RMAS Tugs

Ustugs
20th July 2008, 06:35
Hello All,

I'm with a tug company in the USA. We have been looking at the RMAS Robust to purchase. She is laid up in Jacksonville, Florida USA. I found this site through google and noticed some chatter back in 2006 about this class of vessel. I'm trying to find out some history of the tug as I'll be the Captain if we do buy her and put her back in service. From the research I've done, she is presently owned by a corporation in the caribbean who had intended to make a yacht out of her. She was gutted throughout (excluding the engines and below deck machinery). Her hull is in great shape and I'm looking forward to this project if we can make it happen. If anyone would like current pictures of her, drop me an email at (email removed) Looking forward to hearing from anyone about this. Thanks.

Please use the personal message system.

Steve Woodward
20th July 2008, 12:11
Ustugs
Welcome to SN from Suffolk, enjoy your time with us and tthe very best of luck with your project
Steve

K urgess
20th July 2008, 12:51
Welcome to the crew Ustugs.
I've had to remove your email address as per site policy.
I hope other crew members wil be able to help with what sounds like a worthwhile project.

thamestug
21st July 2008, 18:43
Is this the one??

Robust 'R' Class

Built C D Holmes 1972. length 54M beam 12m. Draught 6M 1036grt. Speed 15 knots 2x Mirrlees KMR6 engines. 4500bhp. twin CP props twin Rudders. BP50tons range 12300 miles at 12 knots.
Based Gibraltar until 1977 then returned Devonport. sold 1997 To Int. Ship Repairs, Tampa.
Lifeboats removed during cod war and replaced with liferafts owing to fears about Ice-up causing too much topweight.
Hope of use
regards
TUG.

jontybar
22nd July 2008, 13:47
The class comprised three tugs - Roysterer, Rollicker and Robust. Built for the RMAS but with a lot of elements from Yorkshire Towing unuts I recall (I was Assistant Naval Architect at CD Holmes in 1969-1971). We also built some 75ft fleet tenders and our 'own' class of 105ft fleet tenders during that period as well as commercial tugs and trawlers.
I have some old plans of Roysterer ticked away at home somewhere.

John Barnes (Please PM me to exchange email addresses)

ojitosfrios
19th February 2009, 03:04
I worked on the Robust from 9/2003 to 9/2005, in various locations arount Tampa Bay, Florida. She was working until being bought by R. Allen Stanford in the spring of 2005. I was there when she was gutted. She had a sound hull. Both main engines worked. Two of the three gennys worked and could be synched. The CPP steering worked, but was badly out of date. Contact me if you have any questions or would like some pics of her.

JKB
29th April 2009, 00:25
I worked in the Marine Service Department at Mirrlees Blackstone from the late 1970s to 2004 and the two things I recall about this class of tug was that a good deal of money was spent on them for possible use in the Falklands conflict and that the spring drive between the crank and the engine-driven pumps on the free end of the main engines (known as the Maltese Cross drive) was the source of a good deal of trouble.

cryan
8th May 2009, 20:52
I work with a lad whose father was skipper on one of these, I am led to believe they were a bit unstable due to being a little bit shorter than designed but not sure how much of that is here-say.

vincent simmonds
11th July 2009, 18:35
I Have Read They Were Shorter Them Designed To Save Money I Delive It Was Some Thing Like 30 Foot Shorter

Noddy-Billing
20th July 2009, 14:43
I Have Read They Were Shorter Them Designed To Save Money I Delive It Was Some Thing Like 30 Foot Shorter

My belief is that they were built 30 feet shorter than originally designed because the building slip was too short. Perhaps Jontybar can elucidate? They were certainly very lively at sea due to the poor ratio of length against air draught.

diverdan
29th December 2009, 11:45
Hi

I was the last C/e of this vessel when she was RMAS before she was sold. I was also the last C/E on Roysterer berfore she was sold.

I would appreciate any up to date pictures of her and history since then. Please pm me

JKB - robust had the modification to the Maltese cross system by the unclusion of 2 independent electrically driven water pumps - salt and fresh - which reduced the gearing required at the front end of the engines.

Roysterer was bad with this problem - it happened to me 2 times when I was on her. Rollicker never had this problem.

dd

Timll2
12th February 2010, 16:46
The 'R' Class tugs and the spring wheel drive problems!! many attempts to overcome the fretting of the spring wheel drive gearing was undertaken before the Robust was fitted with electric circulation pumps.

All three vessels of the class had the same fault: however, only Robust was modified.

I sailed on Rollicker for many a year and re-set the pump gearing with replacement gear wheels, the main problem with the pumps was the overhang of the units and the failure of the drive through the idler gears. The gearwheels were checked on this drive train at a regular period of preventative maintenance which overcame the failure.

The fretting on the gears occurred when the securing/doweling of the pumps became weak. this allowed the clearance between the meshing of the gears to run out and eventually the drive failed.

I would appreciate any photos' of Robust and would hope these could be emailed to me.

They did shorten the vessels during build and I can confirm that these vessels corkscrew and are lively whilst underway in heavy weather.

Any other information I can supply please ask.

Good luck with the modifications of Robust - Cheers

jenthom123
28th March 2010, 01:44
How is the robust coming on? my father used to work on the roysterer that was based at faslane naval base! i loved going on that tug! Free doghnuts! lol ;)

Waighty
30th March 2010, 11:46
What does "pm me" mean please?

Waighty
30th March 2010, 11:50
My belief is that they were built 30 feet shorter than originally designed because the building slip was too short. Perhaps Jontybar can elucidate? They were certainly very lively at sea due to the poor ratio of length against air draught.


They were originally designed for the RFA and the reason they were shortened was the usual Ministry reasoning - money. Or rather the lack of it!:@

Billieboy
30th March 2010, 15:58
What does "pm me" mean please?

Waighty, if you click on a member's name in the left corner, the second line down is, "send a private message", click on this and then type the message in the box then click on sbmit!
QED

Gary Slatkow
23rd August 2010, 17:24
This vessel is now a government seizure and must be sold soon or she will end up as scrap.
Her hull looks great and her interior is ready for modification. I have been awarded the responsibility of selling her or sending her to the scrap yard and I would sure hate to see this powerful lady scrapped. If anyone would like more details please contact me. She will be sold for pennies on the dollar or scraped by the end of 2010.
Gary 954 242 6723

LGFINCH
14th October 2010, 20:33
Len Finch. I was the first Master of RMAS Robust having taken her over from
John Falkner who taken deliveryof her from the builders1n 1973.I sailed the tug
Confident from Gibraltar to Plymouth and took over Robust. She was then based in Gibraltar from where I carried out several successful salvage jobs.
The Cheshire Endeavour being one, a container vessel which had lost power off
Cape St Vincent.
I towed her to Lisbon, another was July Star a tanker which had broken in two
a result of an explosion off the coast of Sardenia. Robust was good vessel she behaved well in rough weather and I enjoyed being her Master.I am now 81yrs
and have some great memories.
,

andrew harding
26th October 2010, 21:41
Len Finch. I was the first Master of RMAS Robust having taken her over from
John Falkner who taken deliveryof her from the builders1n 1973.I sailed the tug
Confident from Gibraltar to Plymouth and took over Robust. She was then based in Gibraltar from where I carried out several successful salvage jobs.
The Cheshire Endeavour being one, a container vessel which had lost power off
Cape St Vincent.
I towed her to Lisbon, another was July Star a tanker which had broken in two
a result of an explosion off the coast of Sardenia. Robust was good vessel she behaved well in rough weather and I enjoyed being her Master.I am now 81yrs
and have some great memories.
,

Hi Len,my name is Andrew Harding i now work for Serco Marine.Prior to that I served in the RMAS for 31years.Being the first master of Robust must have been quite intresting,did you serve in many more PAS tugs also youre time in Gibraltar did you sail with Peter Marrs he was my old captain on the dog tug Collie at Chatham also the Master of the Kinloss which I also served on for five years.I transfered to Plymouth in 1982 wher John Falkner was also the Shipping Master at the time.After several months of been on the St Margarets I decided to go back onto mooring boats late 1983 I joined RMAS Pintail for three years and then onto the new class of vessel's SALMAID which I joined from builders just like yourself. As an Able Seaman.I managed to clock up some twenty one years onboard Salmaid and in 2000 becoming the Boatswain and the only original crew member from build.I now serve on Salmoor and operate from the Clyde.We work one month on and one month of not like the old days!watch on stop on.March of this year I was awarded with a Imperial Service Medal which sits proud in my computer office along with many old photographs.One last thing Peter Marrs once told me when he was on the Robust in Gibraltar they got a shout and Robust went across a shallow patch of water to save the vessel and damaged her fuel tanks is this true were you onboard when this took place?Look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
Andy(Thumb)

LGFINCH
27th October 2010, 14:12
Hello Andrew Harding, it was good to hear from you regarding RMAS Robust
yes I did hear about her grounding I spoke to the mate Frank Fenton a couple
of years later, he was not too happy with outcome of the subsequent inquiry,
Peter Marrs had taken over from me as Master some time previous. My career
spanned 40 years I served on many tugs the first as a cabin boy on a large coal burning paddle
tug named Grapler,I went Faslane in 1968 as the master of Deerhound, I also
served on Pintail down in Plymouth as the Mate for a short while about 1964.
I also served as relief master on different mooring vessels, amunition shps and so on. I'm still in touch with Iain Reedie who was Ch Eng with me for a while and was with Serco in Plmouth when he retired,I used to have 24ft yaght which
I kept at Inverkip on the Clyde, I live in Glasgow, Iain came up every year for
10yrs every July. We sailed all around the west coast and Northern Ireland and had
a wonderful time. all the best Len Finch.

chadburn
27th October 2010, 18:13
Andrew, I read that you were with RMAS and then Serco, can you enlighten me as to how the transfer of the Tugs took place and what sort of arrangement regarding Transfer of Undertakings and Protection of earnings took place or did you have to re-apply for your own jobs under the new owners Serco?, was your old Pension frozen? Thank You, Chad.

cryan
3rd November 2010, 20:14
Len Finch,
I read you were the master of Deerhound. I am now the current Chief Engineer at Rosyth for Babcocks. The old girls still ticking away nicely, the only real problem is wear and tear.

gordonw
23rd February 2011, 15:39
I work with a lad whose father was skipper on one of these, I am led to believe they were a bit unstable due to being a little bit shorter than designed but not sure how much of that is here-say.

I was on the robust until we took her to Portsmouth,that was the last of our big tugs,she was a bit unstable but i enjoyed my time on her also on the Typhoon.

stoneman
7th August 2011, 18:49
hi andy,
remember me ? dave morgan, kinloss in chatham, then moved to portland

Jimboarr
18th August 2011, 23:41
hi,how u doin?
I was one of the leading engine room ratings on Roysterer and Robust when they were last in service with the RMAS, and was also part of the team which got the machinery running on Robust after a serious flooding in the engineroom when it was lying alongside in greenock, when it was bought by two brothers from florida. i'm curious as to what machinery is still left on board and is it still the same old switchboards? I would imagine it would be almost impossible to get spares for them.
I enjoyed my 9 1/2 yers on board these boats, been all over the place on them (Iceland, Madiera, Portugal, Gibraltar Morroccan Coast, Azores, etc, etc). Had many a sleepless night due to the sea catching the belting on the starboard side, what a bang!
Be nice to hear what you do with it, if you take it on.
Cheers for now
jimboarr

todd
22nd August 2011, 11:21
The 'Capable' is up for Sale in Gib.

See 'Anyone Interested' in < http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/forumdisplay.php?f=377 >

Jim

jan martin
8th September 2011, 21:44
My belief is that they were built 30 feet shorter than originally designed because the building slip was too short. Perhaps Jontybar can elucidate? They were certainly very lively at sea due to the poor ratio of length against air draught.

the reason they they were cut short was they could be used as harbour tugs as well as sea tugs is this the same noddy billing who worked with me on the superman in1966

jan martin
15th September 2011, 23:13
hi andy,
remember me ? dave morgan, kinloss in chatham, then moved to portland

hi dave its jan martin from the kinloss are you still living in portland im working on the woolwich ferry in london hope to hear from yoy soon

Edouard de langlade
15th August 2012, 02:15
Hi, i am interested about this tug. Would you be kind enough to send me more picture please .

Thank you
Edouard de langlade

Gordy Connor
19th November 2013, 23:32
Most of my old crew where on The "R" class tugs. I was informed they where horrible sea boats, because the length was shorter than design. I left Serco earlier this year having spent 8 years in Faslane.

My last skipper was Lou Carrier who was AB on the Roystrer and James Bradley was AB, he was second cook on same vessel.