what was the worst ship you sailed on?

cubpilot
3rd January 2009, 12:53
Some ships I sailed on were 20+ years old, some were on their maiden voyage but there was only one ship that from the day of signing on all I wanted to do was get off. It was London Clipper, under 2 years old but in the 3 months on board we had incident after incident. on day 1 a generator siezed a main bearing and had to be pulled entirely apart for a new crank and bedplate. sailing 2 days later into a winter storm we were rolled over enough to lose oil suction and main and generators shut down leaving us blacked out rolling wildly and drifting on shore. the only time ever at sea when i was hurled out of my bunk by violent rolling.
other events were cracked cylinder liners due to filling fuel double bottoms with ballastwater as ship was so unstable it would loll about 8 deg if any tank was slack, engine room fire during bunkering due to sounding pipe being adjacent to generator exhaust. failures of various system pumps. loss of one cargo due to refridge plant failure. this due strum boxes filling with river weed due to loss of intake water screens because shipyard fitted mild steel not stainless bolts. ridiculously poor control/ums equipment and design. loads of small incidents due to poor construction. company policy to drive ship at speed to meet deadlines irrespsctive of weather so running up through the atlantic in mid winter gales at 21 kts and engine ripping its guts out every time the prop came out the water.
arrived in bremerhaven 3 months one day after signing on. was on the next available flight home along with 75% of the crew.
Ironically I later worked in the consultancy headed up by the man who had designed that series of ships and each was as bad as the other.

frogger
19th March 2009, 08:18
QE2 forsure was worst!

Satanic Mechanic
19th March 2009, 08:24
Lepeta

dave13
19th March 2009, 09:19
Joined the Insistence in 1988, if my memory serves. Had a minor collision with a Danish container ship off of Colchester within hours of joining, The after peak had a crack in the tank top, so if topped up to much flooded my Cabin, Impounded in Antwerp ( I think ) as the ship was not fit to sail. The flood water in My cabin Froze as the generator gave up. Takeaways only as we had no stores. We sailed anyway. As soon as we hit the UK I was off.

Pat Kennedy
19th March 2009, 09:21
The Peter M, one of Metcalfe's motor coasters. A complete sh*thole of a ship.

Fieldsy
19th March 2009, 09:50
Did anyone else find that some of the harder-working ships had the best social life? Don't know if it is the work-hard, play-hard ethic, but people always seemed more determined to enjoy themselves on tougher ships.

One of the less enjoyable engine rooms I spent time in had Pielstick engines, which I hated, but I stayed for 7 trips as we had such a good time on board.

Satanic Mechanic
19th March 2009, 10:03
Did anyone else find that some of the harder-working ships had the best social life? Don't know if it is the work-hard, play-hard ethic, but people always seemed more determined to enjoy themselves on tougher ships.

One of the less enjoyable engine rooms I spent time in had Pielstick engines, which I hated, but I stayed for 7 trips as we had such a good time on board.

Absolutely true - the hard working ships you were too busy fighting the job to fight each other. (in saying that I do remember when things just got a wee bit too bad on one vessel and it erupted in an eight man brawl - lots of shiners and bloody noses at the party in the bar that night - which says a lot in itself)

On a good ship the devil did indeed make work for idle hands.

jmcg
19th March 2009, 12:16
MV English Bridge of Bibbys. A sister of the ill fated MV Derbyshire. A thread on its own.

BW

J

ccurtis1
19th March 2009, 17:52
Argo Clyde (ex Silver Clyde, the Denholm fraternity will recall her as the Binsnes) Definitely, along with her sister the Argo Tweed (ex Silver Tweed, ex Baknes) in a league of their own. Ughhhhh

stewart4866
19th March 2009, 18:56
British Unity 1972

trucker
19th March 2009, 20:01
br. commodore,joined nov.70.glad to see falmouth dry dock ,march 71.[canny christmas on board though].home a few days .then join br.centaur in belfast.h.w. talk about out of the frying pan into the fire.

tell
22nd March 2009, 02:50
Llanberis of cardiff, bullying for 14 months on end Captain was on his ivory tower didn't have a clue as to what was going on on his ship, even the old mate was subjected to it

lakercapt
22nd March 2009, 04:16
Two would have my votes and I would not be able to say which would win the prize so it would be a dead heat
Baron Kinnaird
Celtic Monarch.
Miserable experiences that will never be forgotten

Baltic Wal
22nd March 2009, 17:16
RESTORMEL, took 28 days to cross the Atlantic from London to Newport News. Dangerous coming back with a metacentric height of less than 1". The engineers had to play with ballast continually to keep her stable. That was having to live with there cabins flooded all the way out.

twogrumpy
22nd March 2009, 17:19
British Unity 1972

Strange that Stewart, I did a couple of back to back trips on there in 73/74, and found it not unreasonable.
How about BP's Eyties?
Comet attempted to sink in The Bay, sent out SOS, first ship that came to stand by us blew up. All this detailed in previous threads.
Do not believe any of that class were any good, and am sure others would have worse tails to tell.
(Cloud)

Nick Balls
22nd March 2009, 18:20
The coaster MV Roy............. Death trap, or to put it another way a training simulator for ship board disasters. I learned a lot that trip........The only good thing were the crew. Cape Verde Islanders. I have the greatest respect for a few of these folk to this day. Born seamen, gentlemen and people to trust with your life ...just as well that year,we needed it ..As the Dutch Captain said, I hate the British !!!! I was the only Brit on board but he was referring to the unscrupulous owners and their panamanian rust bucket. Did not look back and in 37 years of signing on its the only one I walked off without the normal formalities.

john g
22nd March 2009, 19:48
A long time ago ......Moss Tankers ........Luminous circa 1970 , never quite got over that one

tsell
23rd March 2009, 09:18
SS Nurtureton!! Chapman's!!!

Sailed for the West Indies with coal in the 50's. We were frequently hove to, mid ocean, with all sorts of problems and took a long time to sight land.
Eventually arrived, discharged cargo then set sail for San Domingo to load sugar.
Had to wash out the holds at sea (polution?), they had to be spotless as the sugar was unloaded from individual sacks into the holds then trimmed.
Did so much soogie on deck it was a wonder there was any paint left, (the bosun was a bas*ard).
The worst part came half way home when we ran out of food.
There were half cooked Haricot beans on toast for most meals, the bread was made from a mix of flour from one good barrel and one sour barrel full of weevils! We were also full of rats and big Bombay Charlies!
To top it off the chippie somehow got sea water in the fresh tank!!
Fortunately, we had brought aboard copious quantities of fresh fruit, coconuts, bananas and so on, which we shared out. (Never ate another banana for at least 20 years!)
The crowd were close to mutiny. Then one day an AB coming off the 12-4 said he could smell ham! He woke up those asleep and we all tracked the aroma to the Bosun's cabin and there was the bas*ard with a huge open tin of Olida Ham!
Won't tell what happened to him, but we all had a share of the ham, only problem was it was so salty (our taste buds were stuffed), that we were very thirsty, but the water was salty too!
There were suspicions that the PO's had sold the majority of our stores but there was no proof of this.
Eventually, we arrived in the Thames Estuary whereupon the deck crew refused to turn to. The captain, who the older crew members said had to be in on the missing stores mystery, threatened to charge us with mutiny and read out the relevant section of our articles.
We proceeded up river and were met by a tug with fresh stores. I can still remember the smell of the fresh baked bread to this day. We had gallons of orange juice and even though we were told not to gorge ourselves most of us were sick and had severe belly ache!
We docked and someone had contacted the Seaman's Union. There was a fair amount of shouting and posturing on both, sides even from me a lowly EDH trying to be grown up, sticking his chest out!!
We refused to leave the ship until the matter was sorted out and the older crew said that this would not be regarded as mutiny.
Subsequently the Union boss said he had agreed with Chapmans a 'take it or leave it deal' which amounted to less than fourpence a day extra pay for every day we were without food. (I think it was three and a half pence from memory).
My pay-slip shows that I didn't get this money, so what sort of deal did the Union do??
On going ashore I met an older second cousin of mine. She said she was married to the chief steward, who, it was said, had a big hand in flogging off the stores!
I have thought of this trip many times over the years and will never forget it and now that I have joined SN maybe there is some old codger out there who reads this and can add to the story of the 'Nurtureton' on that trip so many years ago.

Taffy R556959

Ian J. Huckin
28th March 2009, 18:46
cubpilot - Howard....

I'm dragging a few brain cells out of retirement here so maybe I am going to be just totally wrong but was'nt the London Clipper originally built for Zim Lines? If I'm on the right thread here I seem to remember she was set up as an Israel Navy Auxilliary ship and had a larger engine than she was originally designed for squeezed in. Also the mast houses were re-inforced and had all sorts of "sealed" government equipment in them so, with the cranes/derricks removed they could be converted to gun platforms. If I have this right it could certainly explain some of the stability issues......

uisdean mor
28th March 2009, 19:15
John re--entry 17
Was that before the problemswith the scraper rings?After that we had huge problems with gudgeon bearings and the stress relief process on the gudgeon oilholechamfers.
Did 3 trips on Luminetta and 1 each on Luminous and Lustrous.Good ships and relatively happy but the work was pretty fullon.Will never live long enough to forget the purifier flat.

After the tankers served for a wee whileon the ACL small vessels (hand made by farmers in Korea). Thought I was on the goodend of Pielsticks then ( Nippon Kokan).They made a few good and thoughful mods but we were again let down by the design engineers changing the piston cooling system. The pistons would look OK until turned upside down when on overhaul. They tended to split across the top end bearing and fall into 3 bits. Start of another replacement programme over the next 18 months as new pistons sourced from somewhere else .Did not really care as we all knew down time was minimal and we had to get the work done. Good thing was regular crew changes with back to back mates so you knew what was coming. After that though I gave Pielsticks a wide berth for quite some time.

Rgds
Uisdean

JohnBP
29th March 2009, 07:19
British Centaur, scavange fires, always breaking down, 9 months of unpaid overtime....

blurb10
29th March 2009, 13:54
Elders and Fyffes's m.v. Pacuare l957. Jun. Eng. Still gives me the shudders!

blobbybluey
29th March 2009, 14:40
mv hemimachtra,shell tanker went from seaforth to stanlow,that was enough asked to be paid off was told told no,so bailed out commitee and loss of pool pay was a small price to pay

Klaatu83
29th March 2009, 15:34
During thirty years at sea I sailed on some really awful old rustbuckets, several of which dated from World War II. Quite a few of the ships I sailed on were 30+ years old, including two Victory ships and a World War II - vintage Seagoing Tug. I've also shipped out with captains who were so notorious that many others simply wouldn't sign on with them.

Looking back, however, I would have to say that the dubious distinction of Most Miserable Ship would have to go to the steam tanker Overseas Arctic (sister ship of the Overseas Alaska, photos of which appear in this collection). That was shortly after Ronald Reagan had broken the Air Traffic Controller's Union, an event which encouraged all the other U.S. industries to abrogate their union contracts as well, including the tanker operators. By the time I joined the Overseas Arctic we were already aware that the axe was going to fall, the only question was when. Once a Mississippi River pilot brought us a copy of the New Orleans Times Picayune that included a classified ad placed by the very company we were currently sailing for asking for ships' masters and mates!

The run was a miserable one to begin with, shuttling between a remote oil terminal at a place called Chiriqui Grande in the Panamanian jungle and various terminals along the U.S. Gulf Coast. Combined with that, however, was constant uncertainty about whether or not we were going to be allowed to make the next trip. The result was an atmosphere of gloom and doom such as I had never experienced at sea before, and have never encountered since.

Steve Hodges
10th April 2009, 16:35
Strange that Stewart, I did a couple of back to back trips on there in 73/74, and found it not unreasonable.
How about BP's Eyties?
Comet attempted to sink in The Bay, sent out SOS, first ship that came to stand by us blew up. All this detailed in previous threads.
Do not believe any of that class were any good, and am sure others would have worse tails to tell.
(Cloud)

British Light was undoubtedly the worst ship I sailed on from an engineering point of view, but it was my first ship and I thought ships must all be like that! I think the class were built from the same steel that they used for Alfa Romeo cars, it would rust away while you watched it.
My second trip, on the British Holly, was the worst trip I ever had; the Second had a heart attack and nearly died; the Third got raging drunk, smashed up the bar with a fire axe and got sent home; the cook was utterly useless and only breakfasts were edible ( I lost two stone); we got caught in a storm off Cape Leeuwin, the tank hatches leaked and we ruined a cargo of lube oil; it was a Tilbury pool crew and the worst bunch of wasters I ever sailed with. After that I told head office I wanted a steamship with an Indian crew, so they sent me back on the Light!

borderreiver
10th April 2009, 17:22
How about the Tanker Leeds
ex french Total tanker wooden lifeboats
accommdation losy
lost two crew with wine
could not make water easily(drinking our dobily water a fedw times on board)
two engs badly hurt
lost a tank lid with cargo in
lost the windless
and so on

Ian J. Huckin
10th April 2009, 18:28
m.v. Vasu - 500 ton reefer picking up tuna from long-liners and pole boats around Fiji and Pacific Islands.

I was sent out as crew training "officer" Crew were a mix of Fijians and Rotuma Islanders. Here is what I loved about it:

1..The galley had burned out just before I joined so all food was cooked over coals in oil drums on after deck.
2..No air conditioning even fitted in the first place.
3..Vap had been stripped down some time in the past and many pieces lost. FW supplied through just one tap where you filled a bucket.
4..One SW shower.
5..One WC which used to back up at least once a week.
6..No matter what I did the crew would stop the ship at 10:00 every Sunday morning for a church service.
7.."Grog" or Kava was a staple, not alcoholic but narcotic.
8..Was stabbed by a crew member high on Kava. KO'd him with a piece of 2x4 I had handy.The local police came down to the ship and got drunk with the crew. There were only two police on the Island (Tulagi I think) but only one uniform. They swapped daily.

I stitched the wounds myself (in my right hand) packed my bags and jumped a pole boat to Guadalcanal. Managed to get the owner to fly me to Hong Kong, where his offices were. I'll just say he did right by me and got me over to the Ascanius (TMA) where I pledged to myself that my spirit for adventure needs to be curbed.

One thing though, Vasu had a Niigatta main engine, it was fabulous. Also some mega compounded recip reefer comps. Great little ER.

I still shudder.....

Satanic Mechanic
11th April 2009, 14:51
One vessel that shall remain nameless that I took over as 'super' got detained by everybody the first port it went to - and rightly so. One of the more amusing deficiencies was 'cockroach infestation' which the Captain insisted wasn't that bad but had looked worse due to the female Port State Inspectors perfume attracting the cockies!!!!!!!

Some things you can't make up

neilmarineng
11th April 2009, 14:58
Nicholas M owned by coe Metcalf
sailed on her before she was sold was an engineers nightmare

John Rogers
11th April 2009, 15:14
The S.S. Argodon, (London Greek) ex Fort Boat. Joined her in Avonmouth on the 28th Dec 1951 for a New York run,she was a mess in the engine room and the boilers were leaking into the fire grates,they supposedly fixed that problem and we sailed on the 3rd of jan 1952. Two hours down the channel fighting a gale another boiler gave out,we had water over the plates in the shaft tunnel and the pumps could hardly get rid of it. We were forced to take shelter in Falmouth just as the Flying Enterprise sank. I paid off of her along with many of the crew on the 10th of Jan 1952,it took almost 7 days to get from Avonmouth to Falmouth,I swear we passed Cardiff and Swansea at least twice because of the head winds and high seas, and doing around 3 knots. I was glad to get off of that rust bucket.The next day I signed on the British Purpose,a nice clean motor vessel.

John.

steviej
12th April 2009, 09:22
MV English Bridge of Bibbys. A sister of the ill fated MV Derbyshire. A thread on its own.

BW

J

Yes. I sailed on the first of the Sister Ships. The Furness Bridge. It was not nicknamed the F****** B******. for nothing.(EEK)

stores
12th April 2009, 17:20
HI , WORST SHIP FOR ME WAS 3RD TRIP ON MV SALINAS, PSNC, WAS NOT THE SHIP SO MUCH BUT THE CREW, ALLWAYS FIGHTING, WITH ANYONE, USUALLY FUELLED BY ALCHAHOL, SHE WAS PRONE TO SCAVENGE FIRES BUT HAD 2 CARGO FIRES, ONE COMING HOME WITH A CARGO OF FISHMEAL, BOY DID IT SMELL, ANY SHIP COULD BE BAD, EITHER BECAUSE THEY WERE A WORK UP, OR BAD FEEDERS, WE OFTEN REFERRED TO A SHIP AS BEING ( CHATTY BUT HAPPY ) COULD BE AN OLD HEAP, BUT GOOD FOOD AND CREW MADE THE SHIP, IF YOU HAD GOOD MATES AND FOOD YOU COULD TOLERATE MOST THINGS, I ALLWAYS FOUND A SHIP WITH A MIXED CREW FROM ALL OVER THE UK WERE BEST, ONLY ONE EXCEPTION WAS tHE PASS OF GLENCLUNY, A CORY MARITIME SMALL TANKER, I WAS ONLY SOUTHERNER , REST WERE FROM STORNOWAY, WHAT A GREAT CROWD, STILL REMEMBER THE BARRELS OF SALTED HERRINGS, AND THE ACCORDIAN, THEY LOVED THERE JONNY WALKER BLACK LABEL WHISKEY, STORES

john g
14th April 2009, 18:19
Hi Uisdean good to read your comments about Moss tankers and the Pielsticks I feel relief after all these years I am not alone with my feelings! john g

richardc
14th April 2009, 20:47
British Centaur, brand new out of Belfast jan 66. Thank goodness I wasn't an engineer, over the 6 months I was on her they were kept busy on a regular basis with various problems.
Loading was a decidedly nervous operation at times as the pump system for the hydraulic bulkhead valves had a tendency to stop working just when you really needed it so the emergency hand pump had to be pressed into use. The inert gas system, a great idea, was also temperamental at times especially during discharge.
Not a great advert for a new ship and from comments in other threads it would appear things didn't get much better. She seems to have picked up a few votes in this thread too!
All the above apart though it was a lucky trip as I should have joined the Crown, but was sick so I missed it thank goodness, I only hope nobody took my place as it was at short notice.
Richard.

pensioner
11th May 2009, 19:53
(Cloud) The worst ship I sailed on was managed by Cunard, it was the Oloibiri on its maiden voyage. Built in Pula I joined in La Spezia? dry-dock. Before getting out of the Meddie we were down to on Cargo pump/alternator (Pielstick). After only 1 test Inerting the stainless steel!! deck pipes were blowing all over the deck. Also had chlorination system on main SW Cooling on testing successefully filled Engine Room with chlorine gas. Common statement in Control Room was " What we going to prove doesn't work today". Would be pleased to her from anybody on that voyage, if still sane.(Cloud) (Cloud) (Cloud)

paisleymerchant
11th May 2009, 20:24
Sailed deep sea for all of my seagoing life never sailed on a bad ship, that i wanted to get off that came afterwards in an insane moment i signed on for a season on the PS Waverley.
Needless to say i only stayed the 1 season

agitator
13th May 2009, 15:01
Worst Ship Sailed On Anyone Remember The Old Largs Bay

paul0510
13th May 2009, 15:27
British Destiny....and that 3 times over. Must have been a glutton for punishment.

guinnessmick
13th May 2009, 20:27
the worst ship i was ever on was the mv england. she was carrying construction workers to the falkland islands at the time i was an ex seaman so i knew what i was talking about the food was the worst i have ever had i don't know who called the cook a cook but he certainly knew how to tell lies

quietman
13th May 2009, 20:36
Yes. I sailed on the first of the Sister Ships. The Furness Bridge. It was not nicknamed the F****** B******. for nothing.(EEK)

Tyne Bridge another sister. The owners were good to work for but the ship was a nightmare.(Cloud)

Steve Hodges
13th May 2009, 21:26
British Destiny....and that 3 times over. Must have been a glutton for punishment.

Yes, she was an evil old ***** - I did two trips on her, as J/E & 4/E. But the "Light" was worse - everything you touched just fell apart.

G0SLP
14th May 2009, 17:29
Gibsons' "Traquair" was a ship which either 'made' you or 'broke' you... Bloody hard work, but (usually) a happy ship, as is so often the case.

Russken40
14th May 2009, 19:32
1963, Makeni Palm, ex BP tanker British Rover. 3 legged Doxford, engine driven main pumps, all steam auxiliaries. 4 days steaming Immingham to Liverpool, unbelievable. Can't remember how long it took us to discharge a full cargo of palm oil. I can remember having to set oily waste fires under the discharge pipe to stop the palm oil solidifying. Absolute nightmare. She was eventually broken up in Brindisi in 1978, God knows what she must have been like then!!

Russ K (Thumb)

uisdean
14th May 2009, 22:43
Hello pensioner
Did 3 trips on Oloibiri. Too many problems to mention them and it really was a poor ship build.
I doubt if she would ever have passed a BOT/Lloyds/DNV test in todays climate and how she stayed at sea for so long is a miracle to me.
Some extreme exAMPLES FOR YOU TO CONSIDER.
1) Cleaning - punching out the furnace box ends under steam conditions with wet burlap and rags to stop you burning up. boots melting and only possible to remain in side the fire box for a few minutes.
2) Main engines jacket cooling circulating with bunker fuel - not as an accident/cock up but because that was the only fluid we had on board to circulate
3)Deck Seal permanently on fail and the CO2 generators failing to match the VacPress back pressure.

Huge issues with the way that ship was run - not by those involved at the sharp end but in charter and political terms.
As you say any sane person got off as soon as possible. Second trip I joined by helicopter off Las Palmas with 3 Croation electrician who had flown out to "rewind" a generator at sea???? Reason I joined was because the 4th had attempted to knife the Ch Eng and they had him locked up.

However some good memories of the guys and some of the scrapes - it really was a huge task to keep her running but it would take a book to write it all up.

Rgds
Uisdean

pensioner
18th May 2009, 22:06
Hi Usdean
(Cloud) (Cloud) Did they ever get that monstrosity of a Turbo Alternator going again. When it was decided to give IT its first run in anger, we had our usual success rate. We all assembled on the Boiler/Alt flat and ran IT up we also had to use the aux'y boiler as the Exh.Gas unit was not enough. All seemed to be going well, to our surprise, so we all proceeded to the Control Room to check IT was controllable from there and put IT on the board. As the 2nd Elect had never done such a procedure it was decided he should have the honour? he went through the procedure and was about to push the Breaker Close Button when all hell broke loose. Eventually we all made our way up to the flat, through lots of steam and noise, fiighting our way through we shut off the steam lines to IT. Inspection of the flat showed the condensor casing had a hole in it and all the flexible pipe joints had blown away, and that most of the light fittings were damaged. It later transpired the joints were a "one off" from some backstreet workshop in Jugoslavia. As this was the 2nd Elects first failure it was celebrated by all in the bar that night. Were the two Yugoslavian Guarantee Engineers and the English one(Ronny Garnell) still aboard when you were there.
If you are in touch with any of the Maiden Voyage Crew I would be pleased to hear from them.

Regards Pensioner(MAD) (MAD)

Footitt's Folly
5th June 2009, 08:37
The Empire Star, Great Crew but a Slave Ship.

Double Acting opposed piston B&W and 'there were two of them'. Shaft Tunnels where you steamed the grease and carbon out. Aspirated, no turbo blowers and no control room to cool down in or have a nice cuppa.

I was incharge of the heavy oil purifiers and I needed to be a 'Philladelphia Lawyer' to figure out the mass of pipes valves which = you guessed it were covered in carbon and heavy oil. My god what a nightmare.

Of course in those days no ear muffs either so it was like 'going to hell' for me straight out of Advance College of Technology and a nice comfortable job as a graduate engineer where the heaviest item i lifted was the tea pot.

Good set of engineers though and what an experience. My hat goes off to those engineers who served in the MN during the war on ships not dissimilar to this.

R58484956
5th June 2009, 19:46
P&O SS Iberia on maiden voyage, if it could go wrong it did, but the engineers learnt a lot that trip, some of her future trips were a little troubled down below.

beejay
8th June 2009, 05:14
The Empire Star, Great Crew but a Slave Ship.

Double Acting opposed piston B&W and 'there were two of them'. Shaft Tunnels where you steamed the grease and carbon out. Aspirated, no turbo blowers and no control room to cool down in or have a nice cuppa.

I was incharge of the heavy oil purifiers and I needed to be a 'Philladelphia Lawyer' to figure out the mass of pipes valves which = you guessed it were covered in carbon and heavy oil. My god what a nightmare.

Of course in those days no ear muffs either so it was like 'going to hell' for me straight out of Advance College of Technology and a nice comfortable job as a graduate engineer where the heaviest item i lifted was the tea pot.

Good set of engineers though and what an experience. My hat goes off to those engineers who served in the MN during the war on ships not dissimilar to this.

I can relate to your feelings on this.After working on Sulzers and Steam Turbines,I went onto the Imperial Star in 1965 and was given a reality check.Good crew but after my previous vessels a real work house.

Cheers Brian.

Footitt's Folly
5th July 2009, 05:25
Brian

The Vesty Ships attracted a company following as not all were slave ships. As time moved on toward containerisation ship designers decided we were not expendable and provided an airconditioned refuge for the 'blackgang'. My brother was a a P&O Steam man that eventually got his motor endorsement and sailed as senior engineer with Qunard. He never experieced the trauma of the 'marine enginerooms from hell' lucky chap. Later on gaining Chief'e motor ticket I joined the offshore for a couple of years and then 7 years with ASP working on truck freight ships and finally product tankers. This was the good life as we did the periodic unit but with a swing shift of 8 on 8 off and a very tight schedule it was often the case that units were done by a shore gang. 1 eventually swallowed the hook in 1999 and came ashore.

Richard

Ynot
5th July 2009, 11:14
The MOYLE
YNOT

Satanic Mechanic
5th July 2009, 11:48
The Empire Star, Great Crew but a Slave Ship.

Double Acting opposed piston B&W

Have you got any details of that engine?

K urgess
5th July 2009, 12:39
I have an article from Motor Ship in PDF form about B&W engines, SM.
It mentions opposed piston B&Ws.
If you want a copy send me a PM with your email address.
It runs to 3.1Mb
Cheers
Kris

CONDOR
6th July 2009, 02:49
OH BOY - How 'bout S/S EXHIBITOR, on the old American Export Lines, on the India run. 129 degrees F on the engine room flat was a "nice day" until we blew a gasket on the steam whiste line and had to work behind the On- Line boilers. CONDOR

mrcanoehead
6th July 2009, 04:24
talk about a real one... SS Tarantau on the lakes in canada, winter of 89, coastguard on strike, so daytime navigation only , one way traffic all the way down the stlawerence. Loaded coke & betonite in the soo at the algome mill on dec 6, arrived mtl on the 21, talk about a slow trip, headed down river on the 23 , arrived port cartier 24, & commenced unloading for 18 hrs /day, this went on till jan 14, made oddles of double bubble money like you've never seen, fwd house ran out of water , hydrants ashore frozen, it being -40, crew had a sit in for clean laundry over christmas, almost all got fired because of this, & oh loaded iron ore for contrecour delivery, finally paid off mtl on jan 25, This was my return to the great lake from being in american navy for 6 years on account of the economics of the eary 1980's, when many lost theier jobs on account of the same environment we are in now, deja vu. Talk about a welcome home eh!

Footitt's Folly
10th July 2009, 01:23
Unfortunately not but I will check with the IMarEST to see if anyone has. In brief the engines were not turbo blown, cylinders were aspirated by a large piston pump which was via a gear train. The complicating factor was that each unit has a top piston acting which at top DC fired between the centre piston and the top piston. On the down stroke the middle piston cleared ports for the top to exhaust and the underside of the middle piston then acted at BDC with the bottom piston. The issues with maintaing this is a working condition were many due to all the moving parts, the method of cooling piston crowns, cylinder lubrication, scavenge space hygeine and the number of bearing from the eccentric bearings. It was compounded by the fact that there were 2 of the monsters.

I will make an equiry to see if we can get a drawing of this engine.

albert.s.i
10th July 2009, 09:21
ss cantick head 4 on 4 off ln the stokehole with cabide lamps oil lamps the rest of the ship sleeping forrid and a bucket for the toilette i think she was scapped next tripwith a cement box on the ship side below the waterlne light ship but they got better thank goodness albert.s.i

uisdean mor
18th July 2009, 10:02
Hi Pensioner
Sorry about delay in replying but have been allround the country since March.. Re Steam TA - Yes we got a fairbit of life out of it.We did change out an entire rotor at one stage -at sea- and the problem was the original blade balance, the lacing wire had fractured.
The overall problem however was the ancilliaries- the condensor was a constant problemwith leakage and corrosion- we eventually traced the manufacture back to Portsmouth and it had been cobbled together in Yugoslavia with bits of old MOD decommissioned parts. Not in touch with any of the old mates - moved around quite a bit after those charters -New Zealand, Malaya, Canada and finally north Sea before going "fishing". That boat was run down outside esbjerg and all lost -it was my trip at home so the wife put her foot down then and I have been ashore since then.
Will never really forget Oloibiri - it wrecked a few guys and was a real screw up.
Rgds
Uisdean

johnb42
18th July 2009, 10:17
There must have been one, but rt specs and anno domini have altered my perspective on life in general, so I just remember the good bits these days. It's quite a nice way to be.

Pat Thompson
18th July 2009, 11:02
Greetings,

Unquestionably the worst ship I ever served in was Sheaf Crest in 1970 and she sowed the seeds of me leaving Souters and going from North East Coast Tramps to the poshest end of the business. For that I owe her an undying debt of gratitude as she forced my hand from complacent acceptance of my then curent lot as a tramp ship second mate to reluctant activity in the quest for nautical nirvana, until her I had been quite happy with Souters, they were, in my opinion, one of if not the best North East Coast Tramp Outfit. In my memoirs (Yet to be written and presently existing only in my head) I refer to her as "Toxic" and had she been as nasty as she was cheap she would have been fine....believe me she was nastier, I kid you not. My sanity was preserved by some of the fine people on board, Captain Jimmy McVean, Maurice Rackstraw (Purser) to name but two, the passing years have clouded my memory a little (Naaah a lot) for my other shipmates.

Watch out for the full story of this Newcastle Death Trap in my memoirs (should I ever get round to putting finger to keyboard). I am undecided as to the title (which is probably holding me up) but it looks like it will be one of, if not all of the following :-

"Don't Get Your Hair Cut in Gibraltar",
"Cheesy Hammy Eggy Topside",
"CSB Will Set You Free",
"When I Joined my First 'O Boat' I thought I had died and Gone to Heaven",
"Sign Here Son and I'll Make You a Brain Surgeon", (A reference to the Ship's Captain's Medical Course)
"I Should Have Listened to what My Mother Told Me" (Anyone like to ask me what it was? (hint hint)),

et al.

K urgess
18th July 2009, 12:32
Has to be the VLCC Texaco Norway.
Qualifies for several threads on the go at the moment including "Tight as the Proverbial", "Violence at Sea", and anything to do with bad feeding, breaking down, slow sailing, etc., etc., etc.
And I did it twice.
But even that one has some redeeming features like friends who lasted for years.

jethro
3rd August 2009, 18:25
Moss Tankers Lucellum late '60's.I still shudder.

Archie NS
3rd August 2009, 20:30
Not the worst ship I sailed on (that was the British Workman) but the most interesting, it was the Black River, Quebec & Ontario Transportation up on the Great Lakes. She was built in 1897 as a barge, converted along with sister ship Pick River when an engine room was added on to the rear end, the engines B&W had been resurrected from a German ship the MS Englander in sunk in Trieste harbour early in WWII. I was on her as 2nd on her last season on the lakes.
I was quite a trip, you could walk the entire length of the ship in the saddle ballast tanks, all the bulkheads had rotted out, we loaded every cargo that no one else wanted, pitch from South Detroit, salt from Windsor, fertilizer you name it we carried it! Ever port drop a bottom end fill in the cracks an voids with white metal, scrape it in blue it, scrape it and box it up till next time, and the genny's Superior I won't even comment on those things, the Chadburn telegraph didn't work so we relied on whistles from the wheelhouse for manouvring, coming from deep sea I had to learn a whole lot of signals, fortunatly we never hit any thing. But it was a sobering experience. It's also the only ship I've sailed on with portholes in the engine room!!!


1

lakercapt
3rd August 2009, 20:45
talk about a real one... SS Tarantau on the lakes in canada, winter of 89, coastguard on strike, so daytime navigation only , one way traffic all the way down the stlawerence.

I remember that fall very well as we were following you down the system.

Sailed from Thunder Bay with a cargo for Leningrad (now St.Petersburg)
Was slow going and we were delegated the last ship to go as all the "Salties" were given priority.
By the time we got to St.Catherine's lock it had so much ice on the lock walls when we tried to get in we got stuck. Had to back out and lie in the ice until the Seaway authority brought in backhoes and scraped the ice off the lock wall took all day before they flushed out the ice and we tried again. Made it eventually but the same performance at St.Lambert.
Cleared there and the Seaway was closed for the season at 4PM on Christmas eve.
Got as far as Three Rivers on Christmas day and stooped over until 26th as there was an ice jam further down river.

It was warmer in Leningrad but we spent a month there discharging!!

Donald McGhee
3rd August 2009, 20:47
Can't say I ever sailed on a bad ship, as such, but sailed with some very bad people. The ships themselves were all well found and seaworthy especially the "wee ones' of Donaldson Line, Colina and Santona, which exercised the sphincter muscles at times due to their antics in a big sea! Terrifying at times.
No worst ships luckily, but some awful people, outnumbered by the really good ones thank God.
Marabank was my last ship, with a few truly awful people especially the sparkie and the mate, who were the pits.
Have a good day, as they say!(Thumb)

Don A.Macleod
3rd August 2009, 23:40
Jethro I agree with you,the Lucellum was a nightmare.spent the first eight months of 68 on her,mind you the first few months were spent in a hotel in Yokohama after she'd been salvaged and was in Mitsubishis for "gutting out".When we finally left there for Singapore our problems were only starting.Could write a book on it.

jethro
4th August 2009, 22:29
Jethro I agree with you,the Lucellum was a nightmare.spent the first eight months of 68 on her,mind you the first few months were spent in a hotel in Yokohama after she'd been salvaged and was in Mitsubishis for "gutting out".When we finally left there for Singapore our problems were only starting.Could write a book on it.
The turbo gennies never worked again after that sinking,nor did much else. I almost got cooked after a breakdown off Aden, I was the only one who could start the motor generator set and after the second loss of power[for that night ] the flat was about 160*f [no exaggeration ] but i had to start it and was in the sickbay for 3 days out cold for me efforts.

Peter (Pat) Baker
5th August 2009, 13:06
The worst ship I ever sailed on was bloody great.
Peter (Pat) Baker.

JohnBP
6th August 2009, 15:09
Br. Centaur.. 9 months of hell, overtime, poor food and bad ports.

Billieboy
6th August 2009, 15:50
Unfortunately not but I will check with the IMarEST to see if anyone has. In brief the engines were not turbo blown, cylinders were aspirated by a large piston pump which was via a gear train. The complicating factor was that each unit has a top piston acting which at top DC fired between the centre piston and the top piston. On the down stroke the middle piston cleared ports for the top to exhaust and the underside of the middle piston then acted at BDC with the bottom piston. The issues with maintaining this is a working condition were many due to all the moving parts, the method of cooling piston crowns, cylinder lubrication, scavenge space hygiene and the number of bearing from the eccentric bearings. It was compounded by the fact that there were 2 of the monsters.

I will make an enquiry to see if we can get a drawing of this engine.

I remember a 2/E called Campbell(Scot), who had sailed on LSTs, He had also a Chiefs Steam ticket but had spent some time getting his motor endorsement on one of these, "Free Piston Engines", when he said that it was like a Doxford with a floating cylinder head, I immediately erased all knowledge of it from my brain. Or so I thought, until I just read this bit! Rather you than me, 8months 12days and 17Hours on a Doxford was more than enough motor time for me thanks.(MAD)

jrg
12th October 2009, 12:58
Unfortunately not but I will check with the IMarEST to see if anyone has. In brief the engines were not turbo blown, cylinders were aspirated by a large piston pump which was via a gear train. The complicating factor was that each unit has a top piston acting which at top DC fired between the centre piston and the top piston. On the down stroke the middle piston cleared ports for the top to exhaust and the underside of the middle piston then acted at BDC with the bottom piston. The issues with maintaing this is a working condition were many due to all the moving parts, the method of cooling piston crowns, cylinder lubrication, scavenge space hygeine and the number of bearing from the eccentric bearings. It was compounded by the fact that there were 2 of the monsters.

I will make an equiry to see if we can get a drawing of this engine.

This sounds like a stonecrusher? I remember seeing a model of this engine in the Science Museum in London. Eight cylinders, sectioned, and working. LEDS for the injectors-eight per unit, and felt slightly ill looking at it.

Mick Spear
12th October 2009, 14:32
There must have been one, but rt specs and anno domini have altered my perspective on life in general, so I just remember the good bits these days. It's quite a nice way to be.

I agree with you John, a good way to be indeed!
Mick S

Alex Baxter
24th October 2009, 21:19
Did anyone else find that some of the harder-working ships had the best social life? Don't know if it is the work-hard, play-hard ethic, but people always seemed more determined to enjoy themselves on tougher ships.

One of the less enjoyable engine rooms I spent time in had Pielstick engines, which I hated, but I stayed for 7 trips as we had such a good time on board.

Pielstick PC2.5s, Reardon Smith Cornish city.. hard work meant teamwork and team spirit, Reardon Smith/TMM Gela, B&W very bad Doxford clone, awful ship, great laughs.

ray bloomfield
25th October 2009, 15:21
My worst of the worst must be this one followed closely by the Wallbrook, called the Albani when I was on her,and the only ship I have been on to have a deeper draft in ballast than loaded.

Billieboy
25th October 2009, 16:36
Never sailed on a bad ship, after, "Trelissick", but I've seen some horrors which I had to repair. One coaster, I was asked to have a look at; had a disintegrating bulkhead between the hold and the fore peak, when she also had orders to trade Baltic from September until the ice got too thick. The Master was an Irishman who had been on the beach for six months and HAD to take the vessel. He was almost in tears telling me what would happen to him if he refused to sail. I called the owner and told him that the vessel was un-seaworthy and it had to be repaired, or I would have to report it to the harbour master and the Port State Safety. I'd done an estimate on time material and cost and went back to the ship. Been there five minutes when a LRS surveyor asked me if he could come aboard, he'd been called by the owner. Three days later fully certified, with a happy skipper, she sailed.

mrcanoehead
29th October 2009, 13:09
Sailed from Thunder Bay with a cargo for Leningrad (now St.Petersburg)
Was slow going and we were delegated the last ship to go as all the "Salties" were given priority.
By the time we got to St.Catherine's lock it had so much ice on the lock walls when we tried to get in we got stuck. Had to back out and lie in the ice until the Seaway authority brought in backhoes and scraped the ice off the lock wall took all day before they flushed out the ice and we tried again. Made it eventually but the same performance at St.Lambert.
Cleared there and the Seaway was closed for the season at 4PM on Christmas eve.
Got as far as Three Rivers on Christmas day and stooped over until 26th as there was an ice jam further down river.

Yes laker Capt, it was an eye opener for me, as just left american navy that october & by the end of the first week home landed a deck job on the mantadoc till november, then landed that job on the Trantau, have been in stady work since then , even today in this economic slowdown. But getting back to that winter of 89 on the trantau, Several people on there that were replaced on The Seilkirk Settler, belive you were the Canada Marqius, Knew sevearl who were at one time on the ,Mark Carlsbad, Ross Smith, Martin Ranger, Kenney Karlstad. Usually could spot any name out of the Montreal Hall. Have long departed that area for work in shipping in usa, for MSC ( Govt Job with seceurity, pension, & affordable healthcare.Not to say that was not availible there, but got to back to places other than the lakes, which after 1 or two seasons got to be boring to me . Some times in Thuder bay, & port cartier were memorible, along with other places along the river where we stopped to load & unload

lakercapt
29th October 2009, 15:05
Yes laker Capt, it was an eye opener for me, as just left american navy that october & by the end of the first week home landed a deck job on the mantadoc till november, then landed that job on the Trantau, have been in stady work since then , even today in this economic slowdown. But getting back to that winter of 89 on the trantau, Several people on there that were replaced on The Seilkirk Settler, belive you were the Canada Marqius, Knew sevearl who were at one time on the ,Mark Carlsbad, Ross Smith, Martin Ranger, Kenney Karlstad. Usually could spot any name out of the Montreal Hall. Have long departed that area for work in shipping in usa, for MSC ( Govt Job with seceurity, pension, & affordable healthcare.Not to say that was not availible there, but got to back to places other than the lakes, which after 1 or two seasons got to be boring to me . Some times in Thuder bay, & port cartier were memorible, along with other places along the river where we stopped to load & unload

I was on Saskatchewan Pioneer then and was there for eight years before it was completely manned by Indian crew.
Yes these names ring a bell and Martin Ranger was leading seaman with me for a while before he was replaced by a Chinese sailor.

mrcanoehead
30th October 2009, 13:14
last i Heard Martin Ranger had left the industry & got married again, & has since relocated to the Townships, sutton i belive, he's running a B & b with his wife. Anoher name that rings with me from That stint on the Tarantau Was Seland Rossiter, Lived in The canal area & shipped as AB.
That trip on the Trantau lasted till about late January, we we unloading all through Cristmas & New years, Lots of Double bubble money &. very worn out crew, 18 hr days especially for the tunnel crew & os's & AB'S jack hammering frozen coke. Myself was on there working as part of the tunnel Crew, Cold! sure enough was like around -40, first time i'd seen those insulated winter boots we used stick to the deck as you came out on deck from the tunnel. the chief i belive Was Kenney Ford, Siad it was abosolulty the worst he'd ever seen. My paycheck was unbelivalbe for that short stint there< and after being lowly paid in american navy , it was a welcome sight.

Alex Baxter
27th November 2009, 21:20
Did anyone else find that some of the harder-working ships had the best social life? Don't know if it is the work-hard, play-hard ethic, but people always seemed more determined to enjoy themselves on tougher ships.

One of the less enjoyable engine rooms I spent time in had Pielstick engines, which I hated, but I stayed for 7 trips as we had such a good time on board.

I agree absolutely, Maria Elisa, Cornish City, Gela.. All hard work and great fun.

mrcanoehead
30th November 2009, 02:40
yes work hard and play hard, we did on another one the ex rfa Lyness, know in usa as the msc ship Sirius, dis several runs to the gulf region in mid 90's. Jebel Ali terminal & Dubai, along with Mina Sulema Bahrein. Four months in the Barrel, month over , month back, two weeks loading back in usa. Stayed on ther for 36 months, in some ways it was a real time, in others you were in a totally different world, Ofcourse e all had our stash of beer & wiskey, it would have not been proper without. That sweltering heat in the summer in the gulf you can keep, it was 90 with the ac in my room, outside 140, also some fool in us navy tried to restrict us to the ship, we invoke our unions & recieved penalty time for every hour we were not working, me being a 3rd engr, got about 130 extra per day,we still went up town anyways. Yes we told the american navy to stuff it in some ways. it was a sum after 4 months being there, mind you the upper types in msc changed the rules & we never saw that again

avonbank
1st December 2009, 20:26
The MOYLE
YNOT

Tell us a bit more, were you onboard when she ran over a British submarine around 1969.

Abbeywood.
13th February 2010, 05:58
After forty-four years at sea I certainly came across a few ships that left a lot to be desired, but having read through the preceding postings I think that I have got away somewhat lightly.
It is certainly true that in many cases it was that of hard ships and good crews while the opposite seems to have been true with a lot of 'easy' ships.
Keep up the postings, as I'm appreciating how lucky I was.
Probably my worst ship was another Bibby ship, the 'Australian Bridge' a 147,000 ton OBO, a well found ship with loads of amenities but, in my time, a god-awful atmosphere prevailed.

workforfun
26th February 2010, 05:22
I can think of two really:

Port Melbourne 1966 - engineroom crew drunk most of the time, lots of problems with them including the C/E
King James 1974/75 - lots of work everyday on and off watch, great crew though which kind of balanced things out a bit.

workforfun

Burned Toast
26th February 2010, 10:35
Gardenia B ex Border tanker. Joined in Haifa loaded gas oil for Korea then down to Keelung for Scrap. (H Abraham's run jobs) what a nightmare(Cloud)
Never again.(Smoke) (Jester)

bluestar boy stiff
26th February 2010, 11:26
The Falmouth Bay P&OCL when i heard the ship name & the run it was on i thought yes good times ahead, but as soon as we left Portland Oregan 4 the far east we rolled & rolled til we got to Inchon Korea|(wot a run ashore that was)and this weather continued for 4 months to & fro from the States to the far east the crowd were fantastic the run was brill but the weather killed the voyage. We nearly sank on our last trip back to the States lost containers over board and had an Evergreen ship standing by just incase we had to jump.Fond memories of the lads we put up with the weather & had some good runs ashore which made up for the bad bits(EEK) [=P]

Mick Spear
26th February 2010, 16:40
The Falmouth Bay P&OCL when i heard the ship name & the run it was on i thought yes good times ahead, but as soon as we left Portland Oregan 4 the far east we rolled & rolled til we got to Inchon Korea|(wot a run ashore that was)and this weather continued for 4 months to & fro from the States to the far east the crowd were fantastic the run was brill but the weather killed the voyage. We nearly sank on our last trip back to the States lost containers over board and had an Evergreen ship standing by just incase we had to jump.Fond memories of the lads we put up with the weather & had some good runs ashore which made up for the bad bits(EEK) [=P]

Glad you got here buddy. I'll try and bell you this weekend. Hope all is well?
Mick S

malivoij
1st March 2010, 01:37
The worst ship I ever had the misfortune to sail on was the MV Clara Clausen.
She carried sheep from Fremantle to Kuwait. Clara Clausen was built in Poland by a yard that had only ever built trawlers. Two MWM diesels that had come from a scrapped submarine. Pistons that seized in the liners if 300rpm exceeded.[9knots]
I joined as fourth engineer in Fremantle and was promoted to First Engineer three weeks later in Kuwait. It appeared that I was the only one aboard other than the Chief who had any Marine Engineer's qualificaton [I had Part A Second's at the time!]
We had two FW evaporators that barely made enough water to keep the 6000 sheep alive and showers were banned.
We dry docked in Singapore for a month for a major refit and I was placed in charge. Rarely got ashore.
I was pleased to see Australia again, 7 months later where I paid off.

Mike Williamson
7th March 2010, 04:00
The worst ship I ever had the misfortune to sail on was the MV Clara Clausen.
You brought back memories to me! I remember the Dona Clausen - same thing - nothing but trouble from Day 1. One of the last trips I did on her was a 30 day passage across the Pacific from Chile to Tauranga in NZ where we stopped two days and not one of the engineers saw light of day.
However Dona Clausen was not the worst ship - that honour goes to Baron Jedburgh, my first ship which I joined as a 20 year old at Cairns (my home town) in 1965 and paid off in Greenock about 9 months later, vowing and declaring that I would never try Hungry Hogarths again. Like someone said in a earlier post the best ships are often the ones where you have to work the hardest to keep the damn thing afloat, and that was true of the Devis a pig of a ship with a god awful triple piston multi cylinder B&W - I've never spent so much time in my life cleaning fuel valves. But she was a fun ship to be on (South American run) and I'll never forget her. Mike in Sydney

michael charters
14th April 2010, 16:30
Pacific Reliance was the worst for me. Her sister ship was a dream. Pacific Envoy.
I guess the differnce was the love the crew had for the ship and kept it Bristol Fashion

Alex Nicolson
14th April 2010, 21:11
SS Dunrobin by a country mile. I did over a year in her as R/O. The 2nd Mate - a young guy from Rothesay - couldn't get out of his bunk one morning in Dalhousie NB, and a Doctor came down from the hospital there. We could hear him bellowing at the Old Man "this man is suffering from malnutrition". Didn't change anything though. We fixed him with a galoon of Quebec rum...
At least on Lascar crewed ships you could fall back on curry.

Alex

michael charters
10th May 2010, 21:08
The sloop John B. that was the worst trip Ive ever been on. I want to go home!

kevinseery
10th May 2010, 21:31
Astraman, Rowbothams, allegedly a chemical tanker but more like a floating scrapheap. And she was reportedly in far better condition than her sister Polarisman. I had to break my hand to get off the wreck!!(EEK)

ddraigmor
10th May 2010, 22:31
Seaboard Sceptre - a stand by ship. No jobs after redundancy so was talked into it.

Was FRC Coxswain on her. Day one run in with Old Man about state of fore booby hatch - held tight by a spanish windlass.....main deck morgue door same. Sailed same day with promises to have them put right....bloody fool I was.

One FRC had one US engine and no spares. The other had two leaking sponsons. Got one good boat out of the two. Skipper decided to swap duff boat over at sea - used one of his 'lads' as Coxn and a night time transfer. The idiot was supposed to tow the duff RIB alongside but he wanted to tow it off a line astern. Guess what happened next?

Line came taut, swamped the outboards which stalled, boat drifts under bow of moving ship and pins us against the anchor. Righting rame crushed, boat swamped - thankfully someone had a knife and cut us free. Drifting in the North sea with the Coxn refusing to let me start one engine. Being RNLI trained (I was crew on my local boat) there is a routine that works on starting a swamped engine - so one was better than none.
None of the crew trained in night time boating. None had the feckin'; sense to ask for the ship to flash a light so we could spot her and guide her in.

Ended up getting one engine working and getting ship to flash off signal. Were hauled aboard. NO boolockings given. Drifting useless other rib recovered by other ship. We were sent in to get a new boat.

One man went down with Hepatitis due to rust in water tanks....

I worked on getting the RIB working so I could put master plan into operation. Morning before we went off Fraserburgh to pick up new boat and ferry new crew on I hid my gear in a plastic sack under the srpay hood for'ad. I also stole my DisA book out of the Old Man's drawer.

Got in, asked the three blokes on the quay if anyone could drive the boat? One said he could - he got the keys! I spoke to the old man on the VHF and told him where to stick his death trap,. Took a bus to Aberdeen, reported ship to H&S Executive via the NUS.

Ship was ordered in to Lerwick and all deficiencies were ordered to be made good until she was allowed to sea again. Company threatened me with never working at sea again.

A week later, joined a Farstad boat. Excellent outfit.

What a death trap!

Jonty

Duncan112
11th May 2010, 01:00
Seaboard Sceptre - a stand by ship. No jobs after redundancy so was talked into it.

Morning before we went off Fraserburgh to pick up new boat and ferry new crew on I hid my gear in a plastic sack under the srpay hood for'ad. I also stole my DisA book out of the Old Man's drawer.

Got in, asked the three blokes on the quay if anyone could drive the boat? One said he could - he got the keys! I spoke to the old man on the VHF and told him where to stick his death trap,. Took a bus to Aberdeen, reported ship to H&S Executive via the NUS.

Ship was ordered in to Lerwick and all deficiencies were ordered to be made good until she was allowed to sea again. Company threatened me with never working at sea again.

Jonty

Congratulations Jonty, pleasing to see a man with the courage of his convictions - mind you'll never make a politician!!(Applause)(Applause)

Ian J. Huckin
13th May 2010, 15:34
m.v. Vasu - 500 ton reefer picking up tuna from long-liners and pole boats around Fiji and Pacific Islands.

I was sent out as crew training "officer" Crew were a mix of Fijians and Rotuma Islanders. Here is what I loved about it:

1..The galley had burned out just before I joined so all food was cooked over coals in oil drums on after deck.
2..No air conditioning even fitted in the first place.
3..Vap had been stripped down some time in the past and many pieces lost. FW supplied through just one tap where you filled a bucket.
4..One SW shower.
5..One WC which used to back up at least once a week.
6..No matter what I did the crew would stop the ship at 10:00 every Sunday morning for a church service.
7.."Grog" or Kava was a staple, not alcoholic but narcotic.
8..Was stabbed by a crew member high on Kava. KO'd him with a piece of 2x4 I had handy.The local police came down to the ship and got drunk with the crew. There were only two police on the Island (Tulagi I think) but only one uniform. They swapped daily.

I stitched the wounds myself (in my right hand) packed my bags and jumped a pole boat to Guadalcanal. Managed to get the owner to fly me to Hong Kong, where his offices were. I'll just say he did right by me and got me over to the Ascanius (TMA) where I pledged to myself that my spirit for adventure needs to be curbed.

One thing though, Vasu had a Niigatta main engine, it was fabulous. Also some mega compounded recip reefer comps. Great little ER.

I still shudder.....

Hmmmm, a year has passed since I posted this and I still hate that *** damned ship!

Andy McKay
23rd July 2010, 23:37
The King James was by far the worst ship I ever sailed on. Because I was company contract and on a consolidated wage the 2nd engineer put me and another contact donkeyman on a 6 hours on and 6 hours off for 4 1/2 months, we were towed into Gibraltar with our steering gear knackered and it gave me the chance I was waiting on........I could fly home after 4 months at sea....so off home I went.....never to return on that tin-wreck.
Can't remember that plonker of a 2nd's name, but I hope he had a very miserable life.

Hugh Ferguson
24th July 2010, 08:32
It is beyond my imagination how anyone, above all an engineer, can sail ON a ship: when there he is in the very bowels of the thing!!!
Nobody would ever dream of saying they had been for a ride ON a car-please, please may we, from now on, go to sea IN ships!!

Cisco
24th July 2010, 09:03
When I went to sea I was given to understand that the RN went to sea 'in' ships, MN went to sea 'on' ships...made sense to me but , yes, for an engineer it would be different.

surfaceblow
24th July 2010, 17:14
The worst ship that I sailed on was the steam tanker Fredricksburg. The ship had steam Force Draft Fans for the boilers. The ship may numerous mechanical problems that was being dealt with. The biggest problem was with the Chief Mate. We had a cargo of Number 6 oil onboard my first trip on the ship and when the heating coils for the tanks were put on all I was getting steam back to the inspection tank. When I opened some of the traps to see what was going on I discovered that the guts were removed. I made arrangements with the company to get half of the required traps this quarter and the other half on the next quarters budget. On the trip back to the loading port I had the Pumpman install the traps. At the discharge port I was out on deck checking the bunkering process when the Pumpman came up to me and showed me the traps guts that the Chief Mate had him take out of the heating system. Since the trap pieces he had in his pockets put a 20,000 dollar dent in the ships budget I was more than a little upset. The traps pieces where matched sets and were now all mixed up. Also while I was on deck the Chief Mate tried to get in a fight with the First Assistant Engineer while the First was checking the engine stores that came and telling the wipers were he wanted the items stowed. The Chief Mate wanted to check the Engine Stores to see what we ordered and have the Bosun stow the Engine Stores in his store room. I was beginning to see why there were shortages on the Engine Stores were not the chandlers fault. After the bunkering was completed I went to see the Captain with the Chief Mate present and explained why the traps were needed to be in the heating system. The Chief Mate told me that he wanted to see steam going back to the inspection tank so he could be sure that the cargo was being heated. When I again explained to him that the steam had to be returned to water to give up its heat. I was told by the Chief Mate that the heating system did not work that way on the Fredricksburg. After the meeting I saw the Chief Mate opening the door to the Engine Room to check if there was steam coming out of the inspection tank. When I told him he was not welcome in my engine room he turned to me and started to tell me off. I did not know that the Marine Superintendent was behind me said good he has no business playing engineer. On the trip back to the loading port my work clothing disappeared from the Officer Laundry. The next trip north the Chief Mate and Bosun were detained by US Customs for smuggling.

That same trip north the Second Assistant Engineer called me up during his watch to tell me that the fuel had water in it. I told him to change over to the high settler's suction and I would be right down. When I got to the engine room the fires were out and the steam pressure was dropping. Since by that time all of the Engineers were all ready up and in the engine room to the changing of the pitch of the forced draft fans we were able to restart the plant after we opened the High Settler Suction Valve to the Fuel Oil Service Pump. The Second instead of opening the raising stem gate valve in the middle of the deck and closing the similar valve marked Low Settler Suction Valve both on the valve's brass label and with three inch letters on the deck. The Second Assistant Engineer closed all of the Low Settler Suctions Valves at the tanks. We were able to get the plant back on in short order I was in the Fire Room relighting the boiler and the First Assistant was directing the other Engineers to get the rest of the plant restarted and getting enough speed for steerage. The Deck crowd was not amused since the black out occurred while we were passing thorough 5 mile pass.

All this on my First Trip as Chief Engineer, it was also my first trip back on a steam ship after six years on motor vessels.

Dod Caukie
30th July 2010, 17:00
"Carisle" was the worst, only consolation her sister ship "Carlantic" was reputedly a bigger disaster. Ships were managed by OTT but lost contract to Silver Line. Happy days when we saw the back of them.

japottinger
30th July 2010, 17:56
Probably first ship as 8th Engineer, Bullard King's Umgeni. Oddly enough when she was bought by Elder Dempster they thought she was wonderful, but they were not engineers!

eldersuk
30th July 2010, 23:53
Splutter splutter, Mr. japottinger, what a calumny!!

japottinger
31st July 2010, 20:24
Splutter splutter, Mr. japottinger, what a calumny!!

Maybye we had sorted out all the problems by the time ED had bought her!

japottinger
1st August 2010, 20:44
Maybye we had sorted out all the problems by the time ED had bought her!

Hello Eldersuk, possibly you had impression I was casting aspersions on the engineers in ED!
No way, what I meant was any comments on how wonderful the Umgeni was all came from topside lads, who did not have to experience her horrors down below!
Justice done?

eldersuk
1st August 2010, 23:50
OK understood now.

Derek

Billy Brown
2nd August 2010, 15:07
Like someone said on here before, you only remember the good times, but this thread has reminded me of one ship I was in the Shell tanker 'Vitrina'.

I joined her at Tranmere 1st trip EDH. When I went aboard she looked okay The focsle, fore deck, centrecsle all nicely painted and not a hint of rust on any of the fore mentioned parts. The after deck however was a shambles more rusty than anything I had seen before. The after accomodation was no better but I thought what the heck we'll probably do all this during the next 6 months.

Tranmere to Curacoa pretty uneventful apart from my relief, I was on the 12-4, a man called McGloin from Northern Ireland was always late for his watch and always drunk, more about him later.
We arrive at Curacoa but circle the island for 2 days and then made our way to Venezuela, someplace up the Orinoco.
It was noticable that the food while plentiful and edible had deteriorated in quality whoever invented pease pudding wants shooting, we had this 3 or 4 times a week.

The guards on our ship while in Venezuela were young conscripts they weren't allowed into the accomodation but they got in anyway.They stole anything that wasn't bolted down, cutlery, crockery, mess chairs, 1/2 a mooring rope, shackles, tank washing machines they even stole the fire extinguishers from inside and outside the accomodation.

Mr McGloin became more intolerable once in the tropics. A few of the officers had their wives on board, but this lunatic used to walk around the decks completely naked!! His drunkeness was always evident and now he was becoming violent with it. If someone approached him about his work or his lack of clothes or bad timekeeping that was his excuse to have a fight.

Venezuela to Port Alfred, Canada. The temp in Venezuela was about 44.deg C in Port Alfred -20.deg C McGloin got logged on the way up there for missing his watchx2. The Bosun was a little man from Tyneside he was a company man and this was his last trip before retirement he wasn't a bad fella but he was sh*t scared of the mate, who was on his 1st trip as mate and of McGloin.
I think the mate, being his 1st trip as one was trying to make a name for himself. No overtime except weekend watchkeepers and the assault on the afterdeck was a mission for him. Apart from tank cleaning all the deck crowd did was chipping and watchkeeping.
After his logging McGloin put his clothes on, I think that the weather, it was getting cold now,had a lot to do with it and he began to behave himself. The food remained the same.

Port Alfred to Venezuela. As the weather got better the more South we went , McGloins behaviour went the other way. He became violent and drunk and the clothes came off again. He picked a fight with one of the armed guards in Venezuela and almost got shot. He was locked up for the night in the dock gatehouse.

Venezuela to Rotterdam. Tank cleaning and more chipping. We began to chip the engineers accomodation. From the base of the funnel on to the boat deck all the paint came off and was repainted the ship was beggining to look half decent. McGloin had a fight with the Pumpman and had his nose broken. He refused to turn to on the grounds that the Pumpman, from Teeside, was going to kill him so hes was logged again and had his tap stopped. Somebody was getting his beer for him because he wasn't sobering up at all. When the Captain discovered this he ordered the crew bar shut and that we were only allowed 3 beers per day per man. The Cheif Steward issued the beer to us, except McGloin, and reinforced the Captains order by saying 'if you want 3 beers tomorrow night then you must bring 3 empties back, I'm not letting you lot store them all up and have one giant p*ss up. The food remained the same. No overtime except for weekend watchkeepers. On arrival in Rotterdam McGloin is sacked and a new AB joined a great big massive man from Glasgow, been at sea 20+ years and all on tankers.

Rotterdam to the Gulf, via Cape Town. 42 days at sea! My life got marginally better, I was getting relieved on time by the big jock but thats all.

We asked for the bar to be reopened because McGloin had gone, refused because 'one of you lot was giving him grog when his tap had been stopped'.The top of the after accomodation was looking good as was the boat deck. The fore deck and focsle was repainted as was the centercastle and the after deck was taking shape. We all complained about the lack of variety in the menu, you know, it must be Wednesday because it was roast pork type of thing. Also the 3 beers a day rule was not yet relaxed, and still no overtime except for weekend watchkeepers.

Cape Town. Ship slowed down for mail in Table Bay and carried on. It was the middle of the night so couldn't see much anyway. On to the Gulf.

Mina-Al-Ahmadi and Kharg Island. Nothing to report. Ditto overtime, food and bar.
We did a couple of runs bteween Aden and Djibuti. What a work up. 2 full loads and discharges with tank cleaning in between and only 8 hours travelling time between ports. Bar reopened but only for 2 hours at the evening and still only 3 a day and save the empties!! Spent New Years eve in Aden did my watch and had my 3 when I knocked off at 0400hrs.

The Gulf to Singapore. By this time I had been aboard about 31/2 months or so and apart from weekend watch keeping had worked 15 hours overtime and that was earned tying up and letting go. The mate true to form made us work bell to bell and when keeping sea watches would not allow you to leave the wing of the bridge untill you watch was over even if your relief had turned up early. I say the wing of the bridge because we weren't allowed inside the wheelhouse apart from when we were required to steer the ship. If I was on lookout and wanted to go from one bridge wing to another I would have to go via the monkey island. Even when going up to Port Alfred and -20 deg C, you weren't even allowed to bring a cup of tea up to the bridge wing. He was one right T**T and I hope he rots in hell, if hes not already there.

The mate put a notice up in the crew mess one day it read 'As you may be aware Singapore is the centre of Shells operations in the Far East. We have been given orders to discharge our cargo at Jakarta and then to proceed to Singapore. Once discharged tank cleaning will commence.This procedure will be of the highest quality because the tanks will be inspected at Singapore for cleanliness we will then load a special cargo for a very special destination'
.
We all thought we were going back home, alas not. The tanks were cleaned 3 times each, they were spotless. He even lifted the overtime ban and we soogied and painted the funnel. On other ships I have been on painting the funnel was an event usually marked by a half day or a job and knock at least. Not so with this man. The bar was reopened and service got back to some kind of normality.

Singapore. The 'special cargo' for a 'special destination' was a full load of jet fuel for the U.S. air force going to Vietnam, the mekong delta to be exact. We got there and the U S army engineers welded a full screen of 3/8in. steel right around the ship, to prevent us getting shot at whilst discharging our cargo onto lighters in the delta. We were all issued firearms and told that anyone who approaches the ship will give a code word, which was changed each day, and that if anyone didn't give the codeword we could shoot them and no questions will be asked. No shore leave.

Thankfully we didn't shoot anyone and more to the point nobody shot at us. From here we went back to Singapore.

Singapore to Pusan. Back to normal, no overtime, bell to bell but the food quality did improve due to the cook being sent home and us taking on a new one whilst in Singapore. He was from Manchester and he was very good. He knew a couple of the deck crowd, who were from Manchester, from his time in Manchester Liners.

The trip to Pusan was eventfull because all our 'priveliges' were restored, bar open, with no limits. I asked the Bosun why hadn't the sailors accomodation and the poop deck been given a coat of paint because up till now we had painted all the ships superstructures twice the funnel once and chipped and repainted the whole of the afterdeck. He said that he had mentioned it to the mate who just said no. It was a pity really the ship looked quite good and the only thing that let her down was the area around the poop, were we all resorted to when we knocked off at sea , I suppose he liked the thought of us living in this shi**y area. In the six months I was aboard we never soogied there or scrubbed the wooden deck.

Pusan to Singapore. On the run up to Pusan the weather got cold but our spirits were lifted, the bar was open, we had no limits and the food was great. So on the return trip to Singapore the weather got warmer and life was good. We discharged cargo and began tank cleaning. We were at anchor awaiting orders when a boat came alongside, it was full of our reliefs!! Nobody told us we were to be relieved but the mate knew and didn' tell us. What kind of a sh*thouse trick is that?. We were to finish what we were doing and get packed ,we were going to fly home from Singapore.

We had a 3 day wait and then we flew home by Bitish Caledonian Airways landing at Gatwick. I say we were flying home that is except the Mate, his relief had broken his leg when he fell into a monsoon ditch on Orchard Road somewhere so he had to stay. Serves him right, the b****d.
I paid off after 6 months and 3 days and apart from weekend watchkeeping I worked 86 hours overtime What a T**T of a ship.

kenwebb
2nd August 2010, 19:06
Robert M metcalfs bitumin tanker holes everywhere in deck walked off in Dunkirk
kenwebb

tunatownshipwreck
2nd August 2010, 20:40
Like someone said on here before, you only remember the good times, but this thread has reminded me of one ship I was in the Shell tanker 'Vitrina'...

Great story, good reading, thanks for that.

len mazza
8th August 2010, 08:10
I was 2nd Stwd on the Vitrina from 11/3/65 until 13/11/65 and I can assure
you that there was no bar during that time ,just the usual Shell beer issue for
the crowd.Iwas on Shell from '59 until '67 and was never on a ship with a crew
bar. Was anyone on a 'joe boat'during that time on a job with a crew bar?
maybe I was getting the wrong jobs.

Cheers,
Len Mazza.

Billy Brown
9th August 2010, 17:19
I was 2nd Stwd on the Vitrina from 11/3/65 until 13/11/65 and I can assure
you that there was no bar during that time ,just the usual Shell beer issue for
the crowd.Iwas on Shell from '59 until '67 and was never on a ship with a crew
bar. Was anyone on a 'joe boat'during that time on a job with a crew bar?
maybe I was getting the wrong jobs.

Cheers,
Len Mazza.

Hi Len,
I was on Vitrina from Aug'71 -Mar '72. Come to think of it the room we called the 'Bar' was probably used for some other purpose prior to me joining her as there were no portholes or natural light.
The room was situated in the sailors accomodation in a cross alleyway on the lower deck, if memory serves me, the mess was on the next deck up.
The 'Bar' had small tables and mess type chairs covered on some kind of material and a counter which served as the actual bar. No draught beer or spirits just two fridges with cans in. We used to write 'chits' of what we had and then signed for it. I think the messman used to stock it up.

Regards

Billy

Ian J. Huckin
14th August 2010, 13:06
m.v. Vasu - 500 ton reefer picking up tuna from long-liners and pole boats around Fiji and Pacific Islands.

I was sent out as crew training "officer" Crew were a mix of Fijians and Rotuma Islanders. Here is what I loved about it:

1..The galley had burned out just before I joined so all food was cooked over coals in oil drums on after deck.
2..No air conditioning even fitted in the first place.
3..Vap had been stripped down some time in the past and many pieces lost. FW supplied through just one tap where you filled a bucket.
4..One SW shower.
5..One WC which used to back up at least once a week.
6..No matter what I did the crew would stop the ship at 10:00 every Sunday morning for a church service.
7.."Grog" or Kava was a staple, not alcoholic but narcotic.
8..Was stabbed by a crew member high on Kava. KO'd him with a piece of 2x4 I had handy.The local police came down to the ship and got drunk with the crew. There were only two police on the Island (Tulagi I think) but only one uniform. They swapped daily.

I stitched the wounds myself (in my right hand) packed my bags and jumped a pole boat to Guadalcanal. Managed to get the owner to fly me to Hong Kong, where his offices were. I'll just say he did right by me and got me over to the Ascanius (TMA) where I pledged to myself that my spirit for adventure needs to be curbed.

One thing though, Vasu had a Niigatta main engine, it was fabulous. Also some mega compounded recip reefer comps. Great little ER.

I still shudder.....

I'm just re-reading my original post and I must admit to still getting a sick, sinking feeling in my stomach when I read this. Excuse me for the repeat.

kingorry
14th August 2010, 14:10
Without a doubt, the QUEEN MARY. Joined the 'Mary' for five voyages as 2nd Crew Purser just after the 1966 seamen's strike. All the asst. pursers' accommodation was in-board, no natural light and little or no forced draft. (Air conditioning was unheard of!) It had, at one time, been passenger accommodation which had become unsaleable. No fresh washing water - all salt water. I did in fact find a fresh-water hot shower - down by the cabin-class swimming pool, so I used to go down there every evening about 6pm for a swim and a shower.
The crew purser's office was in the first-class squash-courts gallery, immediately aft of the forward funnel, so anyone from the crew needing to talk about his wages had to come through the first-class accommodation.
By contrast the QUEEN ELIZABETH was an easy ship to work - good accommodation, plenty of fresh air and natural light, and fresh water for washing. Why the 'MARY' always seemed to be the 'ship of choice' when compared to the 'ELIZABETH' I shall never know - she was in fact a nightmare.
Give me an old Harrison boat any time!!!
John Shepherd

barrinoz
15th August 2010, 01:29
Hi Len,
I was on Vitrina from Aug'71 -Mar '72.

Regards

Billy

Great yarn re the Vitrina, Billy. I thought you looked a bit stressed when you joined the Cumberland. (Jester)
barrinoz.

Jeff Taylor
15th August 2010, 17:21
Kingorry touched on something I've never understood. I travelled on both Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth, and even spent some time with Commodore Marr on QE thanks to a letter of introduction I was given. To me, the Elizabeth was a much nicer ship (putting aside the newly installed air conditioning which froze out the cabins and had no local controls), and Marr privately confirmed that she was a better ship in terms of design. Still, it seems almost universal that people refer to the Mary as a happier ship and everyone's favorite. How does this reputation develop and what was it based on?

michael charters
15th August 2010, 22:46
any one remember the 'William Wheelwright" heard horror story about that tanker?

eldersuk
15th August 2010, 23:06
A friend of mine, when in his cups, complains bitterly about a ship called the Carlantic. Unfortunately I have never heard the full story as he becomes incoherent with rage long before the end. Personally, I don't think I've had a 'worst ship'.

Derek

chris thompson195
16th August 2010, 23:01
colin curtis on page 1 mentions the Argo Clyde, I joined this "nightmare" when it changed from Denholms to a Silver line ship,twin medium speed B&Ws,60% of the time we ran on 1 engine, as a consequence the journey from Antwerp to Shanghai took 55 days(xmas day and new years day included) with a short stop for bunkers at Dakar(No shore leave, but there again who would want it in Dakar), as I recall the 'Tweed was only marginally better because Paxman gennies had been replaced with Allens.
Consolation with these ships;-'clyde Shanghai and Capetown;'Tweed had the wife with me(was that a consolation?) Went through Suez with the bum boats and the gillie gillie men.

Vindi Phil
22nd August 2010, 17:23
Just has to be Royal Mail Lines "Darro" in 1961. Great run - shame about the ship. Trying to berth in London's Royal Albert Dock at 0400 hours with just one headline and one stern line out the winches blew up leaving us way off the quay. They had to bring the "A" boat's long gangway to us. That year she was named "Ship of The Year" by the shipbreakers. They could have her.
Vindi Phil.

roddy
22nd August 2010, 19:00
A friend of mine, when in his cups, complains bitterly about a ship called the Carlantic. Unfortunately I have never heard the full story as he becomes incoherent with rage long before the end. Personally, I don't think I've had a 'worst ship'.

Derek

There are a couple of ex UTC guys on this site who might well be able to tell a story or two concerning her salvage, of course this may be before your friend sailed on the vessel

Dod Caukie
5th September 2010, 15:35
Silver line were operating the Carlantic at the time she was under tow in the Indian Ocean I believe. Her sister ship Carisle was supposedly a better ship. Carisle kept going when I was on her in 1978 before Silver Line got the management contract.
George T.

Geoff Clode
3rd October 2010, 15:49
Some ships I sailed on were 20+ years old, some were on their maiden voyage but there was only one ship that from the day of signing on all I wanted to do was get off. It was London Clipper, under 2 years old but in the 3 months on board we had incident after incident. on day 1 a generator siezed a main bearing and had to be pulled entirely apart for a new crank and bedplate. sailing 2 days later into a winter storm we were rolled over enough to lose oil suction and main and generators shut down leaving us blacked out rolling wildly and drifting on shore. the only time ever at sea when i was hurled out of my bunk by violent rolling.
other events were cracked cylinder liners due to filling fuel double bottoms with ballastwater as ship was so unstable it would loll about 8 deg if any tank was slack, engine room fire during bunkering due to sounding pipe being adjacent to generator exhaust. failures of various system pumps. loss of one cargo due to refridge plant failure. this due strum boxes filling with river weed due to loss of intake water screens because shipyard fitted mild steel not stainless bolts. ridiculously poor control/ums equipment and design. loads of small incidents due to poor construction. company policy to drive ship at speed to meet deadlines irrespsctive of weather so running up through the atlantic in mid winter gales at 21 kts and engine ripping its guts out every time the prop came out the water.
arrived in bremerhaven 3 months one day after signing on. was on the next available flight home along with 75% of the crew.
Ironically I later worked in the consultancy headed up by the man who had designed that series of ships and each was as bad as the other.

I joined the London Clipper at Bremerhaven and didnt get off for 6 mths. What a workhorse- 1 day off in 6 mth, getting oranges in California. Left her in Japan. The chief was john wilson I think, he left and Don Brown joined (a Taffy). I also did 2 trips on the Cardiff Clipper and that was just as bad![=P]

Ian J. Huckin
4th October 2010, 17:14
This does not qualify as the worst ship but deffinately was the hardest. m.v. Ribblehead (affectionately known as "Rubbleheap) BISCO iron ore carrier, 4 cyl LB Doxford with engine driven pumps (Jacket, Piston and Lub Oil) Two 25t Scotch boilers and all steam auxiliaries - even steering gear.

From October '71 to April '72 continuous North Atlantic trade (Load Sept Isles 8hrs, discharge Glasgow 24hrs and back out) Two emergency drydockings due to hull failures. One included the extra feed tank so were running boilers on SW with continuous blow down. Arriving M'bro center furnace on the port boiler collapsed but did not rupture. Christmas day all of us wedged behind the bar in the usual NA 'chop'. Spare barrel of beer broke loose and demolished all furniture in the smokeroom then broke out the door straight across the alley way and stove in the 2/E door before destroying all the furniture in his cabin. Took a big one and all the cast iron stove tops jumped off and two fire extinguishers in the galley went off, foam all over. Sandwiches for Christmas dinner!!!

All through this we worked a continuous 6 on 6 off for the whole time signed on. That way keeping three men per watch. Just crazy but....unbelievably....fun.

cubpilot
4th October 2010, 19:28
Geoff, I wonder if you joined London Clipper as I left in Bremmerhaven in April 1975.
I changed companies on the strength of the clipper experience and signed on what looked to be a rather basic 'plain Jane' bulker called Reynolds which turned out to be one of the happiest ships I sailed on.

Winebuff
4th October 2010, 21:21
Sometime thought the best ship was the one I had just left, but by then you were used to its idiosyncrasies and trying to learn a whole new set.

Peter Smith
74-84

chuckgregg
8th December 2010, 13:18
Naess Pride terrible ship German built using power station design ,all pumps made of the cheapest metals the impellers dropped off shafts when stopped looked like bits of lace they had been horizontal originally but situated vertical leaking glands above bearings , boilers a nightmare with walking sootblowers which didn't want to walk, steam/steam generator always leaking tubes , regular blackouts due to feedpumps gassing up, crap watermakers and to top it off all or most seawater piping made of a metal ressembling cardboard, sw valves of cast metal with brass rings for seats in valve and valve body which dropped off and obstructed valve making it impossible to close or even open them for repair unless in drydock . A trip before I joined the 2nd had the spanish engineers open 2 valves on the L.O. coolers which resulted in 28 ft of water in the engineroom only saved by the mate putting a mattress over the side at the bow and working it into place with ropes under the ship until it covered the overboard disharge .
BUT great accomadation which as 2nd I hardly ever saw and she was one the worst feeders it was my displeasure to sail on , and never went near a port where you could sign off. I have sailed on a couple of very bad ships but this was the worst.

howardws
12th December 2010, 14:08
P&O Southern Ferries ‘Eagle’
The Eagle wasn’t really a very bad ship, it was just that if anything could go wrong it did go wrong. I should have realised this the day I joined as one of her Third Engineers. I’d been told to join on a Friday afternoon in 1973, at the ferry terminal in Southampton Eastern Docks – she finally arrived from her six day round trip to Tangier on the Saturday evening. Her starboard engine outboard turbocharger was held in place with four chain blocks, the holding down bolts having failed sometime during the voyage. The main engines were V12 Pielstick PC3, the first to be put into a ship as far as I am aware.
She was on a wonderful run – leave Southampton Saturday afternoon, arrive and leave Lisbon Monday, arrive and leave Tangier Tuesday, arrive and leave Lisbon Wednesday and back in Southampton on Friday evening, with time to nip to my home and family for a few hours when not on watch. Eventually Algeciras was added to the run, arrive early Tuesday and off to Tangier at lunchtime. As a fairly large ferry, carrying mini-cruise passengers as well, she had most of the advantages of a posh passenger ship with none of the bull.
In my two years or so on her before her sale to a French company the following happened.
We had the entire car deck contents wrecked in hurricane force winds in the Bay of Biscay and it took a number of large fork lift trucks four days to discharge in Lisbon. At one point I spent quite a while chasing a spare cylinder head round the engine room. Probably the only time in my forty years at sea that I have been really scared.
The starboard engine governor single helical drive gear moved on its shaft and tried to engage with the double helical drive gear for the cam shaft. The first indication came when I noticed a large drop in oil pressure across the main lube oil bypass filter (I can’t remember why we weren’t on the main filter.) I stopped the engine and as it ran down I could hear a loud graunching. The fact that the filter basket was full of bits of metal indicated something amiss! Luckily we had a spare and we followed the instructions to remove the gear but when we came to fit the spare the instructions were rather like a Haynes manual – ‘Reverse the removal process’. We did manage but the gear was a couple of teeth out and the engine sounded awful but it did run. It is a good job that it did because we had been under a contract tow from a deep sea tug for a number of hours, the reason being that somebody had managed to stretch the propeller control rod when doing some tests on the port KaMeWa VPP in Southampton and it would only run with the pitch full astern. We had been given permission to make a round voyage to Lisbon, which we could do on one engine in six days. When the deep sea tug handed over to the harbour tugs we had the starboard engine running, thus saving a salvage claim from the harbour tugs.
The following severe damage was caused to the port engine and nobody was really sure which of them caused the final damage which was a bent crankshaft. Cylinder head cracked, liner split open like a banana, conn rod bent, bottom end bearing failed, engine thrust bearing turned in its housing. There was a lot of water found in the oil, although the engineers who changed the liner etc were convinced that it was due to the isolating valve to the header tank leaking by. A scapegoat was needed and as I was purifier king they blamed me, although I was on leave at the time. It didn’t seem to affect my career, I was promoted to Second Engineer a couple of years later.
She hit heavy weather outbound in the Channel and a wooden handrail from a deck below and in front of the bridge smashed the bridge windows and the bridge was flooded. Along with most things electrical the steering was put out of action and an Engineer ended up steering from the steering flat, obeying orders yelled from the bridge to the Chief’s cabin, relayed to the ECR by phone and thence by a runner to the steering flat – control was a little tenuous. Eventually a phone was rigged up on a long extension from the crew Pig and Whistle to the steering flat. She put into Falmouth and unfortunately a pilot died while trying to board her.
The next week I was on watch and was told in the middle of the night to fill the forward ballast tank. Shortly after I has finished I received a call from a rather irate steward who had woken up and leapt out of his bunk into a couple of feet of water. It turned out that there were a number of cracks in the tank bulkhead and frames, caused by last week’s weather.
Somewhere off the mouth of the Mediterranean she took a green sea down her starboard funnel, swamping the lighting transformer and causing a blackout.
She had five English Electric Ruston generators and I only saw four in action at any one time. They were inclined to shed their timing chains when on load, resulting in the machine stopping and the cooling water in the heads boiling. This ruined the O-rings on the cooling transfer bobbins, meaning that all the heads had to come off. We had two very hard working Mechanics and they were very rarely able to work anywhere except in the generator room.
I shut a generator down one morning because the turbocharger and the entire exhaust manifold were red hot. The Second came down after breakfast, opened the cocks and barred the engine over. Unfortunately there was an injector stuck open and one unit had part filled with diesel. It squirted over the adjacent machine, which burst into flames.
All the port pump starters were on the starboard side of the switchboard and vice versa. This caused the odd problem when stopping an engine at sea and putting the lube oil pump onto slow speed!
Things I learned when on the ‘Eagle’.
If someone overflows the fuel overflow tank it comes out of a vent on the funnel and runs across the deck and down the side. (Incidentally causing me great amusement when the J/2/E snarled “Hurry up, open the ****ing valve” as I eased the pressure on to the fire hose that he was holding on the quay. I whipped it open and the result would have made an excellent cartoon as he pirouetted about.)
If the ships davit launched life rafts are stowed near the swimming pool and a couple of clowns try to pull them from their stowage by the inflation cords many passengers end up slowly but surely pushed into the swimming pool, followed by their deck chairs.
If the main engine exhaust pyrometers don’t work then the first indication that you have of an exhaust valve burning out is when the valve head drops off and causes rather a lot of damage to the head, piston and liner.
If the engine room becomes hot enough to cause a two cylinder CO2 fire engine busting disc to fail the adjacent auxiliary boiler rotary cup burner will go out.
If you fill the a/c compressor room with Freon 11, which boils at room temperature, you can pump most of it out with the bilge pump but anyone in the space for more than a few seconds becomes very ‘drunk’ and you have to take the operating handles off the watertight door that you have closed to keep the fumes in, otherwise they try to go back in.
If you keep banging up main engine cylinder head nuts with a big windy hammer, in an attempt to stop a leak, some of the studs will eventually fail, usually deep inside the entablature.
If the Chief is stuck in the engine room lift during a force ten he can cut himself out of the back of it in five minutes if you lower a hammer and chisel to him.
If an engine governor fails the engine can, at sea, be controlled by a rope rigged from the end of the fuel rack and over a pulley with a bucket hanging off it. Power is proportional to the weight of nuts and bolts in the bucket. It requires an Engineer on the rope and somebody signalling through the control room window when manoeuvring.
When I joined ‘Eagle’ I had only sailed on steam ships and one motor ship with a Doxford LB but a Third was desperately needed for a week and I was looking for a local job while waiting for my youngest son to be born. I was taken on via the local MNAOA official who told the Engineer Superintendent that I was a very experienced medium speed diesel Engineer! At the end of the week the Chief said to me ‘You seem keen, would you like a Fourth’s job?’ I said I’d settle for Third and he said ‘ok’. Having signed on for a week I retired from P&O in Dover 30 years later.
‘Eagle’ is now sailing for Mano Cruise as ‘Royal Iris’.

Neil Mant
12th December 2010, 16:42
the worst ship i was ever on was the mv england. she was carrying construction workers to the falkland islands at the time i was an ex seaman so i knew what i was talking about the food was the worst i have ever had i don't know who called the cook a cook but he certainly knew how to tell lies
I was a steward on the England i must admit i couldnt wait to pay off. dont remember much about the food but got sick of cleaning up after the contractors some animals on board

capt jim martin
12th December 2010, 17:03
Hello Howard(?)

I remember John Syring, then Chief Officer in "Eagle", telling me about this when he was my later my opposite number as Master aboard "European Pathway", P and O Ferries Dover. Have we sailed together? I was Senior Master with, leaving in 1998 and had been with the company (and its predecessors) since 1968.

Regards,

Jim Martin

howardws
12th December 2010, 19:31
Hello Howard(?)

I remember John Syring, then Chief Officer in "Eagle", telling me about this when he was my later my opposite number as Master aboard "European Pathway", P and O Ferries Dover. Have we sailed together? I was Senior Master with, leaving in 1998 and had been with the company (and its predecessors) since 1968.

Regards,

Jim Martin

Hello Jim, I did the odd leave relief on your ship as Chief when 'Burgundy' was in drydock. Howard Wallace-Sims

johnjames06
16th January 2011, 23:19
Hi, When all,s said and done ships are only iron and steel and wood. In my experience what makes a ship RN or MN is the men on board. No matter how worn out or old your ship may be, no matter how hard the conditions or rough the seas if you have good men on board who will all pull togeather, help one another and look after each other you will have a happy ship. John.

charles henry
19th January 2011, 15:02
British Destiny....and that 3 times over. Must have been a glutton for punishment.

Wonder if it was the same vessel, I shipped on the British Destiny in '44, a miserable OLD coal burning cow of a ship, with an unhappy hungry crew of Liverpool firemen. We had the wives of Master, Chief engr and chief steward on board.

We went round the Cape to Aussie then back to Mombasa where I was signed off with a bad reocurrance of Malaria. Was never so happy to get off a ship.
de chas

Doxford76J6
20th January 2011, 21:10
"Taybank" 8 months 77/78

Doxford P Type and Ruston AO generators, built 63/64; stopped every day for weeks.

Chief jumped ship at Panama, engine room caught fire, you name it.

"Character building" as they say.

waffle-sproket
15th March 2011, 20:57
How about the Tanker Leeds
ex french Total tanker wooden lifeboats
accommdation losy
lost two crew with wine
could not make water easily(drinking our dobily water a fedw times on board)
two engs badly hurt
lost a tank lid with cargo in
lost the windless
and so on
I sailed on the Leeds as 2nd & chief eng your quite right it was a nightmare. Tommy Harrison skipper Joe Fox the Mate Tim Hudson chief Eng. Me 2nd Hughie Craig 4th were are they now

Cheers
Charlie Hart

zappa11
23rd April 2011, 14:03
Worst Ship Sailed On Anyone Remember The Old Largs Bay

I remember that ship (I think) I was on the SS New Australia on way to Aussie as a Migrant and we escorted it back to Durban, they had the tow ropes out too. I later joined P&O as Engineer. Sailed on SS Khyber, and SS Aden among others.

Derek Roger
23rd April 2011, 23:50
"Taybank" 8 months 77/78

Doxford P Type and Ruston AO generators, built 63/64; stopped every day for weeks.

Chief jumped ship at Panama, engine room caught fire, you name it.

"Character building" as they say.

Mine was the Moss Tanker Luigen . P type Doxford . Upper pistons water cooled with telescopics . Panama to Okinawa ; !6 days with 26 breakdowns or was it 26 days with 16 breakdowns ( either way it was not a happy time )
In any event we spent Christmas dinner 1966 sitting on the poop covered in dirt and had our dinner served by the Old man and the mates .Then down the "pit " again .
A hard trip but there was a good relationship between all the crew .


Happy Days Derek

zappa11
24th April 2011, 13:35
What a trip, all good fun when you look back, especially with the friendships created. I am pleased after that episode that. I was on Steam with Diesel Jennys. They were bad enough every tried turning ends off the gudgeon pins when the ship is rolling around. Hey how about the ER temp when going through the Red Sea.

celsis
27th April 2011, 08:40
I'm probably gonna piss off our passie fraternity, but the worst ship for me was the Windsor Castle!

From the very first day when, at boat drill, the CE told me to get my hair cut, to the last day when I paid off twenty minutes after scaling boilers, she was a disaster. I hate it when you're doing a job and somebody is standing over you watching. That was the WC. An engineroom full of engineers with nothing to do and a crew of passie boat men who thought they were ruffie tuffie sailors for going away for six weeks.

Hated the thing and wouldn't have gone back even if she paid me double wages!

lazyjohn
27th April 2011, 20:43
I'm probably gonna piss off our passie fraternity, but the worst ship for me was the Windsor Castle!

From the very first day when, at boat drill, the CE told me to get my hair cut, to the last day when I paid off twenty minutes after scaling boilers, she was a disaster. I hate it when you're doing a job and somebody is standing over you watching. That was the WC. An engineroom full of engineers with nothing to do and a crew of passie boat men who thought they were ruffie tuffie sailors for going away for six weeks.

Hated the thing and wouldn't have gone back even if she paid me double wages!

I seem to remember all B&C employees, on all ships, wether passenger, cargo, bulkers etc all contracted for 2 on 1 off.

I think anybody on a passenger ship would be required to look smart and seamanlike for the passengers sake. You don't sell many tickets if your ships are staffed by blokes that look like tramps. The Chief would get it in the neck if one of his staff let the rest of the ship down.

I expect you forgot that all boiler scaling etc was done by shore staff in Southampton under pain of death from Vospers union bosses.

I also remember all 'Passie ruffie tuffies' did their turns on all ships in the fleet. I don't know anybody that didn't sail in the best and the worst of the company ships.

Mind you, it was a good company with no harsh conditions for officers or crew. I sailed with European, Zulu, Pakistani, Bangldeshi and Indian crews and I would sail with any one of them again at the drop of a hat. A really good crowd, one and all.

Tom(Tucker)Kirby
4th May 2011, 21:28
Trochiscus, Shell tanker, skipper and all of the Mates were trying to outdo each other as captain Bligh, glad to see the back her.

vix
4th May 2011, 23:20
Trochiscus, Shell tanker, skipper and all of the Mates were trying to outdo each other as captain Bligh, glad to see the back her.

'Cape York' 1960. Worse feeder than the 'Vindi'. Tea leaving Auckland was a plate of mince with a boiled egg thrown in the middle, still shelled. No potatoes, no greens nothing but a plate of mince and that boiled egg. And? Mine was rotten and stinking when I cracked the shell! I stuck it up the Chief Steward's nose when he asked me, "What do you want me to do about it?" I paid off in Hull, ship going on to pay-off in Avonmouth. I couldn't get off quick enough. Vix

Ex-Joe
12th May 2011, 13:46
Shell tanker "MS Mena". The only handover I ever got from the guy on the 12/4 was "Seventy thousand tons of maritime splendour - Rock on Tommy!"

That was all he ever used to say..............ever!

Dickyboy
12th May 2011, 14:23
Noah's Ark. Great crew, but the cargo stank and needed constant attention. Eventually she ran aground.

cleansweeploch
12th May 2011, 14:47
Windsor Castle.I was at her launching at Lairds. I was maybe 6 yrs. old.

jimthehat
12th May 2011, 15:12
"Taybank" 8 months 77/78

Doxford P Type and Ruston AO generators, built 63/64; stopped every day for weeks.

Chief jumped ship at Panama, engine room caught fire, you name it.

"Character building" as they say.
Think she was built 1963,I joined her as 2/0 in Aug 64,did 18 months never any problems as far as I can remember.

jim

TonyAllen
12th May 2011, 16:17
Windsor Castle.I was at her launching at Lairds. I was maybe 6 yrs. old.

Worked on her as platers mate then signed on as ass cook worked 3 days then the strike broke out then vnc no pay for the days worked then the catalina star crap trip and swollowed the anchor Tony

Nick Batstone
12th May 2011, 19:02
M/V Desdemona, Newgate Shipping, Sept '83 - March '84

Nearly made me quit the whole shooting match,

dshelhorn
13th May 2011, 04:41
Baldbutte, T5 tanker running from SF to New Orleans, one way trip for me. Engine room poorly insulated if at all. Hottest most miserable 30 days of my life.

echotrey
15th November 2011, 16:46
The Baldbutte was best and worst- my first permanent job. Worked my way up to 1st before they scrapped her. Really hot! I remember pouring sweat out of my boots after watch. Had to put a cooler in line with the domestic cold water to make it cool enough to take showers. June of '81 til '84 when she was FWE for good.

tom.d
15th November 2011, 21:26
1956 British Resource [or last] 208 breakdowns in10 months as chief said "field days are,the happiest day's. the happiest days of your life, and he made sure of it, 120 blanked boiler tubes later,11 piston heads, a very mean doxford. only 14 of original crew got back to swansea,rest
jumped ship in various port .wellington.kwinana.cape town, la plata argentine and acouple in columbo replaced by dbs's who then jumped ship further o

georgepickles
16th November 2011, 15:20
Mv British Faith

Converted Blast Injection.
What A Blast.
Anyone Remember This *****.?

Derek Roger
16th November 2011, 21:36
I wonder where all the Moss Tanker / Brocklebank people are ? The "Lucy " MT Lucigen was a real test ; all the rest were "A piece of cake " ( in comparison )

cacique
16th November 2011, 22:26
Not the worst, but related in a way.

At one time the powers that be designated the Elmina Palm as a prison ship, if you had blotted your copybook or upset them then you were appointed to the prison ship. Usually it had one of the longer voyages calling at all ports both southbound and northbound.

A ship full of misfits, it was great ! No-one trying to prove anything just get it from A to B and back again. Do the job and have a great time - a Gracious Living Club was formed and eventually the punishment idea of the powers that be was forgotten, as the punishment had turned a whole circle into enjoyment.
Kind Regards, David Wilson, aka Cacique.

stan mayes
16th November 2011, 22:59
Hello David,
I hope you are keeping well.
I heard the stories you have mentioned..
John Broadfoot of Glasgow was her Bosun for some years and a good friend..
As a Bosun he would not be concerned with the idea of it being a punishment ship..when I asked him about the stories he replied -
'This is the best ship in the fleet!'
Best regards,
Stan

Donnie More
17th November 2011, 01:01
London Clipper , see first post by clubpilot , she was two years old then , I sailed in her as leckie ten years later as Tropical Breeze , even then a 16 hour day work house , i did one 6 monther, home for 6 weeks and then out for a 7 monther , and went back two years later for a two week dry dock , probly was the worst as in work ups , but never thought about it at the time , just the accepted job . i have posted some photoes , also found some old logs of engineers walking off when she was Salinas , i was often amazed she never caught fire with that blended fuel set up . I was told that I was the first leckie to do two trips when Irgens Larsens had her .

Steven Lamb
17th November 2011, 06:17
Another Bridge boat - the "Avon Bridge" which was that knackered you could put your foot thru the main deck she was that rusty.
For purely boredom purposes....... the "Cargo Vigour" (Manchester Liners)
Felixstowe to Cork - 4 hrs in Cork, then across the pond to New York which seemed endless ! 12 hours in New York then back across the pond to Felixstowe.

Rgds
Lamby

Mick Spear
17th November 2011, 06:47
Another Bridge boat - the "Avon Bridge" which was that knackered you could put your foot thru the main deck she was that rusty.
For purely boredom purposes....... the "Cargo Vigour" (Manchester Liners)
Felixstowe to Cork - 4 hrs in Cork, then across the pond to New York which seemed endless ! 12 hours in New York then back across the pond to Felixstowe.

Rgds
Lamby

Oh the latter one sounds like great fun Steve - not!!
Mick S

Puffin's skipper
19th November 2011, 20:45
I joined an old Greek owned Liberty boat that had been "siezed" and left mothballed at anchor in Foy (Fowey, Cornwall) bay for a while in 1962. The job was a 'run job' just getting her up to the Clyde to scrap her, three or four days at most we were told, with a good bonus to follow as she was admittedly a sh**house and no one was even sure it she would start up, let alone get up to Scotland.. Ive seen some rust buckets but never a totaly rust coloured steamer! She had been foreign crewed and the acomadation was diabolical after only the rats occupying it after the chinese crew were paid off.

Its the only ship I've ever sailed on with more engineers than deck crowd. She certainly needed them too.. She was steam recip I think and even when they got her engines going the screw wouldnt turn or something. They finaly got her under way after a few days but she broke down about seven times on the first days steaming, main bearings or something. The engineers were knackered. After turning in after my first 4-8 night watch I woke up to find us drifting around near Milford Haven. We only had a few days stores aboard but we AB's had brought copious amounts of Local Scrumpy aboard in plastic containers cunningly disguised as real vitals..
The deck crowd had very little to do except anchor watch as we were stationary most of the week watching exhausted sweating engineers come up on deck to get severe rollockings by the Skipper and an aging Scots Chief engineer (who resembled the Parra Handy skipper)..
All I remember doing on that ship was drinking cider and hoisting the double black balls up and down the rigging to say we were drifting and lookout in fog ringing the bloody bell to warn other ships that we were not under way most of the time.. A nightmare of a ship.. no food, no bedding, half the time no lights because the genny was down.. TEN days from Cornwall to the Clyde.. you could have paddled it in a canoe quicker.. We limped into the clyde doing about 4 knots flat out and rumoured to be only powered by half a working engine. A tug helped us the last two miles as we were we were in danger of going back out stern first, we had less power under way than the ebb tide.

The first and last "run" job I ever volunteered for.. Yes, we did get a months pay for ten days.. was it worth it? NO... that old Merchant Duke must have known where she was headed, as she certainly didnt go into that scrap berth willingly.. we dragged her there kicking and screaming.. Literaly, the main bronze bearings sounded like a pigs squeal unless the stokers pumped constant oil onto them.. Definately by far the worst ship I ever sailed on in my life.. It made Hungry Hains tramps look like Luxury cruise liners..

(Just searched her history and it seems she wasnt scrapped until a few years later, in Istanbul. The London Greek owners must have refitted her in Glasgow and sorted her out, presumably with a new engine at least..)

uisdean mor
20th November 2011, 21:58
Sorry Derek - All the rest were a piece of cake ?? I think not and you will find quite a few references on here to the M.T. Oloibiri. Broke a few did that one. Also although not as severe- the Pielsticks when the various manufacturing problems arose were a work up - but will concede usually could be planned for.
Rgds
Uisdean

Derek Roger
20th November 2011, 22:04
Fair comment Hugh but I spent a lot of time on Pielsticks and found them OK . One had to stay on top of them as you indicate .
The Lucigen was a P Type Doxford and a Bi-ch !
Did you ever sail on her .


Cheers Derek

john g
21st November 2011, 12:26
Fair comment Hugh but I spent a lot of time on Pielsticks and found them OK . One had to stay on top of them as you indicate .
The Lucigen was a P Type Doxford and a Bi-ch !
Did you ever sail on her .


Cheers Derek

The Lucigen had a dreadfull repuation and one to be avoided, the Pielsticks on the Luminous were a nightmare but that was probably due to lack of experience all round as the engines were new to the company and probably to Eriksberg who built them. It's interesting that the Arcadia 2005(P&O cruise ship) has 6 Sulzers in the Pielstick configuration and their engineers talk very highly of them. After 30 years I think we would all expect major improvements.

Jocko
21st November 2011, 15:03
I was only at sea for five years 1958 to 1963 and never really had a bad ship. The only I refused to sign on again was the MV Waiwera. Fifty-six scavenge fires in a five month trip.
Two of my other ships are mentioned in this thread. Firstly the Baron Kinnaird, I did my first trip on her maiden voyage, yes she broke down but on a maiden voyage you get those teething troubles. I found her to be a good ship and a good feeder. The other was the Baron Jedburgh, I spent two years on her and she was like the Kinnaird, a good engineroom and good grub.
I must admit if I did my first on some of ships I have read about here it would have been my last.
As for the schoolmaster type who says we should we say (in) a ship and not (on) a ship. I`ve never heard anyone say anything other than we sailed on this or sailed on that. With all due disrespect your mouth is full of marbles.

Jocko
21st November 2011, 15:37
John Rogers, you mentioning The Flying Enterprise took me back a lot of years. The ocean going tug that almost got her into Falmouth was the Turmoil. The Turmoils engines were built by The British Polar Engines of Govan, Glasgow. The 10th of January when she sank was five days after my fifteenth birthday and I was lucky enough to get started as an office boy prior to serving my apprenticeship.
Naturally the entire factory took a great interest on the whole episode and were sorry to see her foundering. I remember the photo of her right across the front page of all the newspapers and Captain Carlsen and the mate off the Turmoil, I can`t remember his first name Dancy who boarded her from the Turmoil.
My god 59 years ago, how the hell did it go by so fast!!!!!!!!!!

Jim Sutton
21st November 2011, 16:43
My worst ship would also have to be the BALDBUTTE. I was engine cadet on her from Oct to Dec of 1980. A fantastic ship as cadet to learn from,and my hat goes off to the guys I sailed with as well as ANYONE who had their license in the rack during the years she ran. She certianly had some characters,all of whom treated me very well. Nowadays you would really have to think twice before going on a such a ship! (or at least have license insurance) A friend of mine was on the SAROULA (a sister ship) and our stories were similar. One time both the the BALDBUTTE and SAROULA were at anchor in Gatun Lake almost side by side and both had lost the plant at the same time!

The only good thing I can really say is that the 4X8 fireman taught me how to fire (4 fires/boiler ,straight mechanical burners with steam forced draft fans made for some interesting moments,she was the only ship I ever saw that could make dull green smoke!) This greatly helped me out later when dealing with burner wielding rabid firemen on Lykes pacers!

I am pleased to hear that they put a cooler in the cold potable line since showers were an adventure when in Panama!

As horrid as she was she wasn't a bad looking ship. I need to get the scanner fired up and post a few pics of her.

bill mc guire
21st November 2011, 17:55
ithink the worst ship t ever had the misfortune to have stepped aboard was a clyde excursion vessal called queen mary the name was all she had in common with the cunarder she was run by a company that was heavely involved in fair grounds andwas supposed to run as compitition with the waverly she had one engineer me two diesel mains couldn,t tell you the manufacturer god save anyone working for anyone playing at being a shipowener come to think of it she really could,nt be called a ship

Steve Hodges
21st November 2011, 19:17
ithink the worst ship t ever had the misfortune to have stepped aboard was a clyde excursion vessal called queen mary the name was all she had in common with the cunarder she was run by a company that was heavely involved in fair grounds andwas supposed to run as compitition with the waverly she had one engineer me two diesel mains couldn,t tell you the manufacturer god save anyone working for anyone playing at being a shipowener come to think of it she really could,nt be called a ship

I wonder would that be the twin funnel "Queen Mary" that now seems to have taken up semi-permanent residence in Tilbury Dock?
I believe it ended up as a restaurant /bar moored off the Embankment in London, then it got moved down to Tilbury about a year ago and seems to have been in a repair berth ever since. Anyone know the full story?

petermc
21st November 2011, 21:14
John Rogers, you mentioning The Flying Enterprise took me back a lot of years. The ocean going tug that almost got her into Falmouth was the Turmoil. The Turmoils engines were built by The British Polar Engines of Govan, Glasgow. The 10th of January when she sank was five days after my fifteenth birthday and I was lucky enough to get started as an office boy prior to serving my apprenticeship.
Naturally the entire factory took a great interest on the whole episode and were sorry to see her foundering. I remember the photo of her right across the front page of all the newspapers and Captain Carlsen and the mate off the Turmoil, I can`t remember his first name Dancy who boarded her from the Turmoil.
My god 59 years ago, how the hell did it go by so fast!!!!!!!!!!

Joko
Would it have been Ken Dancy

guinnessmick
22nd November 2011, 08:20
Originally Posted by guinnessmick

the worst ship i was ever on was the mv england. she was carrying construction workers to the falkland islands at the time i was an ex seaman so i knew what i was talking about the food was the worst i have ever had i don't know who called the cook a cook but he certainly knew how to tell lies

I was a steward on the England i must admit i couldnt wait to pay off. dont remember much about the food but got sick of cleaning up after the contractors some animals on board
your not wrong there mate i more or less kept myself to myself while i was on the island but i did have some really good work mates who i used to drink with on a week-end

uisdean mor
25th November 2011, 11:53
Re #158 Derek

Did not manage to get to the Lucigen but sailed with a few who did - stories are legendary really and a testament to some of the harshest working conditions experienced. Sailed on - stood by the two Canadian tankers - Lucellum - Lucerna ? and there was some talk at the time of naming one Lucigen but old hands prevailed I think in avoiding that outcome.
Took Lucellum/Lucerna from Canada to Fal to lay up with Davy Meek ( Carnoustie) Dave Donaldson ( Isle of Man) and Murdo MacLeod ( Skye PO). We had some good times in Cornwall that winter so there were pay back times for all the bad times as well.
Rgds
H

Derek Roger
25th November 2011, 15:14
I also stood bye at Davies for about a year . Lucellum was to be my ship with Davie staying on to take out Lucerna . I ended up leaving the company and Joining Davie shipbuilding as project manager engineering .
You must have come over after I left . The reason I left was because the company would not allow me to a take a years sabatical ; I was to sail with Allan Attack ; a doctor friend and Bob Cook ( owner of the Ardeonaig hotel ) in Bob,s 40 sailboat to the Seychelles .
Also standing bye was Ian May Davie Meek and John Sharples ; Capt . Dave Cosker and Capt Dave Wolfenden . Dennis Royal Super was also there for a while and Tommy Bampton 2nd Engineer ; Don Thompson Elec.
I have found the Menue from the Chateau Frontenac 3rd May 1975 on the occasion of the Christening of Lucellum and launch of Lucerna .
I will scan it and post with a picture of Lucellum .

Derek

Tony Selman
25th November 2011, 15:51
Somehow managed to miss this thread. As previously stated the Moss Tanker Lucigen wins hands down. Almost everyone i know that was unfortunate enough to sail on her regards her as their worst ship. 52 breakdowns in 6 months when I was on there. First trip on my own as an R/O and the equipment was 'challenging' as was just about everything else.

Derek Roger
25th November 2011, 21:31
Tony I have put many posts re Lucy and will see if I can find them ; if not I will post again my experience on the good Lady .
While it was a hard trip for Mates and Engineers there was a camaradie and we did OK . The crew was another thing ; the Deck were from Liverpool pool and the Engine room ratings were from Sunderland pool . They did not get on at all and we had an occasion when both of them in unison broke into the Bond / Beer locker .
All got pissed and a few fights ensued ; I remember the Mate running up the fordeck during tank cleaning pointing to the crews mess and showing his fists pumping ( I was watching as it happened out of the newly constructed bar ( another story ) and we all left the bar and went down to the crew mess to help sort things out .
One man stabbed ; One cut and one beaten up .Three were sent home from Singapore and we sailed short handed for the rest of the trip .
The rest of the crew had their taps stopped for a while then they were ( after a period of good behaviour given an allowance of 2 beers per day .
I was used to Indian and Pakistani crew who for the most part did not drink so never saw any behavior like this before . I had one other UK crew on the ex ParthiaStaship 1 from UK to Hong Kong on a delivery voyage ; they were first class .
The Mate I refer to was from the North East ; George ------- Cant for the life of me remember his surname . A great guy ; super »Mate ; sailed with him after that when he was Master with his charming wife .

Derek

Hugh Ferguson
26th November 2011, 10:29
I was only at sea for five years 1958 to 1963 and never really had a bad ship. The only I refused to sign on again was the MV Waiwera. Fifty-six scavenge fires in a five month trip.
Two of my other ships are mentioned in this thread. Firstly the Baron Kinnaird, I did my first trip on her maiden voyage, yes she broke down but on a maiden voyage you get those teething troubles. I found her to be a good ship and a good feeder. The other was the Baron Jedburgh, I spent two years on her and she was like the Kinnaird, a good engineroom and good grub.
I must admit if I did my first on some of ships I have read about here it would have been my last.
As for the schoolmaster type who says we should we say (in) a ship and not (on) a ship. I`ve never heard anyone say anything other than we sailed on this or sailed on that. With all due disrespect your mouth is full of marbles.

With all due respect, Jocko, I don't think you were at sea long enough to know whether you were "in" a ship or "on" a ship!

lakercapt
26th November 2011, 16:46
Firstly the Baron Kinnaird, I did my first trip on her maiden voyage, yes she broke down but on a maiden voyage you get those teething troubles. I found her to be a good ship and a good feeder. .

My how things change.
I was on this ship for a miserable 8 months and I could write long stories of the misfits of a crew whose main purpose in port was to get pissed and not turn to. Even at sea there were frequent fights among themselves.
Breakdowns, running out of water and food that was best described as lousy. At the first boat drill after sailing we could not lower the boats and the fire fighting equipment in a terrible condition.
Thankfully we had very willing and strong apprentices to help get things in working order.
After sailing from the UK to Tampa then Australia via Panama canal we arrived and there was NO MAIL.
It was my first Baron boat as a "Pool" man had no option but to sail on it.
Used to keep a fid close by in case I was confronted.
Keep your good memories Jocko but mine will be very different.

ex ro
29th November 2011, 07:55
Astraman, Rowbothams, allegedly a chemical tanker but more like a floating scrapheap. And she was reportedly in far better condition than her sister Polarisman. I had to break my hand to get off the wreck!!(EEK)

Totally agree with you "pretend Chemo Tankers "was on Pointsman coastal and deepsea an accident that was bound to happen RIP the guys who perished in Milford Haven

uisdean mor
29th November 2011, 13:17
#168 Derek - Hi
Yes we came out when they hit a problem with Lucellum I think. Took her off the slip -fitting out and then into dry dock to do some ship side work. Cannot remember exactly. When entering the drydock a large ice block was stuck under her and jammed between the stocks and her hull. Caused a bit of damage and delay. We were there to work between the two and hopefully regain some time. Tommy went home early - why I cannot remember - met up with him again on the Oloibiri out on station at Pennington - many adventures - very few of them good. One memory from Quebec is of Davie Meek doing his HULK impersonation dressed in greys - short sleeves the lot - on the way back from a very nice liquid lunch with ambient temp around 50 below. Needless to say we got him back on board and warm as soon as possible.
Rgds
H

superheat
12th December 2011, 15:26
Looking back, however, I would have to say that the dubious distinction of Most Miserable Ship would have to go to the steam tanker Overseas Arctic (sister ship of the Overseas Alaska, photos of which appear in this collection).

The run was a miserable one to begin with, shuttling between a remote oil terminal at a place called Chiriqui Grande in the Panamanian jungle and various terminals along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Well, I was on the Overseas Ohio around the same time. All the misery you mentioned, with the addition of having Ziggy and Clappy aboard at the same time.

surfaceblow
12th December 2011, 20:50
Well, I was on the Overseas Ohio around the same time. All the misery you mentioned, with the addition of having Ziggy and Clappy aboard at the same time.

I did some time on the Overseas Alaska before and after leaving MSC. My time on the Overseas Alaska was also before and after the MM&P getting the boot. So I missed the changing of the guard by a year. I did find that the replacements did not have the depth of experience has those that have left.

Joe

Jim Sutton
14th December 2011, 03:13
Ziggy and Clappy! The legends LOL. I used to remember sitting in the Port Arthur Hall as a starving GP 2 watching the 2nd and 3rd A/Es jobs come through on the OHIO,every few weeks.

Steven Lamb
14th December 2011, 05:11
Oh the latter one sounds like great fun Steve - not!!
Mick S

Yep Mick - can't think of another boring trip to date ?
Nevermind "you won some - you lost some"

Cheers
Lamby(Pint)

doric
17th December 2011, 11:14
I consider I never sailed on a bad ship:-

Two voyages on Dominion Monarch.
One voyage on Wairangi.
Two voyages on Taranaki.
Two voyages ( including Royal Tour ) on Gothic.
One voyage on Waiwera.
One voyage on Suevic.

I thoroughly enjoyed my voyages on these vessels during my time at Shaw Savill Lines.

I then joined The British Phosphate Commission. sailing on Triaster & Triadic, and enjoyed all voyages to Nauru & Ocean Islands.

I sailed as an Electrical Engineer Officer on these vessels and advise that I have no complaints whatsoever, food good, accommodation good, fellow Engineers most compatible.

My 10 years at sea was most enjoyable, no regrets, would advise any young fellow to follow suit, and spend some time at sea, see the world before settling down.

Regards, Terence Williams. R538301.

DaveM399
21st December 2011, 10:02
For me it is the British Spey in '81.

At the time, BP were trying out a new way of processing the heavy fuel oil for the main engine. This was using an homogeniser instead of the HFO purifiers. It was not a success as my memories of that ship are of changing liners, pistons and fuel valves at every opportunity. It was a shame, as the ship was on a good run regarding ports, but no chance of a run ashore.

They abandoned the trial before I paid of and we went back to using the purifier.

marinemec2004
22nd February 2012, 03:00
Did anyone else find that some of the harder-working ships had the best social life? Don't know if it is the work-hard, play-hard ethic, but people always seemed more determined to enjoy themselves on tougher ships.

One of the less enjoyable engine rooms I spent time in had Pielstick engines, which I hated, but I stayed for 7 trips as we had such a good time on board.
Definitely agree there. Joe Shell for example had some "hard" ships, tough conditions as some of their vessels ( Achatina for example) were very old. However, we made the best of it, and the crew camaraderie was second to none!

marinemec2004
22nd February 2012, 03:10
Got to be the Shell supertanker Lima! Did 5 straight months without getting ashore. Was 5th engineer, the only fiver onboard as they had done away with them due to all the engineers being daywork!
I remember I got ALL the logs to take , and were there plenty too!
Engineers were all ticketed to the top and full of s**t! I was at sea before most of them had left their mommies tit, having " crossed over" from Rating to Engineer. Hated it! Did a couple of trips as fiver , and fourth then left the Merch. soon after

marinemec2004
22nd February 2012, 03:16
Re #158 Derek

Did not manage to get to the Lucigen but sailed with a few who did - stories are legendary really and a testament to some of the harshest working conditions experienced. Sailed on - stood by the two Canadian tankers - Lucellum - Lucerna ? and there was some talk at the time of naming one Lucigen but old hands prevailed I think in avoiding that outcome.
Took Lucellum/Lucerna from Canada to Fal to lay up with Davy Meek ( Carnoustie) Dave Donaldson ( Isle of Man) and Murdo MacLeod ( Skye PO). We had some good times in Cornwall that winter so there were pay back times for all the bad times as well.
Rgds
H
Sure Dave Donaldson wasnt from the wirral! UI sailed on Lucerna with him, 2nd engineer?

marinemec2004
22nd February 2012, 03:24
Hi Uisdean good to read your comments about Moss tankers and the Pielsticks I feel relief after all these years I am not alone with my feelings! john g

Pielsticks , Yep, MT Lumiere had em! Always pulling heads and changing valves out on her. I was senior mechanic, think we did 11 months on Coast of South Africa. Was on Lucerna too. Lumiere was slightly better accomodation wise, but both were in poor condition ( Talking about crew accomodation) Infact on Lucerna I had to move from my cabin as it was over the Fuel Oil Settling tank and was therefore like an oven ( AC was pathetic) 2nd moved me up to a cadets cabin, it was bliss!

uisdean mor
22nd February 2012, 07:59
Hi #183
Dave was from Liverpool area originally but was married and living on IoM at that time. Not sure what happened to him after we parted .
Rgds
Uisdean

Long gone
22nd February 2012, 16:01
For me it is the British Spey in '81.

At the time, BP were trying out a new way of processing the heavy fuel oil for the main engine. This was using an homogeniser instead of the HFO purifiers. It was not a success as my memories of that ship are of changing liners, pistons and fuel valves at every opportunity. It was a shame, as the ship was on a good run regarding ports, but no chance of a run ashore.

They abandoned the trial before I paid of and we went back to using the purifier.

I was on another River in the 70s which had a homogeniser; it might indeed have been the Spey. I was on her late '75 to very early 1976. I was among those who took her UMS.

racco79
25th February 2012, 19:13
Worst for rattling but also what was so endearing about her and was what I think about when I think of her was dear old Caedmon (Wightlink)in a Force 10 gale. Remember when those prows clanged - heebeegeebees. Remember going through the ticket office during one of those gales and she was sitting in the berth at Yarmouth - she didn't disappoint.....

Bless her - shouldn't really be putting her on a 'worst' thread as those memories are very precious!

RIP

Derek Roger
25th February 2012, 22:41
Hi #183
Dave was from Liverpool area originally but was married and living on IoM at that time. Not sure what happened to him after we parted .
Rgds
Uisdean

Dave was an excellent engineer ; had a Lloyds welding ticket . We did a good repair on one of the deck crane jibs that the mate managed to drop the heavy lift derrick on . Happy Days .
Chief Engineer was Allan Attack .

PS Repair took a couple of days so a good run ashore in Chobe .

Jocko
27th February 2012, 11:08
It is beyond my imagination how anyone, above all an engineer, can sail ON a ship: when there he is in the very bowels of the thing!!!
Nobody would ever dream of saying they had been for a ride ON a car-please, please may we, from now on, go to sea IN ships!!

Are you a schoolteacher???? How do you get off telling adults about their terminology. I have never ever heard anyone say "I`m going back IN board" It doesn`t matter whether you are in the engineroom or up in the Crows nest you are ON board your ship.(Jester)(Jester)(Jester)

Jocko
28th February 2012, 10:07
My worst ship was the Waiwera. If I recall correctly we had 56 scavenge fires on a five month trip. She was also infested with cockroaches, they were everywhere including under your bunk. When we came back on board at night we used to go to the Duty mess for a sandwich. You had to tilt the loaf and slap it to knock the cockroaches out of the little holes in the bread. The mess had black and white tiles on the floor and when you switched the light on you couldn`t see the white tiles for roaches. Most nights we would swill the floor with boiling water and flush them down the drain but the next night they were as bad as ever. They must have been a super strain as one time we soaked one in DDT for a day and when we dried it out on blotting paper it just crawled away.
I noticed that someone listed the Baron Kinnaird as one of their worst, I sailed on the Baron Kinnaird on her maiden voyage in 1958 and she was OK, just a few teething problems but a good crew and good fun.

tom roberts
28th February 2012, 13:52
The Rose of Lancaster a bloody death trap sailed on her maiden voyage down the west coast Africa who ever built an passed her wanted stuffing I was never so glad to get of of a ship as I was of her.

KernowJim
15th May 2012, 14:06
Worst ship I sailed on was the M.V. Malahat (Indo China S.N. Co.) 1981, a Geared Bulk Carrier. It was my 2nd trip Deep Sea as 5th Engineer.

Originally built for the Johnson Line of Sweden but once it was getting a bit dilapidated they sold it to a Taiwanese Company who ran it into the ground.

I joined it in Chiba dock yard as the company took possession of the vessel and then the fun began! Once we'd re-floated we test ran the generator that the yard had overhauled and it proceeded to overspeed and all bar destroy itself.

The air lines were full of carbon and so continually causing the compressor valves to hang up. My first weeks onboard were spent overhauling compressor valves until we bit the bullet and removed all the air lines to clean them out.

We were sent Fuji Trading spares seals for the purifiers as opposed to Laval originals and so we couldn't get the purifiers to hold their seal.

The Fire system was unreliable to say the least and spurious alarms were the norm at all hours of the day and night. Sleep was at a premium to say the least.

Trying to decipher the Swedish/Taiwanese labels was a nightmare. We soon discovered that "Avelops" meant sewage, as the holding tank alarm frequently went off just before it overflowed into the bilges.

To cap it all we had the inevitable Pielsticks! My worst job was, due to being the smallest member of the ER crew, was to crawl on my back under the exhaust trunking on a roasting hot crankcase (clutching specially adapted spanners) to renew the leaking bellows pieces! A nightmare.

The sister ship, the Kimano, had a M.E. injector pipe burst and the subsequent electrical fire burnt out the engine room.

binliner
15th May 2012, 19:30
just read these postings.14 yrs with Benline no bad ships but some ships a lot better than others and very fond memories of some and not so fond of others.

lakercapt
16th May 2012, 02:45
.
I noticed that someone listed the Baron Kinnaird as one of their worst, I sailed on the Baron Kinnaird on her maiden voyage in 1958 and she was OK, just a few teething problems but a good crew and good fun.

That was my comment and the year was 1967.
I could write a book about the problems but its all old hat now.
I was a "Pool" man and could not refuse the ship and I needed the money anyhow.
After sailing from Liverpool it was several days before the deck crew turned to as their supply of shore bought booze was finished and they were suffering. Getting the hold cleaned after a cargo of sugar took nearly the whole trip to Tampa.A quick load there and on to the Panama canal. No mail again.
Fresh water was at a premium as the master had cut it right back and the "rainmaker" was only working intermittently.
Arrived in N.Z. and still no mail.
I forgot to mention at the first boat drill we could not get the lifeboats to swing out.
After that long sea passage guess what jolly jack did.
Nearest pub and no chance of getting any work done.
I could go on as it didn't improve.
We did get mail at the next port after being out for over two months.
Not A fun time and it was not helped by the man at the top who used to party with the crew.
Thankfully we had two very strong and willing apprentices who did noble work keeping things going.

jamesgpobog
16th May 2012, 03:47
I only sailed three, all USN. Mispillion, Peacock, and Pledge. None of them were 'bad', but I felt the least connected to Pledge. It was just sort of cold and impersonal...

Ex Chief Alex
27th May 2012, 20:08
I had my first trip as 2nd on the Comet, sailed from Falmouth after the near sinking dry dock. The T.A,s were useless the steam chest valves always sticking. 50/50 chance of a blackout if you changed F.D. speed. Finally paid off in Yugoslavia, by train after seven and a half months on a six month contract.

R58484956
28th May 2012, 10:17
Greetings Alex and welcome to SN. Bon voyage.

JohnBP
6th June 2012, 00:54
br. commodore,joined nov.70.glad to see falmouth dry dock ,march 71.[canny christmas on board though].home a few days .then join br.centaur in belfast.h.w. talk about out of the frying pan into the fire.

Yes the Centaur, on her 9 months work work work, blackouts, scav fires, vibration......

Long gone
7th June 2012, 19:33
br. commodore,joined nov.70.glad to see falmouth dry dock ,march 71.[canny christmas on board though].home a few days .then join br.centaur in belfast.h.w. talk about out of the frying pan into the fire.


Who had you upset?

Jim Glover
7th June 2012, 21:11
Hemiplecta,Lampas & Plagiola

alan ward
15th June 2012, 15:16
#125 howardws
whilst on the Eagle did you meet a hairdresser called Pamela Russell.pm me if you did

NOEL MUTCH
27th June 2012, 13:06
[B][/

B]

"SYGNET" IN 1945/46. AN OLD NORWEGIAN IRON ORE SHIP WITH NORWEGIAN DECK AND ENGINER OFFICERS CHINESE " CATERING" LASCARS ON DECK.i JOINED IT AS A DEMS GUNNER AT MADRAS.CARRIED COAL BETWEEN MADRAS/CALCUTTA ACCOMODATION IN TWEEN DECK DIRECTLY BELOW WINCHES. BULKHEADS WERE TONG/GROOVE TIMBER. WHEN YOU WOKE IN THE MORNING AFTER WORKING CARGO YOU WERE ZEBRALIKE WITH COAL DUST. ALIVE WITH BUGS DAILY ROUTINE GETTING RID.TO TOP IT ALL THE SKIPPER WAS A "NUT" AND SEX MANIAC (WE LOADED/DISCHARGE BY HUNDREDS OF "BIBBIES" ( INDIAN WOMEN) WITH HEAD BASKETS. SKIPPER FINALLY BANNED FROM GOING ASHORE AT BOTH PORTS. HAPPY DAYS !!

elektriker
28th June 2012, 15:37
Three ships!
1. m.v. Allamanda(Safmarine)-ex ? Maersk.B & W engine.Sometimes it started,sometimes it would`nt.Sometimes it stopped,sometimes it would`nt.
Safmarine sent us to Cammell Laird & expected us to live on a dead ship!
2.City of Brisbane on MANZ run.Was warned(umpteen times) against sailing on steamships as steam engineers
had "different"attitude.
3.m.v.Graigwerdd.Signed on,brand new ship out of Scott`s of Greenock.Told I was keeping a watch for a 4month trip,which lasted 11months & 7days.A Welsh tramp(Sulzer) with a steam chief & a steam 2nd.

deemac
28th June 2012, 21:46
British Light (2/E)
Nearly killed me. Never saw the light of day for six months AND I had to stay on in Dry Dock.
She looked lovely from distance. Just like a Falmouth floozie.

Blade Fisher
9th September 2012, 11:39
Three ships!
1. m.v. Allamanda(Safmarine)-ex ? Maersk.B & W engine.Sometimes it started,sometimes it would`nt.Sometimes it stopped,sometimes it would`nt.
Safmarine sent us to Cammell Laird & expected us to live on a dead ship!
2.City of Brisbane on MANZ run.Was warned(umpteen times) against sailing on steamships as steam engineers
had "different"attitude.
3.m.v.Graigwerdd.Signed on,brand new ship out of Scott`s of Greenock.Told I was keeping a watch for a 4month trip,which lasted 11months & 7days.A Welsh tramp(Sulzer) with a steam chief & a steam 2nd.

Was Ivan Currie Old Man on the Allamanda then?

R.kearsley
15th September 2012, 05:06
Was Ivan Currie Old Man on the Allamanda then?

was it Ivan or Ian? as I was on the Thorland in Nov 67 as jnr.eng and he was master then, a real gentleman,as was the 2/Eng, C/eng was "Friggy Horn' not a nice person. but rest of E/R dept a great mob.spent a total time on the Lanmar of 16 months and she was getting to be on her last legs as she arrived in drydock in Rotterdam, where the scottish Eng/Super fired me for asking for a few days leave,thank goodness i wasnt sent to the Allamander or the Marland,another of Safmarine's tankers which had a bad reputation.Worst ship I sailed on? none in particular, but best ship was my first, TEV Rangatira built 1931 joined in 1963,great days.

Rod F
2nd October 2012, 09:54
By far the worst boat I ever sailed on was the Union Castle 'fruit boat' Rustenburg Castle. 8 cyl opposed piston B&W renowned for continual scavange fires (stand to the side or you will blow your nuts off). Our claim to fame was being towed into Cape Town after all generators failed. It was front page news in the Cape Argus. But oddly enough it was the happiest ship I ever sailed on !

Pat Kennedy
2nd October 2012, 10:52
was it Ivan or Ian? as I was on the Thorland in Nov 67 as jnr.eng and he was master then, a real gentleman,as was the 2/Eng, C/eng was "Friggy Horn' not a nice person. but rest of E/R dept a great mob.spent a total time on the Lanmar of 16 months and she was getting to be on her last legs as she arrived in drydock in Rotterdam, where the scottish Eng/Super fired me for asking for a few days leave,thank goodness i wasnt sent to the Allamander or the Marland,another of Safmarine's tankers which had a bad reputation.Worst ship I sailed on? none in particular, but best ship was my first, TEV Rangatira built 1931 joined in 1963,great days.

Marland was in drydock in Birkenhead in December 1973 when there was a fire overnight in the aft accomodation. Five crew died. The fire was caused by a discarded cigarette end.
I took this photo the following morning from the quayside crane.
Regards,
Pat

Jim Glover
19th October 2012, 11:02
Aye British Light was a cracker ,Ist trip with BP

marinemec2004
19th October 2012, 12:02
Lepeta

What was wrong with Lepeta ?(apart from the boring runs of courses!)
I sailed on Lanistes and also Lima.

Split
19th October 2012, 18:08
Reading through these posts, I'm glad I was mate of t2 tankers, in Caltex, after all. I. actually, thought of trying Shell and BP! Lucky old me!

Rotting bulkheads and cargo lines but topside, everything worked. Showers, toilets, smokeroom fridges, good grub, no roaches, leave on time and, in the main, bloody good blokes.

But, as I said, down the tanks..... I was a dab hand with plastic patchesI

Jim Glover
19th October 2012, 18:43
I also sailed on Shell L Class vessels ,2 trips lampas,lotorium,and Laconica as 3/E

robert the bruce
5th November 2012, 20:17
After reading the horror statements of "The Worst Ship" I had a reasonable time at sea until the"Gothic". There where a few minor engine room problems taking into consideration of age of ship, but it was the two junior engineers that did it for me. Coming on watch wearing white gloves, oh no, creeping around the engine room, disappearing to the corners of the engine room and having little chit chats, whilst all the time observing my movements. I eventually lost it and tore into them. I was then in front of the chief for causing them stress. My biggest disappointment was that I never met them ashore.
Rob.

nav
5th November 2012, 20:59
Do you ever walk onboard a ship and you just don't want to be there whilst others seem to give you a big hug? I get the same feeling with houses, it's like they all have their own spirits.

robert the bruce
6th November 2012, 16:17
A brilliant statement, "nav," houses are a bit different it depends on the spirits, whisky,gin, or rum.
Rob

NOEL MUTCH
6th November 2012, 16:28
[QUOTE=robert the bruce;632518]After reading the horror statements of "The Worst Ship" I had a reasonable time at sea until the"Gothic". There where a few minor engine room problems taking into consideration of age of ship, but it was the two junior engineers that did it for me. Coming on watch wearing white gloves, oh no, creeping around the engine room, disappearing to the corners of the engine room and having little chit chats, whilst all the time observing my movements. I eventually lost it and tore into them. I was then in front of the chief for causing them stress. My biggest disappointment was that I never met them ashore.
Rob.[/

NOEL MUTCH
6th November 2012, 16:32
Would This Be The Same Gothic That Was Chartered For The Royal Yacht In ,i Think 1952 ?

Pingham
21st November 2012, 21:31
SS Malwa, a 1961 tanker built by Vickers, Barrow in Furness. My first trip as Engineer Cadet. Joined at Kharg Island in July 1973. Towed by the second largest tug in the world, Zuider Zee I think, to Das Island when we ran out of water. Retubed 2x economisers at sea, shoreside gang of welders, riggers etc, who led me and other EC astray by excessive drinking, the best bit! No A/C, no cold water to shower. Covered in prickly heat from head to foot. Hand operating soot blowers, oil seal leak on turbine so all engine room was covered in oil mist, the calander looked like greaseproof paper! 136 deg F on manouevring platform under the blower. Continuous watchkeeping with drunken 3Es. 2E and 4E hit by a wave while closing bunker tank sounding pipe access door. Cracked condenser waterbox flooding engine room, starting emergency genny from black ship with only two air start valves, lining up the paint mark on the flywheel. Patching deck steam line with thislebond to get enough steam forward to drive winches in December approaching Dunkirk. 2nd lecky jumping ship in Dunkirk.
All good character building stuff that gave me a great work ethic and a good foundation for a career in power station engineering where I am today.

robert the bruce
22nd November 2012, 18:49
Yes Noel, this was the same Gothic, that was chartered. I believe, or I heard somewhere, that this ship had a nasty fire, but I'am not sure.
Rob

david fryer
22nd November 2012, 19:23
As 2nd cook and baker. T2 Tanker at Palmers Hebburn drydock on Tyneside, Fell through flying bridge(Rust)
The next morning ships cook joined the ship from the south coast said hello and died. That was enough for me ,6weeks on the coast and transfered not long after she went for scrap and the drydock/shipyard closed for good!!!!

Tony Veal
22nd November 2012, 20:24
SS & A inherited this deathtrap from Royal Mail ;the 'Drina'. Two six cylinder double acting B & W's and Polar generators.. Engineers accommodation was condemned! I became a steam man after that; never signed on another motorship...

A.D.FROST
22nd November 2012, 20:47
Yes Noel, this was the same Gothic, that was chartered. I believe, or I heard somewhere, that this ship had a nasty fire, but I'am not sure.
Rob


3168631687

makko
23rd November 2012, 15:16
The next morning ships cook joined the ship from the south coast said hello and died.
Pray, tell David. What did Cookie die from?

Steven Lamb
23rd November 2012, 16:04
'Avon Bridge' - falling to pieces you could put your foot through the decks !

Cheers
Lamby

minnisminn
17th January 2013, 22:33
For me it was the Shell tanker SS LYRIA, Join`d the ship in rotterdam.
In the first few seconds after walking off the gangway onto the deck it just did not feel right. There was a deck hand working on something with his back to me, i asked what the ship was like and without looking at me said it was f***in s**t. With hindsight i should have walked straight off the thing, But i didn`t it was all down hill after that. I found out the next day after sailing that he jumped ship, turned too down the engine room. Found out in the afternoon that my petty officer (donkeyman) was a second tripper!!! First ship was three months on the QE2 then this one! How can that be?:confused: So hear we are, me with over five years engine room experience and only 25, plus three other ratings who were younger than me. with very little experience. So i have a boss who knows nothing. The morning muster in the control room was a total joke, I hear the second engineer give him the job list. Then its straight to me for help, so i do his job! Six weeks of this and nearly a case of beer a day i managed to get a discharge from the ship.

marinemec2004
18th January 2013, 05:42
Interesting.
Do not confuse age with experience my friend!
I sailed for over 10 years in the Merch. having done 4 in the Andrew previously.
I sailed on RFA Engadine as Donkeyman -aged 26! All the greasers to a man were late fifties early sixties. There wasnt a days work in any one of them !
The Donkeyman's position was vacant. Not one of them stepped forward. I was on the Pool -very unusual for a pool guy to take a PO's position. All these guys wanted to do was drink.
With the exception of two, the rest were on watch ! They did absoloutely nothing . Well let me tell you, I shook them up and I licked that engine room into shape. I had it cleaned up and painted from funnel to bottom plates. Anyone remembers me on here will tell you too!
I had two testimonials whe I left that ship, one from the Chief and one from the second.

BOB.WHITTAKER
19th January 2013, 22:46
Response to " marinemec2004 ".

Well said ! ! ! You'll do for me. Regards the drinking , see comments under " The Bridge " . This also highlighted by the report on the incident onboard HMS Astute.

garry Norton
20th January 2013, 00:59
The worst ship I sailed on was World Cliff, not because the ship was bad but the Master was only interested in his tiddle, the crew wanted to play marjong all the the time,the company wanted steam coils repaired after carrying sour crude and the ship did not carry the propper testing meters,the Chief Engineer wanted the mate to repair the cargo pumps with a pumpman only interested in cleaning his shoes. I joined the ship at 12 stone and left it weighing 9 stone.

R396040
20th January 2013, 19:55
Just reading rhrough all the very interesting comments and posts. In my thirty years at sea there were good & bad of course, depending on run,shipmates,accommodation with lack of any A/C in the earlier days (late 40s) being the worst complaint especially up the Persian Gulf as it was then. Food wasnt so much an issue as I was used to wartime rationing. Joys were seeing and getting ashore in the varied countries round the world.

Post No. 42 GOSPL Your post brought back memories. I was on a GSN ship and our lifeboat rescued most of the crew of the sinking Traquair on a stormy night in the North Sea. Took them on to Hamburg. It was mid fifties I think.
Stuart H

Jim Glover
25th January 2013, 18:07
British Light also ,

Fred Field
24th March 2013, 18:04
Have you got any details of that engine?

See one running here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pizDIl0qluM

Or a sectioned drawing here:
http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel/marine/wolff.htm

Fred Field
24th March 2013, 18:13
Unfortunately not but I will check with the IMarEST to see if anyone has. In brief the engines were not turbo blown, cylinders were aspirated by a large piston pump which was via a gear train. The complicating factor was that each unit has a top piston acting which at top DC fired between the centre piston and the top piston. On the down stroke the middle piston cleared ports for the top to exhaust and the underside of the middle piston then acted at BDC with the bottom piston. The issues with maintaing this is a working condition were many due to all the moving parts, the method of cooling piston crowns, cylinder lubrication, scavenge space hygeine and the number of bearing from the eccentric bearings. It was compounded by the fact that there were 2 of the monsters.

I will make an equiry to see if we can get a drawing of this engine.
The ones I sailed on, 3 of the off-springs of unmarried parents, did not have turbo-chargers but chain driven rootes blowers.
The only engines I have had personal experience of scavenge fires with, and that was as a regular occurrence. I joined one ship as 3/E and asked the Chief if he wanted calling for scavenge fires, he asked if I had ever dealt with any, my response of 'about every other watch on the Rowallan' seemed to earn me some credit! We were actually on our way back from Mauritius before we got the first one and then it was 'musical fuel pumps'.

Fred Field
24th March 2013, 19:00
By far the worst boat I ever sailed on was the Union Castle 'fruit boat' Rustenburg Castle. 8 cyl opposed piston B&W renowned for continual scavange fires (stand to the side or you will blow your nuts off). Our claim to fame was being towed into Cape Town after all generators failed. It was front page news in the Cape Argus. But oddly enough it was the happiest ship I ever sailed on !

I was on the 'Rusty Bucket' June-October 1970, she was not as bad as the Rowallan.