Compressed air starts

spongebob
7th January 2009, 08:29
Compressed air engine starts

Somewhere I read a post about running out of air which brings to mind a few little ‘events’ in my time

It’s a long haul from third mate to master and a wide range of learning to accomplish but in my memory the skill of ship handling, i.e. maneuvering a ship to or from its berth in a harbour was an art form on its own and some masters had it, some slightly less talented.
All the Union steam ship Co’s masters held pilot exemptions for NZ ports and for many of the Australian and Pacific Islands ones also so ship handling by the master in the confinements of a port was a frequent happening. Of course I am referring to the handling of relatively small ships here, say 2000 to 8000 tons gross. Of course the Inter-Island ferry skippers were like poetry in motion as are most ferrymen always on a familiar course.

I recall being berthed on the breastwork in Lyttelton in a tight space and at right angles to the main wharves. We were due to sail that afternoon and were all singled up ready to go when the skipper and the chief engineer arrived back from the company office. The skipper was a dab hand at berthing and sailing with a minimum of telegraph movements so the chief said “I bet you ten pounds that you can’t get out of here in one movement”
Soon after standby was rung on the engine room telegraph followed by a very long pause then “full ahead” and we were away. The cunning blighter had let go forward and with the advantage of a light off shore breeze and the tensioning of the out board stern mooring line with the winch had managed to screw the ship through 90 degrees by rotating on the stern rubbing strake against the piling until we were pointed to the seaward channel. The full ahead engine movement to get out of the harbour was not foolhardy as we engineers took some time to ease the engine up to full rpm plus time was needed to gain way all of which the skipper well knew.

I can well remember the chief’s sad look as we got the full away signal.

Another time, another ship, another skipper who was a seasoned sea dog who had commanded a square rigger in his time and was a very experienced master but when it came to berthing a motor ship he was a bundle of nerves and was well known for his extravagant use of engine movements to the detriment of the compressed air supply for engine starts.
We were berthing a collier along side Auckland’s Western wharf against an outgoing tide and a slight head wind and our twin, well worn British Polar engines were repeatedly getting the telegraph message to go “dead slow ahead” –“stop” “dead slow ahead” – “ stop” as we crept and inched our way toward the berth.
We had four air receivers, two normally in service and two as standby but with the high number of engine movements we were well into the second two and the compressor was unable to keep up.
The chief said “Ring the bridge and tell them we have only half a dozen engine starts left”
The third mate took the message to the skipper who promptly ordered the Mate on the bow to let go an anchor and that was the end of that for a few hours as we swung on the pick only 50 metres off the jetty. It was a Saturday afternoon and the only people on the quay were the Union Co shore staff waiting to take our lines and on seeing the anchor drop they packed up and went home. After a few ship to shore messages, a turn of the tide and full air receivers we finally got along side and home that evening.

Another incident involving maneuvering and engine starts comes to mind and in this instance we were due to sail from Wellington. The main engine had been warmed through and we were all ready to go. Stand by rang on the telegraph and we got ready to follow the practice of giving the engine a jag on air only with the indicator cocks open when the first movement was rung. It took the stand- by engineer about ten seconds total to witness a clean blow from the cocks and close them before signaling to the man on the throttle that all was well and bang we were away.
This time I was the man on the tops and as the first movement of “slow astern” clanged the kick on air was done a spurt of water issued from one cock in a solid water blasting stream that showered both me and those on the plates below. I yelled and waved that we had water in the cylinder and the second took the conservative course of ringing “Finished with engines”. The bridge’s reaction was swift as they rang down to say that they had cast off and we had drifted into the middle of the basin. “What is wrong, do we drop the pick?” was the urgent question but we answered very quickly by slipping the turning gear into mesh and giving the engine a turn to prove that most of the water had gone and we were able to start on fuel in the nick of time and extricate the ship from an embarrassing moment. It was egg on the face of the engineers and a reminder to turn the engine over with the turning gear just prior to standby and not a few hours before.
The problem later turned out to be serious erosion on the cylinder liner water-side walls and in the area of a sealing ‘O’ ring that allowed water to leak through the cylinder ports but that is another story

Bob

gordy
7th January 2009, 09:35
Great stories Bob. My initiation into driving a Doxford came to me as a newly made up 4/E on the Texaco Gloucester. On my previous trip the senior did all the driving himself as it was a tricky b*gger at times and was known to start astern when ahead had been selected.
On watch with me was another 4/E who had never been on a motorship, a T2 man.
Our trial by fire was to get the old girl into the locks at the Keil end of the canal, so plenty of starts, during which I managed to lift the RV's a few times, resulting in spectacular fireworks and soot, some of which found it's way down to the bell book. My fellow 4th asked me if it was always like this and I replied, 'dunno, 1st time I've driven it!' The chief came along and gave me a few words of advice and the start to come out the lock was smooth.
A good number of end of watch tinnies was consumed, by way of celebration.

kewl dude
8th January 2009, 05:54
I never sailed a motor ship. Geared steam turbines and T2 turbo electric. But I well recall harbor pilots and their dead slow ahead stop. Dead slow astern stop bells. Turbo electric it took three to five seconds to parallel the electric generator and electric motor, often times stop bells arrived before that occurred. Dead slow on a T2 was the same speed as the generator idled, 40 propeller rpm. Geared jobs dead slow was 20 rpm and were slower to come up to that speed. Regardless when the bell book began to have four ahead and astern bells within one minute, just waiting a second or two before engaging the engine often the stop bell arrived. There were times that the bell book pages were filled with these slow ahead stop, slow astern stop engine orders every fifteen seconds, but the prop was never turned.

Greg Hayden

spongebob
8th January 2009, 07:15
You are dead right Greg. It was the Union Co custom for the Ship's Electrician to record the telegraph orders in the log, It was a sure way to enable him to get some overtime in when on stand-by entering or leaving port outside the normal 8 to 5.
He recorded the "as rung"instructions meticulously but often the rapidity of the signals prevented the engineer on the controls from carrying out the request so we often fudged it when we knew the master and his methods.
My own father in law, bless his soul, was a Union Co master who was trigger happy with the telegraph and although I never sailed with him I did do a cross harbour trip after I came ashore when he had to move a freighter from Auckland's Princes wharf to the Devonport dry dock.
Believe me I felt for the engineers below as he played a tune across the harbour. I raised the issue with him some days later and got a "hurrump" as a reply.
His family used to say that he drove a car as he did a ship, wait till you feel the slight bump!


Bob

davemcil
8th January 2009, 09:39
My second ship but my first time on a Doxford (6 cylinder LB Doxford) was an experience I wont forget and I really enjoyed.
The ship was the old Port Auckland re-named the Marsharla and had been converted to a sheep carrier but I arrived late as she was ready to pull away.
A couple of minutes later & first time on the plates and the chief said “come on son on the port engine” I did notice the slight flash of a grin he passed to the second.
I thought to my self I can do this as I have been starting engines as a trads person for years. (served my time in a marine repair works & dock) so i turned around to be faced with a verity of levers and controls and thought HELL what’s first.
At that second the Port Telegraph rang “Slow astern” I must have looked totally stunned and the chief said “come on son, this ones the air start, this ones the fuel, this ones the forward ahead and this ones the fuel pressure keep it right” I had never seen a Doxford started but I knew the general principle.
The chief took a step forward when the phone rang But I just went for it
Thought it into astern, Air on until it started to turn and on with the fuel and I got her started with out even hitting the gate and lifting the safeties. Smooth transition with the air off and moved the fuel leaver forward.
The chief look stunned even if i did go to fast. ( I later found out the old man was rather ruffled)
The chief said; Bloody hell you bloody Australians.
But the next movement I stuffed it up and lifted 2 or 3 safeties but i never stalled her.
That night in the bar they couldn’t fine me a case of beer for stuffing up or lifting the safety valves but it cost me a case for making the old man run to the dunny

Dave Mc

Burntisland Ship Yard
8th January 2009, 21:00
Great stories Bob. My initiation into driving a Doxford came to me as a newly made up 4/E on the Texaco Gloucester. On my previous trip the senior did all the driving himself as it was a tricky b*gger at times and was known to start astern when ahead had been selected.
On watch with me was another 4/E who had never been on a motorship, a T2 man.
Our trial by fire was to get the old girl into the locks at the Keil end of the canal, so plenty of starts, during which I managed to lift the RV's a few times, resulting in spectacular fireworks and soot, some of which found it's way down to the bell book. My fellow 4th asked me if it was always like this and I replied, 'dunno, 1st time I've driven it!' The chief came along and gave me a few words of advice and the start to come out the lock was smooth.
A good number of end of watch tinnies was consumed, by way of celebration.

Hi Gordy, when was this and who was the chief & second ?

Butters
9th January 2009, 00:42
I think these stories are great - now from the bridge prospective as a new Third Mate I observed the following on an old Union Company 'K' class .
The 'Old Man', was known by some engineers as 'Jingle bells', as he always took control of the bridge telegraph himself when berthing or unberthing .
He would ring 'dead slow', and then on most occasions as soon as the reply from below was received would ring 'stop' and this could continue form Point Halswell in Wellington harbour to Aotea Quay , which is quite a distance thus the ship was hardly moving . I would on these occasions be standing next to him in the wing of the bridge where I would be come quite amused at the number of orders and the lack of response from the engine . I queried this with the engineers and they said their policy with him was - receive order , answer it , wait about half a minute and if the order did not change then carry it out . This meant about 60% of orders were actually carried out .
I always thought that for someone who had been Master for about 25 years he would have realised this for himself . I was to 'chicken', to mention it to him myself.

Butters

spongebob
9th January 2009, 01:08
Talking of telegraph ringing there was a time when we left Wellington for Auckland on the reefer "Tarawera" and as we were mostly Auckland home porters we were trying for a fast run. When I went on watch at midnight the seas were calm the night was clear and I could see the coastline a few miles away.
Come 2 am as we were having a cup of tea there was an almighty bang from the 8 cylinder Sulzer engine and smoke issued from the scavenge trunking. I leaped to the controls, rang slow ahead on the telegraph and throttled back.Meantime the second had hit the plates and as we were assessing the problem there was frantic ringing on the telephone from the bridge. I spoke to the second mate who said
"you can't stop or slow down now, I am making a narrow passage and we are close in shore, keep it going"
After a few minutes of observing the engine running as normal we upped the revs and it appeared that the problem was an isolated one such as a small scavenge trunk explosion that had done little damage so we rang full ahead much to the second mate's relief.
It turned out that he steered a course inside a small island, ( near the
Mahia Peninsular I think) to cut a few miles off the journey, a route prohibited by the company but safe enough if your engine does not break down.
Faces saved all round and the Skipper or the Chief Engineer did not even wake up or if they did they had the diplomacy to keep in the background.

Bob

gordy
11th January 2009, 23:51
Hi Gordy, when was this and who was the chief & second ?

BSY, it would be 1974, Chief was the nice Indian gentleman Mr Dervala(?), 2nd the famous Hairy (Alex) Anderson. While all this lifting of relief valves was going on Hairy made his way to the engine room but as we went into the lock he decided to make himself a coffee first. My watchmate went up to get us coffees and announced to Hairy that I'd never driven before! Hairy was just entering the ER to help out when we got the slow ahead to come out the lock and I nailed it, so he went back and finished his brew. Happy Days.(Jester)

spongebob
12th January 2009, 09:50
Again talking of telegraphs yet another story comes to mind. The RNZN had a couple of WW2 vintage tugs of USA design and build and fitted with American “Fairbanks Morse” diesels, the sort that used to be fitted in submarines if I recall correctly..
One tug was along side near the internal combustion Engine shop at the dockyard and a fitter and his apprentice were sent on board to replace the flexible cables between the Wheel house and engine room telegraphs. They were replacing the original multi-strand galvanized rigging wire that was frayed and rusting with then new fangled stainless steel rigging wire. I remember that well because half the apprentices in the workshop were scheming as to how to cut a few feet off the cable reel to use as rigging for our small yachts.
The pair went on board and rove the new wire through the duct trunking connecting the two telegraphs, fitted it around the drums then rang the handles at both ends through their full travel to test the freedom of movement and as all was ok it was a finished job. What they failed to do was to check that both the telegraphs were sending and receiving the same signal and in fact the wire from the wheelhouse became twisted in the trunking or incorrectly attached at the engine room end. I can’t remember the exact cock-up but it sure was one.
The tug was used as a diving training and support boat and a couple of days later she was ready to leave her jetty for a training run. They cast off, the skipper rang full ahead as it was a straight forward run out of the berth but the engine room telegraph showed full astern so the engineer being sure that it was a mistake rang back full astern with gusto to draw the skipper’s attention to a seemingly silly command which showed up as full astern in the wheel house. also The skipper then rang full ahead again which still read full astern in the engine room so the engineer probably muttered “silly old bugger, I’ll give him full astern, so he started the engine and went astern to gently nudge the breast work with the stern fender which resulted in frantic ringing from up top only to perpetuate the problem. Short of trying to push the whole land mass of the Dockyard northwards there was little else the engineer could do so he throttled back and rushed up to the wheelhouse where a lot of yelling went on until the mistake was discovered. The Shop foreman was summoned and two red faced dockyard mateys went on board to untangle things. It eventually simmered down and as it was all in slow motion and no damage was done it became a huge joke but it could have had worse consequences.

No it was not me or my fitter; I was away at Tech that day and missed the actual circus.

Bob

JT McRae
12th January 2009, 10:51
Just love your yarns Bob - keep 'em coming! Just one nit-picking detail though, are you sure that the RNZN tugs (Arataki? Manawanui) engines were Fairbanks-Morse? I'm almost certain that they were Atlas Majors.
Brgds Tim

gordy
12th January 2009, 13:13
Brilliant yarn Bob.
The classic telegraph 'happening' for me was when on one of Texaco's Doxford jobs, while leaving a berth all the movement segments lit up from Full Ahead to Full Astern including FWE. In my best 'taking the p' voice I phoned the bridge and asked which movement they would like as I was unsure of how to make the engine do them all at the same time. We got off the berth with the junior taking the movements by phone and me driving, then in a spare moment I removed the covers from the Telegraph to find the copper segments had copper dust between them all, causing the problem.
I must confess to giving myself a mild electric shock as the ship rolled a bit and I made contact somewhere on the Telegraph innards.
Once we got Full Away it was all sorted and became a good topic for a laugh in the bar.

Allan Wareing
12th January 2009, 14:44
Again talking of telegraphs yet another story comes to mind. The RNZN had a couple of WW2 vintage tugs of USA design and build and fitted with American “Fairbanks Morse” diesels, the sort that used to be fitted in submarines if I recall correctly..
One tug was along side near the internal combustion Engine shop at the dockyard and a fitter and his apprentice were sent on board to replace the flexible cables between the Wheel house and engine room telegraphs. They were replacing the original multi-strand galvanized rigging wire that was frayed and rusting with then new fangled stainless steel rigging wire. I remember that well because half the apprentices in the workshop were scheming as to how to cut a few feet off the cable reel to use as rigging for our small yachts.
The pair went on board and rove the new wire through the duct trunking connecting the two telegraphs, fitted it around the drums then rang the handles at both ends through their full travel to test the freedom of movement and as all was ok it was a finished job. What they failed to do was to check that both the telegraphs were sending and receiving the same signal and in fact the wire from the wheelhouse became twisted in the trunking or incorrectly attached at the engine room end. I can’t remember the exact cock-up but it sure was one.
The tug was used as a diving training and support boat and a couple of days later she was ready to leave her jetty for a training run. They cast off, the skipper rang full ahead as it was a straight forward run out of the berth but the engine room telegraph showed full astern so the engineer being sure that it was a mistake rang back full astern with gusto to draw the skipper’s attention to a seemingly silly command which showed up as full astern in the wheel house. also The skipper then rang full ahead again which still read full astern in the engine room so the engineer probably muttered “silly old bugger, I’ll give him full astern, so he started the engine and went astern to gently nudge the breast work with the stern fender which resulted in frantic ringing from up top only to perpetuate the problem. Short of trying to push the whole land mass of the Dockyard northwards there was little else the engineer could do so he throttled back and rushed up to the wheelhouse where a lot of yelling went on until the mistake was discovered. The Shop foreman was summoned and two red faced dockyard mateys went on board to untangle things. It eventually simmered down and as it was all in slow motion and no damage was done it became a huge joke but it could have had worse consequences.

No it was not me or my fitter; I was away at Tech that day and missed the actual circus.

Bob

Hi, Bob, I had a quiet chuckle about the telegraph cock-up. I presume you are talking about the Manawanui. Way back in about 1968/69 when I was employed by The Defence Service Establishment ( D.S.E,) I was 'loaned" to the Dockyard for about 3 months to act as Skipper of the Arataki. Having been Master of a motor vessel some years earlier I was always conscious of the need to be economical with the air. Never any problem on Arataki though because the Engineer Bert Williamson was a dab hand at engine starting. Bert is now long dead. If memory serves me right the engine was a 'Polar Atlas' but I could be wrong. They were called Yard Towing Launches and were originaly used for barge towing in the Pacific during the war, in fact if you looked closely you could still just see the letters YTL under the paint on the side.
Not ideal as tugs though because of this air problem and they were hand steering by rod and chain which meant you had to keep a tight hold on the wheel when going astern otherwise the rudder would flop over one way or the other and try to fling you off the wheel. Happy Days!
Cheers, Allan.

Allan Wareing
12th January 2009, 15:24
Again talking of telegraphs yet another story comes to mind. The RNZN had a couple of WW2 vintage tugs of USA design and build and fitted with American “Fairbanks Morse” diesels, the sort that used to be fitted in submarines if I recall correctly..
One tug was along side near the internal combustion Engine shop at the dockyard and a fitter and his apprentice were sent on board to replace the flexible cables between the Wheel house and engine room telegraphs. They were replacing the original multi-strand galvanized rigging wire that was frayed and rusting with then new fangled stainless steel rigging wire. I remember that well because half the apprentices in the workshop were scheming as to how to cut a few feet off the cable reel to use as rigging for our small yachts.
The pair went on board and rove the new wire through the duct trunking connecting the two telegraphs, fitted it around the drums then rang the handles at both ends through their full travel to test the freedom of movement and as all was ok it was a finished job. What they failed to do was to check that both the telegraphs were sending and receiving the same signal and in fact the wire from the wheelhouse became twisted in the trunking or incorrectly attached at the engine room end. I can’t remember the exact cock-up but it sure was one.
The tug was used as a diving training and support boat and a couple of days later she was ready to leave her jetty for a training run. They cast off, the skipper rang full ahead as it was a straight forward run out of the berth but the engine room telegraph showed full astern so the engineer being sure that it was a mistake rang back full astern with gusto to draw the skipper’s attention to a seemingly silly command which showed up as full astern in the wheel house. also The skipper then rang full ahead again which still read full astern in the engine room so the engineer probably muttered “silly old bugger, I’ll give him full astern, so he started the engine and went astern to gently nudge the breast work with the stern fender which resulted in frantic ringing from up top only to perpetuate the problem. Short of trying to push the whole land mass of the Dockyard northwards there was little else the engineer could do so he throttled back and rushed up to the wheelhouse where a lot of yelling went on until the mistake was discovered. The Shop foreman was summoned and two red faced dockyard mateys went on board to untangle things. It eventually simmered down and as it was all in slow motion and no damage was done it became a huge joke but it could have had worse consequences.

No it was not me or my fitter; I was away at Tech that day and missed the actual circus.

Bob

Hi Bob, I presume you are talking about the Manawanui. When I was employed by The Defence Scientfic Establishment (D.S.E) in about 1968/69 I was 'loaned' to the Dockyard to act as Skipper of the Arataki. Having been Master of a motor vessel some years previously I was always conscious of being economical with air. However this was no problem on Arataki as Bert Williamson the Engineer was a dab hand at engine starting. They were originaly called Yard Towing Launches and were used for towing barges in the Pacific during the war.
Not ideal as tugs because of this starting air problem and they were 'hand steering' by rod and chain and you had to be careful going astern as the rudder would flop over one way or the other and try to fling you off the wheel. I'm pretty sure the engine was a 'Polar Atlas'.
Cheers Allan.

chadburn
12th January 2009, 16:21
Apparently the multi linked chain which went around the drum of the Chadburns telegraphs and connected to the wire is now very hard to comeby and therefore worth a fortune. Steamship restorers cannot get hold of it ( if only we knew then what we know now). Setting the telegraph's up was alway's considered to be a good test for a pair of Apprentice's.

spongebob
12th January 2009, 20:47
Tim and Allan, you are both right ,it was an Atlas Engine, I checked it out on the net last night before going to bed and could not get to sleep due to worrying about which boat had the Fairbanks Morse.
We used to call it a Douglas Fairbanks.
I now have to go off to early morning golf suffering from the lack of sleep. This site has a lot to answer for.
I remember that the Fairmiles and fishery protection motor launches had Hercules high speed diesels that were replaced by Gray Marine and after I left they were planning to change over to Foden to standardise with a British Admiralty standard. The Officer's motor boat had a Gardner diesel but no, the one with the FB engine escapes me. It might come to me on the fourth tee.

Bob

Macphail
12th January 2009, 23:07
MV Volnay. Harrison Clyde. February 1975. Jacksonville standby.

Engine: Sulzer RD90.

On the first movement there was a mighty thump, hot steaming water and coagulant slime cascaded from jacket water header tank down onto the engine room. The air start manifold relief valve had lifted and was also emitting gung and hanging in a floppy state because of stretched retaining bolts. This was a new one, engine dead, brown trouser job.

On investigation it was found that the cylinder cover insert passage to the air start valve was adjacent to the jacket cooling water, on a cylinder this had eroded on passage, thus the air start system was common to the jacket water cooling and full of water. On the first start the full starting air was applied to the jacket cooling system. A very big water hammer.

Chiefs first reaction, that F******* fourth has not been draining the air bottles.

All the best
Haggis.

J Boyde
13th January 2009, 08:29
I had an occasion there we were on the pilotage into Dunedin. We only had one compressor working, the other had sevied during the run in. I was hauled out of my pit to take over the controls. The engine was a sulzer and I was the most efective starter in the ship. The bridge had been told that we were getting short of air and sudenly, the number of starts was reduced, dramaticaly. Spent the rest of the day after being tied alongside, rebuilding the sieved compressor.
Jim B

spongebob
13th January 2009, 09:16
This is one compressed air start that I am glad that I did not make

Navua engine damage

The worst possible outcome from an air start of a marine diesel engine came in the mid fifties when the little banana boat Navua was in the Fijian Islands. She was built in 1955 by Henry Robb, of about 2000 tons gross and was equipped with a 5 cylinder trunk piston Sulzer 1500 HP engine.

She was on one of her earliest voyages, circa 1956, on the Pacific Islands trade and arriving off Lautoka Fiji (from memory) after dark she anchored to await a daylight berthing. The second engineer asked either the third or the fourth to change a defective main engine fuel injector during the night and this was done but apparently the engineer failed to shut off the main oil circulating pump or isolate the cooling oil circulation to the injector jacket before removing the faulty unit. During the time taken to take the valve down to the workshop, select a spare and re-install it a considerable volume of oil flowed in to sit on top of the piston that was parked above the ports in the cylinder liner so we had a disaster waiting to happen.
The second engineer was on watch when the first movement was rung on the telegraph and as he started the engine it must have fired in such an order to allow the oil logged unit to travel down and then make a full stroke up to hit the solid mass of oil against the cylinder head. There was enough momentum to wreak the ultimate damage to the extent that the connecting rod was bent like a banana, the liner cracked and, worst of all, the crankcase entablature each side of the damaged unit was a mass of hairline cracks.
She was towed into a berth and there she sat for several months for repairs. The Union Co flew in a couple of experts from the Metalock Company and they worked night and day stitching the crank case cracks until the area looked like a spider’s web. The end result was successful and she went back into service for some years before being sold off to another owner.
When I joined her in 1958 the metalocked areas on the crank case external walls had to be left unpainted so that any sign of movement of the repair could be detected and it was then mandatory to inspect the internal stitching at the end of each voyage. The second engineer who pulled the lever was back on the ship when I joined and his collection of photos covering the damage made the blood run cold and was a lesson indeed.
I have searched the net for any information regarding this incident but have not found any. Perhaps there are some old Union Co SN members that can confirm, correct or add to this story.

Bob

spongebob
14th January 2009, 04:45
Back to Tim and Allan's query about the engines, yes they were definitely Atlas and the boat with the Fairbanks Morse engine still escapes me. I worked on that engine with diesel fitter 'Froggie' LeGroe, an Auckland born man who served on British submarines during WW2 and I am sure that he told me that FB made submarine engines. I doubt that they would of been in British subs being American manufacture but he knew a lot about them.
There was a big old liberty boat that used to run down to HMNZS Tamaki base on Motuihi island but I can't remember her name or her engine. Back to those dockyard and Navy net files.

Bob

J Boyde
14th January 2009, 07:51
Bob, I have seen some of the photos of the Navua. I have also seen a photo with a USSco second in the crankcase. I cannot remember his name, he was standby second on the Rangitira. When I worked with him we were doing repair work on her boilers. He said that some one from head office whould like to have a photo on some one to show how bent it was but no one wanted their photo on the unit, Does the name of Allan ring a bell?
Jim B

spongebob
14th January 2009, 08:34
Jim, the second engineer who pulled the lever was Peter Hewer, an Australian born Aucklander. Peter was in his forties then and lived in Birkenhead. He was the second for the fifteen months that I later spent on Navua.
During the lay up in the Islands while under repair Chief Engineer Jim Donn stood by and Jim and I later worked together at John Chambers then Babcock for most of our careers. Both men were good friends, Jim has past away and I lost touch with Peter who would be in his 90's if still going.

Regards Bob

Ps NZ Pulp and Paper, were you at Mataura ?

Philthechill
18th January 2009, 18:15
This is nowt to do with air-starts as it concerns steam ships! However reading about the numbers of telegraph movements some of you have experienced puts me in mind of the minimalist numbers of movements we used to get in Brock's whilst in Colombo.

We had a saying in Brock's, "Six days shalt thou labour and on the seventh thou shalt shift ship!" and it concerned being alongside Walkers Quay in Colombo.

For reasons unknown now (if I ever did know them!) Blue Flue were given priority, if they were calling at Colombo and wanted to use Walkers Quay, so any ship which was alongside had to move off. The "Bluey" would tie-up, load whatever it had come for and then, a few hours later would off-go, so we would then go back alongside. Invariably it happened on a Sunday!!!

This ALWAYS had to be a main-steam shift (God knows why because, as anyone who called at Colombo will recall, they had those two massively powerful steam tugs, "Samson" and "Hercules" which probably could have towed us backwards even if we were Full Ahead on the main engine!!!!). This demand for "Main Steam" meant, if you were on a Scotch-boilered ship, starting watches twenty-four hours before the "shift" took place.

Came the day of the shift and we would be gently eased away from the jetty with, possibly, one "Dead Slow Astern/Stop" movement. We would then have to wait for the "Bluey" to be brought alongside have its cargo-work done and then sail away again.

We would be brought alongside again with one "Dead Slow Ahead/Stop" movement then after half-an-hour, or so, we'd get "FWE".

We'd then shut-down and then have a few dozen tinctures whilst casting grave doubts on the parentage of anyone in "Blue Flue"!

Obviously the two very short movements were to justify wanting "Main Steam". Sometimes the prop had barely started turning before you got the "Stop".

God knows what it cost in fuel to be on main steam for well over 24 hours when the "shift" could well have been done with tugs!!!! Salaams, Phil(Hippy)

eldersuk
19th January 2009, 00:55
All this talk about lifting Doxford cylinder relief valves. The old (1947) ED's 'Salaga' had a 4 cyl Doxford and ran on diesel oil, and there was always competition to see who could start with the least air.
All the time I was there I never heard a relief valve lift (nor indeed on any of the company's other Doxfords). If someone was so unfortunate as to lift one, his punishment was to take it out and overhaul it.
The 'champion starter' must have been the Irish 3/E who told us so poetically, "I could start the b*****d on a butterfly's fart."

Butters
19th January 2009, 22:24
Bob,
When I was 3/0 on Union Companies 'MAHENO11', the Second Mate was an englishman called Eddie Brick , a real hard case who lived in Devonport and could tell some hilarious tales of when he sailed as Master on the naval tugs in the mid sixties , especially on their tours of duty up around Northland , and the various small ports they visited etc. Do you remember him - he passed away many years ago .

Butters

double acting
11th March 2009, 19:06
I remember being told to phone the bridge on the Stirling Castle and being told to tell them "four more starts or one long toot, make your mind up"

How different on a diesel electric job,constant current variable voltage.When running at full ahead just move the combined telegraph/ engine control directly across to full astern if that what was asked for - no problem. Diesels didn't even falter, but it was a bit un-nerving at first

John Mepham
11th March 2009, 19:09
Great stories Bob. My initiation into driving a Doxford came to me as a newly made up 4/E on the Texaco Gloucester. On my previous trip the senior did all the driving himself as it was a tricky b*gger at times and was known to start astern when ahead had been selected.
On watch with me was another 4/E who had never been on a motorship, a T2 man.
Our trial by fire was to get the old girl into the locks at the Keil end of the canal, so plenty of starts, during which I managed to lift the RV's a few times, resulting in spectacular fireworks and soot, some of which found it's way down to the bell book. My fellow 4th asked me if it was always like this and I replied, 'dunno, 1st time I've driven it!' The chief came along and gave me a few words of advice and the start to come out the lock was smooth.
A good number of end of watch tinnies was consumed, by way of celebration.


GORDY, that brings back some memories, my first go at driving I was 5th Engr.
on the MV Ronsard crossing from Montevidao to Buenos Airies, with the 2nd
engr giving instruction, he had already gone through it verbaly and had gone
up to the the engine mid level to open the exhaust belt cocks so we could give
her a blow clear before starting, problem was , he didn't tell me, so I suppose
you know whats coming !!!, yep, the bridge rang down half a head, so I stuck her
in fwd. put the start air on, and pushed the fuel lever forward,
all hell broke loose ear shattering bangs, sheets of flame, with the 2nd in the
middle of it, good job we were friends, he couldn't hear properly for about
2 weeks,
Sorry Ben if you ever read this.

Nick Balls
11th March 2009, 19:43
Oh Yes ........Me a timid first trip deck cadet in charge of the movement book,and telegraph.
The Old man from the (Very) old school going through the Panama Canal ,
"Slow ahead"... "Slow ahead sir"....... "Stop"..."Stop Sir" .."Slow astern".."Slow astern Sir" and on and on. Then after a while phone goes. I of course am in charge of phones. " Tell that stupid old C*** he's got three more left and thats it!!!!!!(Phone slams down) "Who was that"? Asks the Captain. 4th Engineer Sir , says we don't have much air left Sir.
It was at this point I suddenly understood what a brilliant job engineering was . Tell it how it is !!!! No wonder Dan Mcphail always got one over Parahandy , he must have come from a very long line of engineers!

Don Matheson
11th March 2009, 20:12
Got a phonecall from the office asking could I fly to New York? When, OH this afternoon I was told. Can go tomorrow and they were delighted, which should have made me suspicious. Once there I found a former second didnt waste time turning over on air or any pre-sailing tests.
Tug alongside pulls the ship off the jetty and the bridge rings slow ahead. 2nd puts air on which is the start of the disaster. Almighty bang and one cylinder head lifted slightly which caused much more noise. Piston came out the port side of the engine and went back in, came out the bottom and went back in, came out the starboard side and went in before smashing the cylinder head again. Donkeyman ( a superb guy) says to the 2nd. "That was the piston that came out!" Second says " dont talk about things you know nothing about."
Bridge phone down " Can we use the engine" 2nds. reply was " I dont know will tell you when I find out!"
The tugs then push the ship back alongside, second tells the bridge the engine is F***ed and retires to his cabin to get very very drunk. I had the misfortune to replace his relief who did not stay very long when he saw the size of the worklist. Four months when everyday was a field day trying to get it right again. Metalock are heroes in my eyes.
Don

MARINEJOCKY
11th March 2009, 21:14
Was it me or the controls, I sailed on the old two handle starting controls at first then went to my first "MAN" with the wheel. I must admit my first day onboard was spent looking for the two handles so certainly looked stupid when the second told me to watch him start and I asked where.

Then I started to get the hang of the wheel and made it an art form. I could start those KZ 7 cylinders on a puff of air and we needed that when in the ice up in the Baltic.

The biggest fright I got though was starting a Doxford and blowing all of the safeties which was bad enough but then having to listen to all of the stuff from the regulars not just in the engine room but the deck as well. Even the cook asked me if it was me blowing his pans off the stove.

KIWI
12th March 2009, 10:06
Mention has been made of the skill of ferry masters but Capt Meatyard of USSCo really impressed me berthing the Hinemoa in Lyttleton in atrocious conditions.He had much power in a twin screw turbo electric propulsion plus a bow rudder but after being on a P&O bridge his nonchalance to me was astounding.There was a minimum of telegraph movements & all the time he was giving the third mate instruction in how to do it.Real technical stuff such as line up with this but if the wind is more to the south west line up with that.
Kiwi

HALLLINE
12th March 2009, 22:06
Has anybody ever been left hanging around in the ER because the the bridge forgot to ring finished with engines?, I have, I thought it was a long time since the last movment !!.
Dave

surfaceblow
13th March 2009, 04:46
The last time was left hanging for FWE I came up from the Engine Room after relieving the First for Supper to find the whole deck department eating when I asked what time FWE was the Third Mate jumped up and went to the Bridge to ring FWE.

Another time after leaving Shellhaven the Bridge called down for more speed after increasing the speed near sea speed I called the Bridge back to find out when departure was going to be so I could set up the steam plant to go on bleed steam. All I got was the Captain telling me not to call the Bridge again and he would call down departure. Being on a four Engineer Ship two Engineers were in the Engine Room and one in the Steering Gear Room. The next day the Bridge called down for Arrival I told the Mate on Watch there couldn't be an arrival without a departure and hung up. About that time the Chief Engineer came down to the Engine Room to figure his fuel and water. The Captain and Chief did not get their fuel bonus for the trip being on live steam.

Ian J. Huckin
23rd March 2009, 18:22
Myself and "Tiny" Tate joined Bolton's MV Rievaulx in Barry drydock (1968/9) for our first trip, must have been about 11:00 when we walked on board through a gert big hole in the side of the engine room. Got off to a whacky start when on trying to find the C/E we were directed to the officer's bar just in time to see him being carried out literally over the shoulder of a female (turned out to be his wife) The second, a rough tough Geordie asked where the f@#* I was from as he could not understand my accent (Hampshire) then asked Tiny where he was from, Marsdon (way eye lad!!!). Tiny was informed that he was O.K. but I had better watch out.

Came time for the first move after flooding the dock. 2/E told Tiny that as soon as the first manoever was rung he had to start the aux S.W. p/p. Bell rings, 2/E throws the air on (4 cyl Doxford LB) and exactly at the instant Tiny pressed the start button on the pump a relief valve blew. I have heard about people jumping in the air but never before, and never since, have I seen it actually happen. He cleared the ground by several feet, spun around and turned a deathly gray sort of color. It was the talk of the bar for quite a while. I'm chuckling as I write this.

PS - That wretched 2/E (dispensated) made my life hell, as it was for several years being from the South. But those guys (Geordies, Scousers, Glaswegans etc) taught me everything that really mattered about engineering, boozing and getting up to mischief. Would not trade a single fraction of it all.

cubpilot
23rd March 2009, 21:33
odd how Bolton's keeps on cropping up in the forum. sailed on all three bulkers, rossetti,reynolds and rubens in the 70s. super ships with few breakdowns, the achillies heel though were the air compressors. so much so that it could get a bit fraught if those up top got too enthusiastic with engine starts in confined waterways. quite a few times had to warn them they only had afew starts left in the bottle.

raybnz
24th March 2009, 00:47
Leaving Opua on Shaw Savills Waipawa for Auckland there was quite a explosion from the Starboard unit 4.

We used to blow thru the engines on Stand By then close off all indicator cocks (20) and close the Fuel Valves By-pass valve She had been converted from Diesel to burning Heavy Oil many years before. Each engine had a small pump that circulated H/O thru the system keeping it warm until the engine was started.

This time we had changed a few Fuel Valves and the one we had fitted to unit 4 was later found to have swarf under the needle which allowed oil to dribble into the cylinder.

To make matters worse there was a long time between stand by and the first start. And one does know you cannot compress a liquid.

There was loud bang heaps of smoke hot oil and water and everyone below took cover. Lucky there was no one in the area of the explosion and with this type of B&W 4 stroke there 4 push rods that held most of the cast iron fragments from flying around the engine room.

We limped down to Auckland where shore side fitters made repairs for the trip back.

Ian J. Huckin
27th March 2009, 06:42
Reply to cubpilot....Howdy Mr. Cox!!!

Those Hamworthy air compressors were a pain especially as we sailed those ships up and down the Great Lakes for about 8 years.

Had one blow an HP piston...no spare. I had to make a new piston and gudgeon pin.....it got us home O.K.

I used to go to sleep dreaming of nice air cooled Atlas-Copco 'V' compressors......

Enjoy the reunion, I'll still be digging out from the 27" of snow we had the other night/day/night!!!!!!!

Klaatu83
5th April 2009, 19:42
The worst ships I was on for air starting were Farrell Lines' three "E" ships, the "Enterprise", "Endeavor" and "Endurance". They were relatively new ships, built in Korea 1992 by Hyundai. I believe their engines were 13,000-hp B&W 7S60MCs. The engines would not start astern if the ships were making more than about four knots of headway. If you tried it the engines simply wouldn't start. I cannot say why that was the case, whether because of the form of the propeller or the hull or what. However, I can say that I was told repeatedly it was so and, having seen it tried more than once, know from experience that it was true. As a result, the required pre-arrival astern test of the engines required some considerable planning, as did maneuvering for docking and undocking. I have sailed on other diesel ships; including direct-drive, diesel-electric and controllable-pitch propellers, and none of them ever behaved like that. Neither, I might add, did any of the many steamships I have sailed on.

ray bloomfield
10th April 2009, 15:04
Has anybody ever been left hanging around in the ER because the the bridge forgot to ring finished with engines?, I have, I thought it was a long time since the last movment !!.
Dave

The Russian engineer of my last ship had a nasty habit of not informing me when the the engine was ready for starting so I began not informing him of FWE, after his two or three trips to the bridge to find out for himself he got the message and would tell me ''engineer ready''

I have only ever sailed on one ship with the old brass telegraph. Was backing up thru a bridge and I was the only one in the wheelhouse which meant that I was going from one side to the other to check clearance etc and put the telegraph from DS ahead to DS astern as I went past. The ghanain engineer did just the same on the engine control down below without waiting for the revs to stop before turning the cam!! Not a good idea with the turbo air intake being used as a funnel, and it took 20 mins for the M/E to finaly run out of fuel after the emer. stop cock was activated, one very black and smoke filled e/r. He insisted it was my fault though(Cloud)

gordy
10th April 2009, 17:49
GORDY, that brings back some memories, my first go at driving I was 5th Engr.
on the MV Ronsard crossing from Montevidao to Buenos Airies, with the 2nd
engr giving instruction, he had already gone through it verbaly and had gone
up to the the engine mid level to open the exhaust belt cocks so we could give
her a blow clear before starting, problem was , he didn't tell me, so I suppose
you know whats coming !!!, yep, the bridge rang down half a head, so I stuck her
in fwd. put the start air on, and pushed the fuel lever forward,
all hell broke loose ear shattering bangs, sheets of flame, with the 2nd in the
middle of it, good job we were friends, he couldn't hear properly for about
2 weeks,
Sorry Ben if you ever read this.

Nice one John(Thumb)

On the Gloucester we used to make manoeuvring more fun by killing the e/r lights, and enjoy the RV flame show(Jester).
After a Belfast 2/E joined who really knew his stuff we got down to getting the fuel timing set up and the old girl behaved herself from then on, allegedly performing at her trials speed.

John Mepham
16th April 2009, 17:09
Nice one John(Thumb)

On the Gloucester we used to make manoeuvring more fun by killing the e/r lights, and enjoy the RV flame show(Jester).
After a Belfast 2/E joined who really knew his stuff we got down to getting the fuel timing set up and the old girl behaved herself from then on, allegedly performing at her trials speed.

Hi gordy.
Funny that about the 2nd being from Belfast, the 2nd I nearly blew up was
from Dublin (Ben Smith) areally good engr. as a matter of fact the only
time I ever saw the relief valves pop in 3 trips was when I did it.
Solution - don't push the fuel lever until she has kicked up to 25 rpm.
Great idea about turning off the lights, bet it was like the WW1 down there.

gordy
16th April 2009, 18:40
Hi gordy.
Funny that about the 2nd being from Belfast, the 2nd I nearly blew up was
from Dublin (Ben Smith) areally good engr. as a matter of fact the only
time I ever saw the relief valves pop in 3 trips was when I did it.
Solution - don't push the fuel lever until she has kicked up to 25 rpm.
Great idea about turning off the lights, bet it was like the WW1 down there.

When I was doing my impression of the 1812 Overture, the Chief came up and quietly said, 'too much air', seemed to do the trick when I was a bit more economical with it.
On the sister ship, the Texaco Durham, it was a case of beer if you lifted an RV.(Jester)

John Mepham
17th April 2009, 12:32
When I was doing my impression of the 1812 Overture, the Chief came up and quietly said, 'too much air', seemed to do the trick when I was a bit more economical with it.
On the sister ship, the Texaco Durham, it was a case of beer if you lifted an RV.(Jester)

The Doxfords on the Raphael and Ronsard were North Eastern Marine engines,
when I was with Bank Line, Hollybank she had a 4 cylinder 'P' type, which
I believe was the prototype 'J' model, I don't know how the 'J' got on but the
'P' was very prone to scavenge fire's ( as well as relief valve racket ).
about 12 stops at sea in 7 months, changing exhaust belts, top
and bottom
cylinder liners, her design speed was 121 rpm, if she was run at 119 no a problem, but the engine had to be proved.

Ian J. Huckin
17th April 2009, 17:41
Gordy,

All of Bolton's BISCO ore carriers had LB Doxfords and it cost you a case if you lifted a relief valve. That's why apprentices did all the manouevering so the lads had plenty of ale!!!!

Billieboy
12th August 2009, 15:32
MV Volnay. Harrison Clyde. February 1975. Jacksonville standby.

Engine: Sulzer RD90.

On the first movement there was a mighty thump, hot steaming water and coagulant slime cascaded from jacket water header tank down onto the engine room. The air start manifold relief valve had lifted and was also emitting gung and hanging in a floppy state because of stretched retaining bolts. This was a new one, engine dead, brown trouser job.

On investigation it was found that the cylinder cover insert passage to the air start valve was adjacent to the jacket cooling water, on a cylinder this had eroded on passage, thus the air start system was common to the jacket water cooling and full of water. On the first start the full starting air was applied to the jacket cooling system. A very big water hammer.

Chiefs first reaction, that F******* fourth has not been draining the air bottles.

All the best
Haggis.

One Friday afternoon, it always is when you're repairing ships, the phone rang asking me to board a vessel in Rotterdam and look at the main engine air compressor, as it wasn't working too well! It was about 14.00 by the time I boarded, and found the Chief awfully worried about getting the engine started. Took the details of the compressor and electric motor, spent ten minutes on the phone, and went back to the E.R. to tell the chief that the unit would be aboard in an hour and a half. I then went around the engine room checking out the air system, until I found the air bottles which were about the size of a standard CO2 bottle, there were two of them coupled, I opened the drains and water came out and kept coming out! It took an hour to drain the water out of them! Fitted the new compressor, ran it up filled the bottles and then showed the chief how to drain them. The vessel was the smallest vessel I ever repaired she was a 180tonne lift inland waterways boat, from some ex-eastern bloc country. I did get paid for it too! (Thumb)

rob mcc
9th September 2009, 00:56
when we got too many daft stop starts it was always advisable to inform the bridge that the next two engine movements were stop FWE it useally worked

Chillytoes
9th September 2009, 01:58
On the subject of "only one more start" etc, can anyone ever remember seeing a minimum pressure figure for starting in any manual for any make of marine engine? I can't recall seeing any figure, so how did one judge? Experience?

Can't remember being in any situation where starting was problematic due to low pressure, just lucky I guess.

And only sailed on one Doxford, heard lots of relief valve blow stories, but never experienced one. After reading all the above posts, I feel my seagoing life was not complete!

spongebob
9th September 2009, 02:29
Chillytoes, As I remember you can tell that the air is getting low the same way you can tell that your car battery is almost on its last gasping crank. It's a gut feeling in more ways than one.

Bob

Abbeywood.
11th September 2009, 12:34
I was on one ship,(8000 tons) with a 6cyl RD76 Sulzer, which had the mis-
fortune to lose all power for approx' 36 hrs, by which time the Main Air Receivers were well below containing sufficient pressure to restart a 'genny'.
The Emergency Compressor, (a single cyl Petter,? ,or Lister, ?) was started and the Chief by-passed the Emergency Bottle, to pressurise the starting air line which quickly gave enough pressure to restart a 'genny', on load and returned, a Main Compressor back on-line. Normal service soon available.

surfaceblow
11th September 2009, 14:56
On the subject of "only one more start" etc, can anyone ever remember seeing a minimum pressure figure for starting in any manual for any make of marine engine? I can't recall seeing any figure, so how did one judge? Experience?


Most of the newer engine controls have a Low Air Pressure Alarm that rings on both the Bridge and Engine Room Consoles. On more than one control system the alarm will inhibit the engine from starting until the low pressure alarm is cleared.

Joe

Abbeywood.
18th February 2010, 06:07
Back to Tim and Allan's query about the engines, yes they were definitely Atlas and the boat with the Fairbanks Morse engine still escapes me. I worked on that engine with diesel fitter 'Froggie' LeGroe, an Auckland born man who served on British submarines during WW2 and I am sure that he told me that FB made submarine engines. I doubt that they would of been in British subs being American manufacture but he knew a lot about them.
There was a big old liberty boat that used to run down to HMNZS Tamaki base on Motuihi island but I can't remember her name or her engine. Back to those dockyard and Navy net files.

Bob

A lot, if not, all WWII USN submarines were fitted with Fairbanks-Morse main engines, though its more than possible that General Motors also had their share.
I had occasion to visit USS Drum.(SS 228), a 'Gato' class submarine, on museum display at Mobile, Ala.
She had one of her engines cut-away to show the operation of the working parts, and if memory serves the F-M engines were of an opposed piston type
If memory serves, even further, I think the cyl' bore was about 12".
No doubt one, or more, of our American 'posters' will offer appropriate correction, if needed.

Abbeywood.
18th February 2010, 06:22
Has anybody ever been left hanging around in the ER because the the bridge forgot to ring finished with engines?, I have, I thought it was a long time since the last movment !!.
Dave

On 'B' articles in Bank Line, Sunday was deemed to be overtime plus a days leave, and to save the Company money, some Masters would try and 'ring off' FWE before 8 am, so as to save half a days money, and save half a day's leave money.
On such occasions, and in the event of failure to 'ring-off' the watch-keeping engineer would refrain from reminding the Bridge until after that time, even though it was patently obvious that the ship had long been secured alongside, and the relieving 8-12 would confirm that the 'stargazers' were already at the 'trough'.

spongebob
18th February 2010, 07:58
In the Union Steamship Co NZ the deck officers belonged to the Merchant Service Guild and their award provided for paid overtime for Sundays at sea or part thereof while the Engineers belonged to the Marine and Power Engineer's Institute whose award provided for a day off in lieu for any part of Sunday at sea.
I seem to recall some difference in qualifying time so there was always more desire by one or the other to get that FWE over as soon as possible after 2400 hours on Saturday.

Bob

john g
20th February 2010, 18:45
Brocks Mahout was a classic air start system, noted as the first bridge control system the passage up the Hoogley and entering the dock system in Calcutta had both Hamworthy compressors flat out , red hot and frantic calls to the bridge asking if the pilot knew what he was doing......they seemed to think the air start lever was a play thing...

Michael one
26th February 2010, 13:15
Hi I'm not an engineer, and my spelling is crap, but I'm writing a book on the history of the British Channel Island Shipping Company Limited, part of Coast Lines Limited from 1936 to 1968. I'm looking for any BCIS engineers for their stories of those coasters.
I beleive the airless six cylinder Burmeister & Wain (B&W) four stroke trunk piston, direct reversing engine, built by John G Kincaid, Greenock were on some Coast Lines Limited (CL) ships. From Devon Coast 1936 to Welsh Coast 1939.
The first for CL was a Harland & Wolff B&W engine in 1928 for the passenger ship Ulster Monarch, and then two similar sisters.
I have had assistance from Mr Christie and Mr RA Marshall who both were 2nd Engineers with BCIS (never did find out their first names and becouse I stopped my research for six years, I've lost contact with them).
I think the wartime San Demietrio (well the film at least) was Kincaid.
Majority of CL were Polar Atlas.

One S/N member had a Uncle who became Cheif Engineer (CE) with BCIS Patrick McInnes, and he is formatting his Uncle's sea career (without the aid of any discharge books) well till he or even I get use to Kew's records or can visit Kew.
Fifteen years back I did try to trace a CE Norman Manton via the MN Pensions, but he never replied to my letter.

Its great to hear, sorry read, your accounts, as a youngster I was only allowed into the Engine Room once the CE said I had a rag in one hand for the handrail. I was to young then to draw the layout of his Engine Room, but I do remember the 2nd teaching me how to tie a reef knot with the Saloon's knapkin
mick

Billieboy
26th February 2010, 15:27
An SD14 in Rotterdam was having a problem leaving the yard after repairs, I'd spent three days getting it into some semblance of a ship, when I was told to take it to Antwerp Load and Bunker, before sailing to all parts south. On the way down to Antwerp one of the compressor motors died, the other compressor was very sick too! checked out the compressor spares, ordered up spares ASAP!, found a company to pick up the motor on arrival for re-winding. Picked the Antwerp pilot up at Vlissingen and stopped in the locks. That was when the chief told me that he had maximum two starts left in the bottles and awfully sorry to tell me that the other compressor had fallen to bits five minutes ago! Lock gates opened and off we went, I found the pilot on the bridge and told him in Flemish that he could stop, but that a kick astern may or may not be possible. I spent an hour and a half on the bridge, it was a Sunday afternoon, I was amazed at the ship handling, we never needed a kick astern. I had the OM give the Pilot two bottles and two cartons.

hamishb
27th February 2010, 21:52
Hi Mick, the Kincaid engine fitted to Devon Coast is as follows
Eng No K101, 4 stroke 6 cylinder, 500mm bore x 900mm stroke 1280BHP@168 RPM Max., trialspeed 11.75 knots, Date 06/08/1936, built Ardrossan Dockyard.
Other names Galatee, Kaa, Isabel.
If of any use to you.
Regards
Hamish.

Jeff Taylor
27th February 2010, 23:12
For more info on the opposed piston Fairbanks diesels used in WWII US subs go to http://www.maritime.org/index.htm. The San Francisco Maritime Museum has a restored Gato, the Pampanita, on display and the website contains complete service and operating manuals on all of the sub's systems, from diesels to A/C to air systems, to target computers--the works. It's fascinating reading.