!"
You knew, as well as I did, Don, that to get Reg to pay for any grog was like "The Second Coming" so I said, "Right, Chief! You're on!!" Actually I'd been trying to stop smoking for quite a while but, after the usual half-hearted attempts, had soon gone back to it, so I saw this challenge as just the incentive I needed!
Reg told all hands about the bet and told everyone to let him know if I ever succumbed to the temptation!
Many were the fags I was offered, (especially when strong drink had been partaken thereof!!!) but I'd decided that it was a bloody good chance to (a) stop smoking, which I really wanted to do and (b) to get Reg to dip his hand into his pocket, which I wanted to do even more!!!!!
Come docking-day and I went to see Reg and, in all fairness, he was very jovial about it all and said that he didn't think I'd manage to last out. When I told him I'd wanted to stop but had never had the necessary "challenge" he said he was pleased that he'd been the one to provide it!!
I presumed the tears he was shedding, when he gave me the (signed!!!) bar card to get a case of ale off the pantry-man, were tears of joy at helping me quit the dreaded weed!!!
Here we are 43 years later and I've never smoked from that day to this!!!!(Thumb) Salaams Smoke-free-zone Phil

Phil,nearly 67 and still "blowing tubes"! Reg was a good honest and sincere guy who I know would honour his commitments. As I had done most of our epic voyage round Africa on watch with yourself (whilst you were making bloody cannons!) Upon signing off in Glasgow he handed me a watch keeping cert.(assistant on 8-12 for the voyage) a good man.
I was due to go back but circumstances changed and I was assigned to the "coast" for reasons unknown.
In December the LUCELLUM had her classic salvage operation so I ended up in Yokohama for several months living in an hotel with the late Jake Donnelly and Don Clarke as Super.So I have yet to see the Seychelles.
After todays fag packet ads. I think I might just make an effort!

Salaams Don.

Philthechill
30th August 2007, 21:57
You certainly tell some good and interesting stories Phil. Keep up the good work. Thank you very much, Tony, I'll certainly try! Trouble is, you see, I find it near impossible to use one word when 10,000 are even better so, for example, for me to describe a simple task like blowing your nose, which most people could tell in very few words, assumes the dimensions of Tolstoy's "War and Peace" when I do it!! Ho-hum, not to worry! I know I enjoy setting these yarns down and, with only the slightest bit of encouragement, (such as your kind words Tony!), I'll continue so to do!!!! Salaams, Phil(Thumb)