Otaki's Sulzers

bobs
22nd February 2008, 01:03
Does anyone know what the type designation was of the two 12-cylinder Sulzer diesels in the 1953-built Otaki. I do know they had a cobined output of 11,500bhp, 580mm bore and a stroke of 760mm, so they would have been 12??58 or 12???58. What were the missing letters?

Mike S
22nd February 2008, 05:59
Otaki

10,934 Gross. 505ft x 70.2ft. Two 12 cyl. 2 S.C.S.A Sulzers driving a single shaft. 11,500 bhp. 16 knots.

Refrigerated space 476,300 cu.ft.

1953 delivered to NZSC by John Brown, Clydebank.

1966 Transferred to Federal S.N. Co.

1971 Transferred to P &O GCD.

1973 Transferred to P & O S.N. Co.

1975 Sold and renamed Mahmoud

1976 Caught fire while refitting at Panama.

1984 Towed to Aliaga for demolition.

Sister ship -Essex.


Hope this is of some help. I coasted UK on her in early 1961. Lovely ship and by the way the VC awarded to Capt. Bisset Smith was at that time mounted in the aft bulkhead of the officers saloon.

Kind regards

Alan Rae
22nd February 2008, 12:30
I sailed on the Essex.The designation was 12SAD58 I think.Otaki had a bad engine room explosion injuring/killing a few,due to fuel leaking through the injectors whilst stopped.Blew a few cylinder heads off when started.After that we were told to lift the fuel pumps off the cams when finished with engines.Not the best Sulzer design I have sailed with,in fact something of an abortion with semi-rotary exhaust valves and each cylinder had a scavenge piston on the back.Alan

bobs
22nd February 2008, 12:55
Thanks, Alan,
Sounds like the Sulzer SAD tpe was well-named on the Otaki. In my 1960 Motor Ship book, the S-Type Sulzer is giving way to the R, in the shape of the RD. In that, the mechanically-driven scavenge pump was done away with.
The only SADs still in production in 1960 were the 60 and 72mm bore models.
Cheers
Bob Scott

Alan Rae
23rd February 2008, 02:39
At the risk of "teaching my grandmother how to suck eggs!".Think the RD engines followed on from the SAD engines.They had turbochargers and rotary exhaust valves(which could be a serious pain if the linkage wasn't greased regularly )They,in turn,were followed by the RND engines which didn't have rotary exhaust valves but a longer skirt on the piston.Cheers Bob,alan

Joe Freeman
23rd February 2008, 20:34
Thanks, Alan,
Sounds like the Sulzer SAD tpe was well-named on the Otaki. In my 1960 Motor Ship book, the S-Type Sulzer is giving way to the R, in the shape of the RD. In that, the mechanically-driven scavenge pump was done away with.
The only SADs still in production in 1960 were the 60 and 72mm bore models.
Cheers
Bob Scott

Hi Bobs could you tell me what the letter designation SCSA prior to Sulzer means.
Thanks,
Joe.

bobs
24th February 2008, 09:58
Hi Joe,
That SCSA thing is not peculiar to Sulzer engines but to all makes of marine diesels. It was a set of abbreviations used by Lloyd's Register in very old Register of Ships books to give details of the engine(s) fitted to motor ships and would also be prefixed by a number - either 2 or 4.
Now I am guessing (or rather, reasoning-out) a little bit about the C but I am certain about the rest. Maybe someone can confirm or correct my interpretation of the C but here goes:
The code 2S.C.S.A would tell you that the engine was a 2 Stroke, Compression-ignition, Single Acting engine. I have found refernces to 2S.C.D.A to denote a double-acting diesel but, so far have never seen 2S.S.S.A to denote spark-ignition.

DIBs
24th February 2008, 18:28
Hi Bobs
I was an E/C on the OTAKI 5-9-70 to 17-1-71. From my sea service book I have the following , SULZER R.S.G. (ready steady go!!) 58. Bore 580mm stroke 760mm. SHP 8,500. We were talking about Peter Lutsby (spelling) SULZER PETE at lunchtime at the pub, he has worked on them.
DIBs

bobs
25th February 2008, 10:19
Joe:
Have been doing a bit of research and now have the definitive answer to your question about SCSA. The C stands for Cycle. So, 2SCSA is 2 Stroke Cycle Single Acting. So, thanks to your question I have learned something new today.

DIBs:
If you are right, I have learned two new things today. I have never heard of a Sulzer RSG and I am still far from convinced that there ever was such an officially named Sulzer as that.
The R-type Sulzers came after the S-Type and one of the big differences was that the RD, the first R-type, was exclusively designed for turbocharging and didn't need scavenge pumps. Alan Rae has mentioned scavenge pumps in his recollections of working on Otaki's engines. Also, if you look up my photo of Otaki in the Gallery you will see that Tom Haywood, who spent two years as an engineer on her, hasn't picked me up on my assertion that the engines were SADs.
Are you sure the RSG designation wasn't just an engineers nickname?

Alan Rae
25th February 2008, 10:56
Bob,The bracket for the scavenge piston was attached to the bottom,lower part of the crosshead slipper at the rear.One scavenge piston for every main cylinder on the SAD engines.Alan

bobs
25th February 2008, 11:00
Thanks, Alan. have you ever heard that RSG thing?

Doxfordman
26th February 2008, 00:03
The main engines on Essex and Otaki where indeed Sulzer 12 SAD. both ships had two off 12 cylinder engines coupled to a single shaft via a magnetic type coupling. Fuel pumps were mounted on the "tops" and by means of a large lever could be lifter of their repsective cams. I sailed on the Essex during 1973 and from memory when either engine was started the cylinder heads used to lift on their studs. For manouvering purposes one engine was running "ahead" and the other "astern". The engines could be clutched in and or out by measn of the magnetic type couplings. Daily scavange fires, latern space galsses blowing out, oil leaks to beat the band. But a very happy ship with a great crowd.

Mike S
26th February 2008, 03:58
Northumberland had a couple of those things..........not too sure of how many cylinders but I know that they used to wizz around at high revs for such a big engine.
We had two major lantern space explosions.......(plus lots of little ones) the first was heading up the Whitsunday Passage with a blue Star ship following about 5 miles astern. Whoompf and the accommodation filled with dark black grey smoke and the engineers hit the greasy pole. We hit the toe and headed for the bridge and Chippy was already on the fcsl by the time I got there! We swung to the hook for about five hours while they sorted out the mess. The Blue Star ship went to standby as there was smoke pouring out of our accommodation!
The second one was worse out in the middle of the Pacific just passing to the south of Easter Island. Around 2 am up she went and this time the explosion was sufficient to damage some fuel lines on the other engine. Stbd exploded and fried the port I think............
Long time ago.....
What the problem was however was that we stopped about 12 miles SW of Easter Island with a 25 knot SW blowing. The lads (may they ever have a continuous supply of Guinness for their efforts) managed to give us one engine in time to escape form the prospect of joining the mutineers. We were still about 6 miles off but the old pucker valve was starting to twitch!
We also used to have a bit of fun every now and again when we rang down to ask the lads to stop the stbd engine and run it astern for manoeuvring. If she was a bit on the cranky side as soon as they started the beast astern there would be an unholy big bang and clouds of soot and feathers would erupt from the funnel. This happened on Otaki entering Newport Locks when I was coasting her and a number of times on Northumberland. We darned near killed the pilot in Brisbane one trip .....he was an elderly gent and when the old girl performed he just about collapsed on the stbd bridge wing in a heap.
Great times.........wonderful crowd and boy did we work for our supper!

Joe Freeman
26th February 2008, 23:40
Joe:
Have been doing a bit of research and now have the definitive answer to your question about SCSA. The C stands for Cycle. So, 2SCSA is 2 Stroke Cycle Single Acting. So, thanks to your question I have learned something new today.

DIBs:
If you are right, I have learned two new things today. I have never heard of a Sulzer RSG and I am still far from convinced that there ever was such an officially named Sulzer as that.
The R-type Sulzers came after the S-Type and one of the big differences was that the RD, the first R-type, was exclusively designed for turbocharging and didn't need scavenge pumps. Alan Rae has mentioned scavenge pumps in his recollections of working on Otaki's engines. Also, if you look up my photo of Otaki in the Gallery you will see that Tom Haywood, who spent two years as an engineer on her, hasn't picked me up on my assertion that the engines were SADs.
Are you sure the RSG designation wasn't just an engineers nickname?

Thanks Bobs for all the information on Sulzer Diesel engines. Its to bad that all the information in each thread concerning Sulzer engines could not be compiled into one common thread the same as the great Doxford thread.
I am sure that there would be a lot more tales and comments about these engines.
Cheers,
Joe.

jmo31508
27th February 2008, 00:31
The following from 'Marine Engineer & Naval Architect', August, 1952. The correct designation for Sulzer engines on 'Otaki', 'Northumberland', etc was
RS58/76. The cast iron frame engines on 'Cornwall', 'Surrey' were designated
SG58/84. The 'Middlesex' had the first RS engines, then "Otaki', 'Essex' and then 'Northumberland' I did the maiden voyage Swansea to Adelaide on the 'Northumberland' in June, 1955 as 4th eng. and was
previously 3 voyages on 'Otaki' as junior. Jon

PS Further info: 14 page article with many pictures in 'Transactions of Institute of Marine Engineers', June 1953 by W. Kilchenmann, Sulzer Bros. He describes the 'Middlesex' engine (the first built) as 10RSG58 but in some parts of his article uses the term 'RS'

bobs
27th February 2008, 00:35
Joe,
The pleasure has been all mine.
Thanks mainly to Alfons over on the Doxford thread, I reckon I now could take a Doxford engineapart and put it back together again - even though I have never seen one.
Cheers Bob Scott

Alan Rae
27th February 2008, 04:48
Hi bob,never heard of an RSG sulzer but that doesn't mean it didn't exist.Whilst on the Essex,a few days out of Wellington,homeward bound the starboard engine decided it had done it's bit.I think it was number ten crosshead parted company from the slipper at 240rpm.Engine was shut down and investigated.All the studs holding the crosshead to the slipper had sheared off and the piston rod was bent like a banana.Removed the piston ,con rod,crosshead assembly and blanked off the stuffing box,fuel line and air start system.Managed to get it running again on 11 cylinders but,after complaints from our illustrious skipper(HRD DELL) re vibration we had to hang up the running gear in the balancing unit,leaving us with ten wheels on our wagon.The company very kindly sent all the requisite parts out to Panama where we spent a pleasant couple of days putting it all back together the way it should be.Essex was a great ship socially(apart from the Captain and the Mate)but workwise it was a nightmare.I thik I had more meals off the top of an oil drum,in the bunkering alleyway,than I eat in the saloon.
If you are interested in engines you might try visiting the website of the"Anson Engine Museum".they are located in Poynton,Cheshire and have a number of working engines on display including a single cylinder Doxford engine which came from South Shields.Museum itself is a bit difficult to find,being in the back of beyond,but well worth the effort to anyone interested in engines and associated equipment.Alan

DIBs
27th February 2008, 18:48
Hi bobs
The RSG designation was writen by me in my Cadets Service Book a long time ago so I cant speak on this topic with any authority. however jmo 31508s coments do give some creedence to this. Before I took redundancy from the ferries I would meet the Sulzer service engineer Peter Lutzby at refits etc and he would talk about the OTAKIs engines which were quite a rarity,I think he used the Ready Steady Go phrase. My own memories of the OTAKI ; my first motor ship after two Shell Tankers; are ,lots of tie rod changing, lantern space plastic windows bulging out followed by flames, Death-alley between the engines with an assortment of tin cans to catch oil/water, this was full of fumes and smoke (hard to see the watchkeeper at the controls when down the aft end for the noon counter, give the signal).`We used a sort of blackboard rubber to clean the Magnetic Coupling slip rings, these were a large diameter always covered in oil and I always had visions of my hands disappearing under the cover! The engines were a mass of nuts and bolts,with each unit bolted to the next and oil coming out of the joints.I was told that they were originally designed for power stations ashore rather than marine propulsion. Other non Sulzer bits OTAKI started life with Polar Gennys
and a protype small Gas Turbine unit ,just the Bedplate left on the Port lower plates, the gennys were replaced with English Electric units (I think ) The story goes that the ship once took a Polar Engineer to kiwi and back to try and sort out the problems,to no avail. On the way home in Curacao we split the center cross bunker whilst bunkering which covered the Port side of the ship in H.O. ,cut the supply to the radio shack at the back of the switchboard, set fire to a running genny and bent the main engine control levers. I think the best memory though was sitting by number four hatch in the tropics,watching the films and the firework display from the funnel,courtesy of Sulzer Diesels.

DIBs

Doxfordman
27th February 2008, 22:54
Dibs,
I reckon you have got it spot on - Essex was much the same!

Mike S
28th February 2008, 05:22
Heading for Oz on one of the four voyages we did on Northumberland we were in company with the Cap Noord, also heading to Brisbane. Following winds on the last few days caused our considerable cloud of smoke to climb straight up.
After a couple of days and nights of fireworks Cap Noord radioed a message asking if there was a volcano in the vicinity.
The reply was "Follow ye the pillar of fire!"
They were not one of Mr Sulzer's howling successes those engines........
Seem to recall that was the voyage we nearly killed the Brisbane pilot with the funnel explosion...........
My memories of NZS ships is of great times and lots of laughs and superhuman efforts of the engineers to keep them going.
One other thought on Northumberland....I never sailed on any other ship that had such a great feeling of co-operation between engineers and mates as that ship.
Example......sailing up the channel to Hull after 21 months away and four round voyages between Oz and USA the engine room phone rang up the revs and sea temp at midnight.
"Fourth idiot here" squawked the phone.
"3rd lunatic up here ..how can I help you?" I replied.
The channel pilot could not believe his ears............

Doxfordman
28th February 2008, 08:26
Hopefully a drawing of the RS Sulzer engine.


http://i239.photobucket.com/albums/ff299/Snikrep777/RSSulzer.jpg

Garethed
5th November 2008, 15:20
I was engineer cadet on the Otaki in 1967, but a couple of days after joining on engine trials before sailing (to Montreal) there was an explosion which put most of us in the Albert Dock seamens hospital for several weeks with burns. Not sure of the engine details, but two , single screw, magnetic clutch.

David Ambrose
15th November 2008, 21:15
Three things I remember as a cadet in 1969 about the Otaki's engines:

They manoeuvered on diesel, then switched to heavy oil at sea.

We used to spray the coupling slip rings with someting called Armaclene (I think), using a garden sprayer.

When I was on the bridge updating the movement book as we left the docks Rotterdam, the was a barge in the river on a collision course with us. As I remember, the sequence of command from the pilot was:

Stop the engine

Slow astern

Half astern

Full astern

Double full astern (i.e. reverse the"ahead" engine and connect the clutch)

Drop the anchor!

We stopped in time.

Tom Haywood
22nd November 2008, 10:28
I was engineer cadet on the Otaki in 1967, but a couple of days after joining on engine trials before sailing (to Montreal) there was an explosion which put most of us in the Albert Dock seamens hospital for several weeks with burns. Not sure of the engine details, but two , single screw, magnetic clutch.

Hi Garethed I remember that engine explosion well enough. I had just joined as Ist Refrig Eng. Yes we were running engine trials when the stb? engine blew out through the explosion ports that were above the starting platform. Hell of a mess down below with foot plates blown into the bilges etc. I remember visting the engineers and a cadet in the seamans hospital with very bad flash burns.

john24601
19th January 2009, 20:48
Does anyone remember the 'death alley' - the space between the back of the two engines on the bottom plates. In 1976 there were so many oil leaks that when you ran (not walked) to the main engine revolution counters you had to dodge the red hot oil drops. A bucket of water and a syringe were always kept handy to put out the numerous small fires that the oil leaks caused.

greyman14
25th January 2009, 18:44
Does anyone know what the type designation was of the two 12-cylinder Sulzer diesels in the 1953-built Otaki. I do know they had a cobined output of 11,500bhp, 580mm bore and a stroke of 760mm, so they would have been 12??58 or 12???58. What were the missing letters?

Interesting query Bob - but i cannot recall the detail that you ask for -it ) was such a long time ago! I was one of the three Apprentice deck cadets on board in 1953 . I remember being storm ridden in the Hurricane Hazel off Cork with two Sulzer Railway Locos on deck!! Lets see OTAKI had two Sulzer diesels - with a magnetic coupling which was not as much trouble as the 16 cyl Sulzer deisels in the SURREY which i remember breaking down in the Indian Ocean 12 times outward bound - 3 days adrift - ALL hands below decks to repair etc. and again breaking down 12 times homeward bound from Aussie land. They were jinxed !!(Thumb)

alan dd
21st June 2010, 18:13
Otaki was my first ship as an engineer cadet in 1974. Still remember it well after all these years.
I understood that the engines were Sulzer RSG's and had also heard that they were designed for power stations.
I also remember so-called "death alley" between the two engines, the engines were fitted the same way round, so the exhaust manifold for the stbd engine was between the two engines. Usually the engines on twin engined ships are 'handed' and fitted with the exhausts on the outboard sides but not the Otaki. Taking the piston return temps on the stbd engine involved legging it down death alley at a fair rate of knots to avoid hot oil drips and such - if the fourth on watch thought I'd flogged the temps he sent me back down there again!
A lot of the engineers reckoned you should have been awarded the Victoria Cross for sailing on her! The Victoria Cross awarded to a the previous Otaki was in a glass case on the saloon bulkhead when I sailed on her.

Malky Glaister
21st June 2010, 19:01
Just come across this thread. An SAD 72 engine was fitted to Donaldsons Letitia, built in Switzerland the engine was i9nstalled at Hall Russel in Aberdeen about 1964 possibly earlier. I sailed on the ship , then BIBI with J and js. The engine was a 6 cylinder and ran at about 125 rpm. It had two scavenge pumps and a turbo blower. Not really a charger! The scavenge pumps were driven from the crossheads by levers. The pistons were of tghe extended skirt type and sat down on the crossheads. ie there were no piston rods. The engine ran very well indeed and caused no trouble. The main job was to keep the scavenge and exhaust ports clear of carbon. The SAD engines were the first of the loop scavenge types. They were foolwed by RD, RND, RNDM and then the poppet valve types.
Hope this is of some interest if a little late.
regards Malky

PeterH
9th November 2010, 19:56
Also just found this thread.
I sailed deep sea as a cadet on the Surrey in 1967. She was powered by the same class of engines as the Otaki - RSG Sulzers - only 8 cyl. version, not 12.
After sailing on the Haparangi with Doxfords, these "medium speed" (250 rpm I think) Sulzers were a real pain - especially the scavenge valves and individual scavenge pumps.
"Death Alley" was also well named! As we manoeuvered into port (London or Liverpool) the port engine had a hot piston and the 2/E, Chris Kenrick (I believe the first NZSCo cadet to get his 2nd's ticket at age 23) together with the Chief Freezer, Chorley Jack, were spraying the piston in the entablature. There was a crankcase explosion which crossed over to the starboard engine! It was a hell of a bang (I was not on watch at the time) but luckily Chris suffered only burns to his arm and Chorley Jack had his hair burnt! Don't ask me why the C/F was helping the 2/E with this job - the spotlessly-overalled Freezers were seldom seen in the oily engineroom!

cubpilot
10th November 2010, 23:21
Peter, I have lost your email address can you pm me or try a direct email, i think you have my current one. Howard

Garethed
27th August 2012, 20:32
Hi Garethed I remember that engine explosion well enough. I had just joined as Ist Refrig Eng. Yes we were running engine trials when the stb? engine blew out through the explosion ports that were above the starting platform. Hell of a mess down below with foot plates blown into the bilges etc. I remember visting the engineers and a cadet in the seamans hospital with very bad flash burns.

Hi Tom

Only just looked again at this thread. Interesting to hear you were 1st Fridge at the time, but we were not on board long enough to have got to know each other. Did you sail with the ship after the explosion?
There were 3 eng cadets - we were the most seriously injured along with the Chief if I remember correctly, who was wearing a short sleeve boiler suit. I still have the scars on my arms, but my face is Ok now. It was a close one.

Peter Edwards

Farmer John
27th August 2012, 21:28
Please don't take this as just a silly comment, is there an idiots guide to marine engines? It took me a bit to work out how rotary plane engines worked, then I found a maintenance manual for the "Viper" and got my head round that.

I think I am right in saying that this is a wider subject and not one that can be easily summarised for an idiot, but if anyone can come up with that kind of thing, I would be very grateful.

Les Gibson
27th August 2012, 23:59
And I thought we had a hard time on a 'P'' type Doxford!!! Hats off to all of you guys who sailed on those with the Sulzers. It was like reading a horror comic. One thing comes over loud and clear though: The hard working ships were always the happiest ships for the engine room staff..
My regards and deepest respects to all of you.
Les Gibson

Duncan112
28th August 2012, 17:55
Please don't take this as just a silly comment, is there an idiots guide to marine engines? It took me a bit to work out how rotary plane engines worked, then I found a maintenance manual for the "Viper" and got my head round that.

I think I am right in saying that this is a wider subject and not one that can be easily summarised for an idiot, but if anyone can come up with that kind of thing, I would be very grateful.

Most of the good books are expensive but this website may be of some use http://www.marineengineering.org.uk/- I was cadet with the creator, Brian Beattie but haven't seen him since phase 3 (Photo of him here!! http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/251955/title/run-ashorerichards/cat/500)

This book may help .. http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_nr_p_n_availability_1?rh=n%3A266239%2Ck%3At he+running+and+maintenance+of+marine+machinery%2Cp _n_availability%3A428631031&bbn=266239&keywords=the+running+and+maintenance+of+marine+mac hinery&ie=UTF8&qid=1346169083

Farmer John
28th August 2012, 18:46
Most of the good books are expensive but this website may be of some use http://www.marineengineering.org.uk/- I was cadet with the creator, Brian Beattie but haven't seen him since phase 3 (Photo of him here!! http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/251955/title/run-ashorerichards/cat/500)

This book may help .. http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=sr_nr_p_n_availability_1?rh=n%3A266239%2Ck%3At he+running+and+maintenance+of+marine+machinery%2Cp _n_availability%3A428631031&bbn=266239&keywords=the+running+and+maintenance+of+marine+mac hinery&ie=UTF8&qid=1346169083

Thank you very much, I shall work away on that. Blimey, that book is expensive in up-to-date edition. Think I would go for the 1965 edition.

A.D.FROST
29th August 2012, 09:55
Does anyone know what the type designation was of the two 12-cylinder Sulzer diesels in the 1953-built Otaki. I do know they had a cobined output of 11,500bhp, 580mm bore and a stroke of 760mm, so they would have been 12??58 or 12???58. What were the missing letters?

(Scribe)

2973029731

Doxfordman
30th August 2012, 01:33
Seeing those pictures....

The nightmares return!!!

DIBs
30th August 2012, 17:52
My MNTB Cadet Training Book says; SULZER R.S.G.58 . Ready,Steady,Go.

DIBs

Doxfordman
31st August 2012, 00:43
Quote from my "Purple Peril"
Mv Essex, NZSCo, built by john Brown Clydebank April 1954.
10936.07 GRT, 6086.66 NRT, 12550 DWT (Summer)
Length 525' 91/2", Beam 70', Draft 30' 73/8" (Summer)
2x 12 Cylinder Sulzer RSG coupled to single shaft via magnetic couplings.
580mm bore, 760mm stroke.
Built by Sulzer (John Brown)
10,900 BHP @ 117 RPM, 11,500 BHP @ 228 RPM
Cochren composite boiler 120 psi, dry saturated.
2,355.1 tons HO, 325.2 tons DO.
Ave fuel cons 39 tons per day HO.
Specific fuel cons 0.405 lbs/SHP/HR
FW Capacity 421.4 tons.