Ellerman Turbine Ships

Jim S
10th October 2008, 16:28
Can anyone tell me the type of boilers fitted to the City of New York Class and City of Oxford Class?
Was the deck machinery all steam driven?


11th October 2008, 01:13
hi Jim.

Sailed on the City of London as 4th engineer. She was a sister to the New York. She was fitted with 3 Babcock & Wilcox sectional header water tube boilers for the main engines & 2 Scotch Boilers for the auxilaries. The boilers were all in a separate compartment from the main twin screw turbine engines. All deck gear was steam driven.

Sailed on the Cities of Brooklyn,Ottawa,Chicago & Coventry
which were sister ships to the Oxford. These were fitted with Babcock & Wilcock water tube boilers,all auxilaries & deck gear was steam driven

Mick Davis.

Jim S
11th October 2008, 20:49
Thanks for your reply. On the City of Oxford class were they also Babcock Header Type?
On this class how did you prevent cylinder oil from deck machinery etc getting into boiler feed water?

Jim S

11th October 2008, 22:55

Yes boilers were sectional headers. To try & stop the oil from the auxcilaries getting back to the boiler feed water
Loofahs were put in the hotwell tank which were changed at regular intervals. The worst culprit was the lubricating oil from the steam pumps. The chief was allways cutting back the amount that was used, with the result that pumps
would seize up.
The result of to much oil getting into the boiler feed water was that the fire row tubes would get coated with oil & burn out. Once one went all the rest would start to go.
Loverly job getting into the back end of the boiler to cut the tubes out (all by hand) & expand new tubes.
On the City of Brooklyn it got so bad we shut down one boiler & had all the fire row tubes renewed when we got to Aden.
Oh happy days.


Jim S
12th October 2008, 21:33
Hi again Mike,
Thanks for the info - very interesting. I can imagine the frustration as oil got into the boiler feed system.
I always thought that turbine ships that had steam auxiliaries and deck machinery were like the Brocklebank ships equipped with Scotch boilers that are a lot more tollerant so I was surprised to read that as late as the City of Oxford Class this was not the case with Ellerman.
It seems that the older City of New York Class had a segregated system with turbine steam from the water tube boilers and auxiliary steam from the Scotch boilers. Again Brocklebank had that same philosophy on Makrana and Mawana buit 1957 and 1958 with main engine steam from a single Foster Wheeler ESD 560 psi, 800 deg F boiler and deck and steam auxiliaries from two 250 psi Scotch boilers.
The latter could be used as a "get you home" should the high pressure ESD fail.
Thanks again for your information

Jim S

13th October 2008, 12:01
Further to your answers, the Oxford and Birmingham had two Yarrow type boilers. These were placed athwartships and made for a whole lot of space between the starting platform and the boiler fronts.
These two were built by John Brown and for some reason had five bolt flanges on the pipework, the others in the class had six.
I flew home from Djibouti when the Oxford was sold.

13th October 2008, 19:34
Seem to have got it wrong on the Oxford & Birmingham with regards to boilers.
I think the New York class were the only post-war ships which were fitted with Scotch boilers & Babcock boilers. One Scotch boiler was left on line as the donkey boiler in port.
On the Brooklyn class one of the Babcock boilers were left on line as the donkey boiler.

Jim S
13th October 2008, 19:51
Thanks Mike and Hallline for your info on Ellerman's turbine ships.
I am still surprised that some of the ships had water tube boilers and steam auxiliaries and deck machinery - even more so with the info that City of Oxford and Birmingham had Yarrow type boilers. I am aware that the American Liberty ships had Babcock Header type boilers so must have had some control measures in place to deal with cylinder oil in boiler feed water.
I guess they would have been fitted with scum pans to allow a blow down from the water level. Did the Ellerman Babcock and Yarrow boilers have such a fitting?
I have always had a liking for the look of the City of Oxford Class of ships - they always looked well maintained. May I add during my time at sea, particularly while attending colleges while studying for tickets I never met any Ellerman engineers - the same during my 20 years in the offshore oil industry. We had people who had sailed with just about every major British shipping company but not from Ellerman - very strange.

14th October 2008, 14:11
The Babcock boilers were fitted with a scum pan in the header, I think the Yarrow type were as well, memory is going.
I think the variation in the Oxford class is because Ellerman took what they could and what was on offer after the war. The Birkenhead class also had two Babcock boilers, (but with only four fires and suffered even more with oil carry over) and all steam auxilaries and deck gear, but the next two ( Winchester and Brisbane) had a closed feed system with electric auxilaries.

14th October 2008, 19:54
The Babcock and Wilcox sectional header boiler was a watertube boiler. It was very robustly built and more similar to a scotch boiler with its sinuous headers and large tubes. It could be be fired by coal or wood on hand grates or mechanical stokers, pulverized coal or oil.
It could cope with oil from turbines or reciprocating machinery.

There was another boiler about at the time the Babcock and Wilcox Integral Furnace Boiler. It could not cope with this problem. It was oil fired.

The wavy (sinuous) header boiler was in T2 ships etc. set up for oil firing.

I do not know Ellerman ships but I have sailed with both these boilers and they are fitted with scum pans in the top drum. There is a blowdown in the water drums, the deep blow and flash blows in most of the headers.

Chemical treatment precipitates the oil and it is scummed out, not usually a problem.