21st December 2008, 11:32
I stood by the building of the "Rembrant" at Smiths Docks Middlesborough in 1952.The choice of engines was Free Piston Gasifiers, with the use of VP prop the control was given to the bridge, the designers however had the good sense to provide a mechanical clutch in the engine room,it was a well used piece of kit. I don't know of other ships being fitted with the Free Gasifier engines,the main benefits of which was a smaller engine room space,and fuel economy
8th January 2009, 21:13
The ore carrier Morar was the first in the UK fleet to have FPGasifiers. They were replaced by diesels later.
10th January 2009, 17:23
I am with shipmate Dotart on this one at present as it was my understanding also that the "Rembrant" was the first purpose built Pescara system powered vessel under the British Flag, the only other one around at the time she was built was a converted Coaster which I believe was called the "Goodwood". Without wanting to offend you Japottinger when was the Morar built and by whom?
14th January 2009, 19:16
Smith's Dock completed the Rembrandt in August 1960. She was sold to Greeks in 1967 and renamed Galini. Soon afterwards she was re-engined with a Vee-12 Pielstick medium-speed, four-stroke diesel, built by Lindholmens of Gothenburg, Sweden. The Vee-12, medium-speed four stroke option would have been forced upon the owners, of course, because of that smaller engine room from the earlier gas-turbine installation.
15th January 2009, 13:42
The Rembrandt was not a success, and spent a lot of time back at Smiths Dock. At one stage one of the ore carriers was moored alongside and the Apprentices painted white elephants on the side.
I served as 3rd Mate on her for two trips in August to December 1963 and found that the engines most annoying. When the planned 4 gassifiers were working on the turbine she ran at a reliable speed. Problem was that the turbine did not seem to like the full pressure and one of the gassifiers was blown up the funnel. The 5th was then started, this meant that there were two gassifiers directed up the funnel, one while it was cooling down and the other while it was getting to the required temperature before it could be directed to the turbine. The noise was tremendous with the two gassifiers blasting up the funnel.
This happened more than once a day so it was impossible to keep a constant speed. Sometimes two blew dropping our speed to a crawl.
The VP screw was a Kamewa and when manouvering it was hard work as there was not a telegraph but a wheel on the side of the telegraph stand. This meant that the 3rd Mate had to turn the wheel to get the pitch of the propellor correct. The turbine was non reversing so when ordered to go full astern it had to be paused at neutral for a short while then continued. I was convinced that the 4th engineers task was to hold on the Engine room wheel to stop me turning it too quickly.
It was strange though looking down into the engine room and seeing nothing.
The Morar, built in 1959 was the first British ship to be powered by Free piston gas turbine machinery, maybe by different manufacturers, however the Rembrandt was the first to be specially designed for FPGT, the Morar was one of a class of Ore carriers that had a different engine
15th March 2009, 18:28
She was built by Lithgows at Port Glasgow, and was recorded in technical press (Motor Ship magazine) as the first British ship propelled by free piston gas generator/exhaust gas turbine machinery.
reversible turbine built by Rankin & Blacknmore
Gasifire supplied by Free Piston Engine Co manu. under licence from Alan Muntz & Co.
Gearbox built by Fairfield.
She was built for Scottish Ore carriers managed by Denholms. Her original machinery was replaced by similar in Martch 1961.
Sold in April 1967 renamed Clari and re-engined in Oct. 1967 by 9-Cyl Werkspoor diesel
Sold again in 1969 and renamed Arnis, and fitted with derricks
Sold again in 1972;1973, renamed Mahoni in 1974
Started scrapping in 17/10/1980 at Kaohsuing, not a bad length of
15th March 2009, 18:44
Thanks for the info japottinger, the "Rem" was powered by the Pescara system also known as the "French System" and it is true that a white Elephant was painted on her side so I am presuming she was the first purpose built vessel with this type of system. As an aside japottinger, enjoyed the article, promotion was quite rapid for me when the "draft dodgers" made the "Run for Home" ( one of Lindisfarnes best!!) I was a 2nd in no time.