Tarbatness, Lynness & Stromness.

mrcanoehead
16th September 2007, 23:29
wonder if any of you remember this trio of austin/pickersgill built ships, worked on them, but under management by us navy, we were civil mariners{ joke} worked for a similar govt run agency like the RFA. Not bad vessels, reminded me of the ones constructed by Vickers in montreal years ago, they were built with RD 90'S Sulzers instead of the Doxford , { with flying pistons}, along with Merrilees blackstone Generators. Worked as a 3rd engineer on there, did many a run on them from Norfollk Va, to UAE, { Jebel ali Terminal} in the 1990's 95-98 to be exact, pleasant riding vessels & reminded me of the old times sailing in the 1970's, The idea of no drinking on american ships, preposterious! resulted in drinking in private & total loss of what I remember, but after late night watches, always in forward saloon having a few from my own stock while everyone asleep, ecah fiot out took about 10 cases of beer 1l bottles & about 2 cases of scotch, passed some around but very quitely, never know who'd snitch on you.. but thats the way it was, a sad shame, but all in all enjoyed the voyages, soon they'll be retired, i belive next year from service, currently the stromness is working as school ship for Texas A& M.

Bill Shaver

wildcat45
2nd December 2008, 12:37
Hi Bill,I think the Ness Class you refer to were in fact not Mackem ships but daughters of the Tyne. Swan Hunter?

Dan

Tam Broon
2nd December 2008, 19:41
Lyness was my first ship way back in 1968, joined as Junior Eng. A nice ship to spend my first nine months at sea on. Visited one many years later in Fujairah UAE when she was a USNS vessel (I think it was the Tarbetness) and was appauled at the state of the engine room, one generator had been stripped to the bedplate and left to rust. I remember that I gave the Chief a set of Whitworth spanners as the crew didn't know what Whitworth was and were apparently having difficulty doing some maintenance as they didn't have spanners to fit.

Tom

Pat Kennedy
2nd December 2008, 20:00
Bill,
If you go to this link, http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/125305/ppuser/12939
you will find a photo I took in 1976 while I was a crane driver in Western Shiprepairers in Birkenhead. The pic shows a piston being lowered through the engine room skylight on Stromness.
We had her in drydock for refit twice during the seventies, and also had the Lyness in once.
I thought they were fine looking ships.
Regards,
Pat

Lancastrian
2nd December 2008, 21:57
Confirmed they were built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson and engined by Wallsend Slipway.
We remember them with fondness as mentioned here - http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=62994
and here http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=102842

R736476
2nd December 2008, 22:05
They were engined with 8 cylinder Sulzer RD 76 built under licence by Wallsend Slipway. (Not RD 90s as stated in 1st post).

Klaatu83
30th March 2009, 16:05
I recall seeing the RFA Lyness in the Red Sea in 1977. I was on the old USNS Pvt. John R. Towle at the time, one of the Military Sealift Command's ancient Victory Ships that hadn't been upgraded since the Second World War. The Lyness looked very spruce and modern, and made our ship look like the old tramp she was. However, that antique, steam turbine-engined Victory Ship overtook her untra-modern counterpart as though she were standing still.

I later heard that MSC bought the Lyness and re-named her the USNS Sirius. I never sailed on her but I used to hear horror stories from engineers who did. Like all diesels they were maintenance nightmares. They were constantly breaking down and, being foreign, nobody could ever get spare parts for them.

Of course, unlike European marine engineers, most American marine engineers don't seem to know beans about diesels anyway because they spend most of their careers sailing with steam engines. I've known a few who were at home with diesels but, if asked, I think 95% of them would have preferred sail on an old steamship rather than a new motorship.

GBXZ
31st March 2009, 06:13
'Ness class. I have it in my brain - somewhere - that the original idea or principle for this class was originally American. The US MSC were it seems keen to take them over. We had a visit to RFA Stromness in 1977 while in San Diego from a team of senior MSC Officers, and RFA Tarbartness went in 1981, last seen in NORVA.

TJ.Tropea
6th May 2010, 11:35
wonder if any of you remember this trio of austin/pickersgill built ships, worked on them, but under management by us navy, we were civil mariners{ joke} worked for a similar govt run agency like the RFA. Not bad vessels, reminded me of the ones constructed by Vickers in montreal years ago, they were built with RD 90'S Sulzers instead of the Doxford , { with flying pistons}, along with Merrilees blackstone Generators. Worked as a 3rd engineer on there, did many a run on them from Norfollk Va, to UAE, { Jebel ali Terminal} in the 1990's 95-98 to be exact, pleasant riding vessels & reminded me of the old times sailing in the 1970's, The idea of no drinking on american ships, preposterious! resulted in drinking in private & total loss of what I remember, but after late night watches, always in forward saloon having a few from my own stock while everyone asleep, ecah fiot out took about 10 cases of beer 1l bottles & about 2 cases of scotch, passed some around but very quitely, never know who'd snitch on you.. but thats the way it was, a sad shame, but all in all enjoyed the voyages, soon they'll be retired, i belive next year from service, currently the stromness is working as school ship for Texas A& M.

Bill Shaver

Sorry, it was the RFA Lyness (USNS SIRIUS T-AFS 8) that was going to Texas A&M, however, it was found to be to cost effective to convert her. Hence, she was given back to MARAD and is currently being held for fleet reserve. The RFA Tarbatness (USNS SPICA T-AFS 9) has already been sunk. The RFA Stromness (USNS SATURN T-AFS 10) is being held at the Navy Inactive Maintenance Facility in Philadelpha, PA and is slated to also be sunk.

TJ Tropea

Magna
21st September 2011, 15:27
Here's a shot of the Stromness, I think I can see a '10' on the bow of the ship, that I took as we went past it at the entrance to Panama.
2008 it says on the photo so it would be whilst I was on the Maersk Gateshead.
Bear with me if it doesn't work as this is only the second time I've tried posting... the first upload of 'Tarbatness at Ascension' didn't seem to work earlier.

RetiredPMSO
21st September 2011, 20:08
I was lucky enough to have LYNESS as my first ship as Jnr Elect Off during 1967/68 and her first trip east. Then lucky enough to pick up STROMNESS in 1969 as 2nd Elect Off. Great Ships

Had George Sharp as my Snr Elect Off on both ships - anyone know what happened to him?

RetiredPMSO

dab
22nd September 2011, 10:25
George died about 15 years ago after being retired for a number years. I was at his funeral and afterwards attended the "Busmans" club in North Shields where George spent many hours.
Regards,
Dave Burns.

RetiredPMSO
27th September 2011, 21:45
Sorry the hear that about George. I lost track of him after Stromness but did hear he had at his own request reverted to being a 1st Elect Off.

Not sure if that true or not.

Bob S
28th September 2011, 11:30
Might be of interest, Stomness as Saturn in USN livery. I saw her in Norfolk back in 2002.

http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=241446

Bob

"Lecky"
23rd June 2012, 13:23
Hey,
This is a great site,only just joined and have already touched base with Ron [retired PMSO] and dab,both exshipmates.
I reckon all ships are great,but after a year in Lyness,she was big and beautiful.
3 1/2 month trip around South America in '68 wonderful.Yes Sulzer RD 76,not much room in the crankcase;I had tagged out the turning gear starter and was changing a main bearing temp sensor.When I started to get a bit cramped, just squeezed out to find the 3rd with the remote control,turning the engine.
"I say old chap what the ---- are you doing?"

tyneboy
24th June 2012, 17:01
I remember doing the 'as fitted' drawings for all three ships when I was serving my time as a draughtsman at Swan Hunter.
They were built at the Neptune Yard and were good ships to draw as every space was full of equipment(not like the supertankers).
The only downside was that I am sure they were filled with asbestos as I remember it falling like snow as they sprayed it onto the deckheads.