Most powerful cargo ships?

Steve Hodges
8th April 2009, 00:01
I have always believed that the eight Sea-Land container ships built 1972-73 with 120,000 shp twin screw steam turbines and 30knot service speed, must have been the most powerful engine installations ever in commercialcargo ships as opposed to passenger liners. Am I right, or was there anything built more powerful?
Also, I would be interested to know if any SN members have any personal experience of these ships and their engines when they were in commercial service. I understand they were all taken over by the US Navy in 1981-82, and converted for part Ro-Ro operation, and are now known as the Algol-class - I think they kept their original boilers and turbines. All are now in the U.S.Reserve Fleet
They were Sea-Land Commerce, Sea-Land Exchange, Sea-Land Finance, Sea-Land Galloway, Sea-Land Market, Sea-Land McLean, Sea-Land Resource and Sea-Land Trade, all 41,127 tons gross and US flagged.
Anyone out there had first hand knowledge of them?

surfaceblow
8th April 2009, 05:02
I sailed on the Sealand Market for one trip in 1975. At that time the ship was running 24 to 26 knots for the North Atlantic run using 2212 gallons of fuel an hour burning Bunker C.

The plant was non automated to save on paying the engineers 10 per cent automation pay. All of the main steam stops were manual operated but at the time I was on the Market an impact wrench was used to open and close the steam stops. The Engine Room contained two steam plants with crossovers between them. Each plant had one boiler, two feed pumps, Main Turbine Condenser and DC Heater plus the auxiliaries. There was a Stby Diesel Generator in one of the Shaft Alleys. Each watch had a Second and Third Engineer on watch plus two QMED's. The 4-8 watch transfered fuel, 8 - 12 watch took care of the water the Second did the boiler test, The 12 - 4 Watch took care of the lube oil systems. Filling the log book took most of the watch. The time changes was two hours per night. The Mates Union required that the ship have Second Mates for the Deck watches plus a day Second Mate since the Engineers Union had two Engineers on watch.

Joe

tunatownshipwreck
8th April 2009, 05:17
Was there a Sea-Land ship that used gasoline?

Steve Hodges
8th April 2009, 09:20
I sailed on the Sealand Market for one trip in 1975. At that time the ship was running 24 to 26 knots for the North Atlantic run using 2212 gallons of fuel an hour burning Bunker C.

The plant was non automated to save on paying the engineers 10 per cent automation pay. All of the main steam stops were manual operated but at the time I was on the Market an impact wrench was used to open and close the steam stops. The Engine Room contained two steam plants with crossovers between them. Each plant had one boiler, two feed pumps, Main Turbine Condenser and DC Heater plus the auxiliaries. There was a Stby Diesel Generator in one of the Shaft Alleys. Each watch had a Second and Third Engineer on watch plus two QMED's. The 4-8 watch transfered fuel, 8 - 12 watch took care of the water the Second did the boiler test, The 12 - 4 Watch took care of the lube oil systems. Filling the log book took most of the watch. The time changes was two hours per night. The Mates Union required that the ship have Second Mates for the Deck watches plus a day Second Mate since the Engineers Union had two Engineers on watch.

Joe

Cheers, Joe! The membership of SN is like a human encyclopedia, you just have to ask!
Some questions that you might be able to answer for me -
- Anything special about the boilers? What were the steam conditions?
- I saw one of this class fitting out at Emden; the after superstructure looked very tall, as if most of the boilers were above main deck level. Was this the case?
- Did the turbines have extra nozzle sets for high-speed running?or was it just a question of opening the stops further( with the impact wrench!!(EEK))
- I presume these ships were built with a US Government/Navy subsidy, were there any other special features that reflected this apart from the power and speed ?
-I've seen 33 knots claimed for these ships - what did the crew reckon was flat-out top speed?
- I believe all the accomodation was right for'ard. Any problems with this at high speed?
Thanks
Steve H

Pilot mac
8th April 2009, 12:20
Steve,
I believe this class held whatever colour ribband it was for both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and I dont know if it has ever been beaten. I recall average speeds were in excess of 30 knots. I sailed on a couple of Sealand Ships that also had all accomodation forward, no problems with weather but you certainly pull her back more readily when you can hear the noises underneath you. When pitching heavily the 'whistling' from the fore peak vents was awesome. Although the ships steered well it was very dificult for the helmsman to steer 'steady' as there is nothing to reference on ie nothing to see out of the bridge windows. One of the ships was named after McLean arguably the person that really put containers on the oceans. In the early days everyone considered standardisation to be the norm ie boxes were either 20' or 40', wrong ,Sealand conned the world as there standard box was 35' but Sealand ships were designed to take either 35's or 40's or 20's. It made it very dificult for other operators to carry Sealand containers but Sealand could carry theirs.
Steve, I notice from your profile that you are an engineer, down side to frd accomodation- bloody long way to go when you are on the bells.

regards
Dave

surfaceblow
8th April 2009, 17:06
There was nothing special about the boilers just that they were bigger and use very little brick work in them. You could slide down the down comer to the mud drum. The boilers were position high in the engine room the burners were a few steps up from the operating platform. The burners were short, fat and heavy. The Steaming condition was 1000 plus psi and 950 F superheat temperature if I remember correctly. I remember shutting down one boiler when coming into Flexstowe to do boiler work and we were still able to maintain 21 knots on one boiler.

The big difference was going up in speed or dropping the speed above maneuvering full. It was done in 5 psi every 5 minutes increase in the first stage pressure to slowly increase the temperature of the turbines. The turbines using a lifting beam arrangement for selecting the number of nozzles in use normally I do not remember any extra nozzles. The Turbine controls was a little plastic knob to increase or decrease the turbine speed just like on the switchboard for the generators governors. I do not know what the top speed was by the time I was on the Market there was a economy operation due to the fuel cost. The only reason that we picked up speed on that trip was for a container that was promised to be delivered by a certain day.

On the SL -7's the engineers lived aft above the engine room and the mates lived forward. Under the fwd house was a water tank for them. The mates would use very little water so it about a ton a day but when the weather was nice they would go and use 10 tons in 12 hours. The After house had doors opening fwd that you could not open while underway from the wind pressure on the house. Sleeping on the ship was like on a sail boat always pushed over to one side. It was alright if you were wedged in against the bulkhead. If the ship was leaning the other way then the extra blanket was put under the mattress to bring the corners up.

After the navy took over control of the SL-7 s the boilers were switch to burn diesel fuel they had a problem with fires in the economizers due to too much air and the unburnt fuel catching fire high in the stacks. They also had to derate the speed of the vessel since the steam superheat temperature was lowered and the turbine blades were getting condensate impingement.

Klaatu83
9th April 2009, 00:55
It must have been quite an experience sailing on an SL-7. As I recall, their total horsepower was 120,000, and they could do 33 knots.

They represented instances of both bad AND good timing. Sealand built them just before the 1973 oil crisis, when people lined up around the block to buy gasoline at the then-exorbitant price of fifty cents a gallon. It made the eight ships instant white elephants. Then, in the wake of the Iran hostage crisis of 1979, the U.S. Department of Defense suddenly decided that what they needed were large, fast cargo vessels. Just as suddenly as in 1973, Sealand found themselves in the right place at the right time. The government made them an offer, and they jumped at the chance to unload their eight fuel-hungry monsters. The ships are still around; re-named, re-painted and converted into Ro-Ros.

Philthechill
12th April 2009, 14:40
Steve,
I believe this class held whatever colour ribband it was for both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and I dont know if it has ever been beaten. I recall average speeds were in excess of 30 knots. I sailed on a couple of Sealand Ships that also had all accomodation forward, no problems with weather but you certainly pull her back more readily when you can hear the noises underneath you. When pitching heavily the 'whistling' from the fore peak vents was awesome. Although the ships steered well it was very dificult for the helmsman to steer 'steady' as there is nothing to reference on ie nothing to see out of the bridge windows. One of the ships was named after McLean arguably the person that really put containers on the oceans. In the early days everyone considered standardisation to be the norm ie boxes were either 20' or 40', wrong ,Sealand conned the world as there standard box was 35' but Sealand ships were designed to take either 35's or 40's or 20's. It made it very dificult for other operators to carry Sealand containers but Sealand could carry theirs.
Steve, I notice from your profile that you are an engineer, down side to frd accomodation- bloody long way to go when you are on the bells.

regards
Dave Dave! Read your comments about the helmsman having problems holding a straight course as there was nothing to see out of the bridge windows.

I remember seeing the German Hansa Line heavy-lift ships out East and they had their accomodation perched, virtually, on the fo'c'sle and, to overcome the steering problems you mention, had a huge boom sticking out from the bow. Salaams, Phil(Hippy)

riverdiver
22nd April 2009, 03:00
Back in the early 80's I sailed on the Sealand D-9s and a lots of my shipmates sailed on the SL-7's the AB's had to go back to Piney Point MD, SIU school for Quartermaster training while the ships where getting built , you had to be a Quartermaster to stand wheel watch. I did here the story that when they set the record for the fastest time across the Pacific that the sea's broke all the windows out in the wheel house.

Ian J. Huckin
23rd April 2009, 17:44
Dave! Read your comments about the helmsman having problems holding a straight course as there was nothing to see out of the bridge windows.

I remember seeing the German Hansa Line heavy-lift ships out East and they had their accomodation perched, virtually, on the fo'c'sle and, to overcome the steering problems you mention, had a huge boom sticking out from the bow. Salaams, Phil(Hippy)

Lakers, with fwd accom, also have the boom to give a reference point for steering....

Ian J. Huckin
23rd April 2009, 17:46
Lakers, with fwd accom, also have the boom to give a reference point for steering....

Rumor has it that on Canadian Lakers the helmsman looked out the wheelhouse aft windows to get an even better reference...(Jester)

Enginear
27th April 2009, 23:24
I sailed on three of the SL 7's, the Exchange, MClean and Trade. They all did 33 knots or better depending on the currents and wind. The only trouble was at that speed within 24 hours either the superheater or the economizer would let go.

steamer659
19th May 2009, 03:58
I sailed on the USNS Algol (Sea-Land Exchange) as First Asst Engr- these vessels were originally steamed at 33.25 Knots, four on the east coast, four on the west coast. One held the westbound (?) Transpacific freight crossing record and one held the eastbound (?) Transatlantic crossing record. The boilers were very unique in that they had two rows of unheated downcomer tubes on the EXTERIOR of the boiler casings one on each boiler side. Further, the burners were the largest that I have ever seen (by far) and each burner had (originally) a primary as well as secondary air foil (diffuser), the primary ones were originally movable and were taken out of service in the early years after delivery. The average fuel burn was 5000 bbls a day at full sea speed. There were also a significant amount of condenser problems in way of the salt water side- remember that these vessels had an 84" main injection scoop, and that you HAD to be on the scoop to get enough sea water flow to the condenser- at any rate- the water velocity flowing through the tubes was so great that they had velocity induced fatigue failures- later brought under control by inserting plastic laminar flow guides which slowed the water flow down... The strut bearings on these monsters were a legend in themselves...

Peter B
8th August 2009, 02:08
The Sea-Land SL-7's are a legend at sea. I first heard of them in 1980 as I was an apprentice in Albert Maersk, a 40,000 shp steam turbine powered container vessel built at Blohm + Voss, Hamburg in 1975.

The question is; have more powerful merchant ships seen the light of day?
I think the answer is yes, as the Emma Maersk and her seven sisters have the potential of "feeding" the single propeller shaft with approx. 133,400 bhp, using the combined power of the main engine (~109,000 bhp) and the two electric shaft motors (9 MW (~12,240 bhp) each).

johnb42
8th August 2009, 03:19
I sailed on the Sealand Market for one trip in 1975. At that time the ship was running 24 to 26 knots for the North Atlantic run using 2212 gallons of fuel an hour burning Bunker C.

The plant was non automated to save on paying the engineers 10 per cent automation pay. All of the main steam stops were manual operated but at the time I was on the Market an impact wrench was used to open and close the steam stops. The Engine Room contained two steam plants with crossovers between them. Each plant had one boiler, two feed pumps, Main Turbine Condenser and DC Heater plus the auxiliaries. There was a Stby Diesel Generator in one of the Shaft Alleys. Each watch had a Second and Third Engineer on watch plus two QMED's. The 4-8 watch transfered fuel, 8 - 12 watch took care of the water the Second did the boiler test, The 12 - 4 Watch took care of the lube oil systems. Filling the log book took most of the watch. The time changes was two hours per night. The Mates Union required that the ship have Second Mates for the Deck watches plus a day Second Mate since the Engineers Union had two Engineers on watch.

Joe

Without sounding rude, Joe, most of the technical stuff goes over my head. The bit that sinks in is the "Time changes was two hours per night". I spent some time on the CP box boats where the time change was one hour per night, and I remember the homeward or Eastbound passages being killers even when I was a young, fit and healthy man. Two hours per night must have been real ball-breakers.
John

surfaceblow
8th August 2009, 03:41
Without sounding rude, Joe, most of the technical stuff goes over my head. The bit that sinks in is the "Time changes was two hours per night". I spent some time on the CAP box boats where the time change was one hour per night, and I remember the homeward or Eastbound passages being killers even when I was a young, fit and healthy man. Two hours per night must have been real ball-breakers.
John

It certainly was not fun. The schedule had a five day passage. The norm was we did not change time on the first and last days so we would be on local time for the log book entries. So that left three days to change 6 hours for Port Elizabeth New Jersey to Rotterdam.

Joe

johnb42
8th August 2009, 03:46
Sorry all,
I spent time on CP box boats - Tilbury, Rotterdam, Le Havre, Quebec and back. Not CAP box boats. Keyboard out of control again.
John

Billieboy
8th August 2009, 07:49
The best thing about the sale of the 7s was that it was only after the US-Govt had bought them, that they discovered that lower decks would have to be strengthened and new Ramps would have to be built to take the M1 tanks at 120tons. The US yards must have made a mint!

Abbeywood.
26th August 2009, 13:42
Does anybody know which of the SL-7's was drydocked in the King George V Graving dock in Southampton, sometime during the late '70's.
If memory serves, she had problems with her propulsion shafting etc.
Whatever, she was docked under a full load of 'boxes'.
Suspect it may have been 'Sealand Galloway'

David Ambrose
8th September 2009, 14:03
I sailed on the USNS Algol (Sea-Land Exchange) as First Asst Engr- these vessels were originally steamed at 33.25 Knots, four on the east coast, four on the west coast. One held the westbound (?) Transpacific freight crossing record and one held the eastbound (?) Transatlantic crossing record. The boilers were very unique in that they had two rows of unheated downcomer tubes on the EXTERIOR of the boiler casings one on each boiler side. Further, the burners were the largest that I have ever seen (by far) and each burner had (originally) a primary as well as secondary air foil (diffuser), the primary ones were originally movable and were taken out of service in the early years after delivery. The average fuel burn was 5000 bbls a day at full sea speed. There were also a significant amount of condenser problems in way of the salt water side- remember that these vessels had an 84" main injection scoop, and that you HAD to be on the scoop to get enough sea water flow to the condenser- at any rate- the water velocity flowing through the tubes was so great that they had velocity induced fatigue failures- later brought under control by inserting plastic laminar flow guides which slowed the water flow down... The strut bearings on these monsters were a legend in themselves...
When I worked at Foster Wheeler, we sold a boiler to the National Gas Turbine Establishment at Pyestock, which I think was based on the SeaLand boilers. Did the furnace extend below the water drum, like a power station boiler? Certainly the downcomers were huge.

steamer659
26th November 2011, 06:39
Just as a post-script, I am currently Chief Engineer on the SS Algol (ex- Sea-Land Exchange).

I am rather amused at some of the above posts, as some are accurate; others not so accurate. The vessel's boilers are basically unchanged from the original configuration except for new and improved burners. Superheater Outlet Pressure is still the same- 875 PSIG (remember that due to the pressure drop across the superheater, the drum pressure runs nearly 1000 at full sea speed) at 945 F. This vessel is still capable of speeds above 33 knots, but yes- they literally suck the fuel out of the settling tanks- somewhere around 4500 barrels a day...they can run on 180 or Gas Oil. For 37 years old- most of the eight vessels are in outstanding condition- and if manned with good engineers- still remainthe fastest cargo ships in the world.

steamer659
26th November 2011, 06:53
For the record- this one holds the Transatlantic Westbound Crossing since 8/73 at 34.97 knots average- the turbine nomograph has marks which indicated a SHP of about 137,000. One of the eight (can't remember which one) made over 39 knots after her conversion at Avondale in 86. The superheaters on these vessel are said to be notoriously fickle- but we take great care when raising steam from dead plant. New boiler automation and burners /burner controls- have solved most of the economizer and superheater problems- also new feed pumps were installed in the 80's- the largest Coffin Feed Pumps ever built. Our on hire speed is 27, regular transit speed 30, and maximum is limited to 130 RPM or 33.25... And yes, the boiler furnace bottom deck is a good ten to fifteen feet below the mud drum. Cheers...

fred henderson
26th November 2011, 18:29
The Sea-Land SL-7's are a legend at sea. I first heard of them in 1980 as I was an apprentice in Albert Maersk, a 40,000 shp steam turbine powered container vessel built at Blohm + Voss, Hamburg in 1975.

The question is; have more powerful merchant ships seen the light of day?
I think the answer is yes, as the Emma Maersk and her seven sisters have the potential of "feeding" the single propeller shaft with approx. 133,400 bhp, using the combined power of the main engine (~109,000 bhp) and the two electric shaft motors (9 MW (~12,240 bhp) each).

The problem is that the two measurements of power (Shaft Horesepower or SHP for turbines and Brake Horsepower or BHP for diesels) are not easy to compare. The price of oil has ensured that no more steam turbine powered merchant ships will be built, so the SL-7 SHP output will never be exceeded.

needadditionalinformation
26th November 2011, 19:41
The problem is that the two measurements of power (Shaft Horesepower or SHP for turbines and Brake Horsepower or BHP for diesels) are not easy to compare. The price of oil has ensured that no more steam turbine powered merchant ships will be built, so the SL-7 SHP output will never be exceeded.



Never say never. Researchers are working on "Nanorods" which they say enhances steam generation by allowing for easier steam bubble formation, to such an extent that only 10% as much energy may be required. Imagine the old Queen Mary at full tilt but burning only about 120 tons of oil a day instead of 1,200!

I'm guessing that would put an end to diesels as en economic proposition quickly.

This was published in Business Week magazine in the US at least 2 years ago. A lot of the technicals went over my head when I looked into it further, these were research scientists writing, but it seemed a matter of increasing surface area for heating using a surface of metal rods on a nano size scale jutting into the water. I don't imagine you could fit too many water molecules in between rods of such a size, their distance apart also being on that scale. Sort of like water tubes in a dense array in the firebox, but solid rods conducting heat on the water side instead, and on a much, much smaller scale.

Wallace Slough
26th November 2011, 20:21
The SL 7's were regular callers in San Francisco when Sea Land was operating them. As noted, they were twin screw steamers with very high horsepower. What has not been noted is that they were single rudder. Their Captains thought they were very good handling ships, but this was not true at the lower speeds required in harbors. Making the entrance across the Oakland Bar Channel into Oakland Outer Harbor was very difficult with these ships. Speed had to be kept quite low due to interaction with moored vessels. We would make up a tug on the transom to act as a rudder if required. The ebb current runs across the entrance to Oakland at speeds up to 3 knots and it was necessary to reduce the ship's speed to about 6 knots due to interaction. The pilot would hold the ship angled up into the current as she transited the Bar Channel. As the vessel neared the turn into Outer Harbor, hard left rudder would be ordered and the port propellor stopped to give additional drag. If necessary, the tug on the transom could come hard right and full ahead to provide additional lift. If the turn was started too early, the ship would ground outside of the channel. If the turn was started too late, she'd hit the corner of PCT.

Twin screw ships with single rudders are notoriously poor handling ships. The thrust from the propellors doesn't hit the rudder like it does with a single screw ship. Naval vessels and tugs normally have twin rudders placed behind the propellors which result in a very good handling ship.

lakercapt
26th November 2011, 20:55
Rumor has it that on Canadian Lakers the helmsman looked out the wheelhouse aft windows to get an even better reference...(Jester)

Thats very true and one one ship I was on we had large Truck mirrors on the wing so you could see aft. The unloading "A" frame obscured our rear vision.
The boom used to steer on a forward pilothouse laker is called a "spearpole" as thats what it resembles. There is a light at the tip for night time when in rivers, canals etc.

R831814
26th November 2011, 23:19
Just as a post-script, I am currently Chief Engineer on the SS Algol (ex- Sea-Land Exchange).

I am rather amused at some of the above posts, as some are accurate; others not so accurate. The vessel's boilers are basically unchanged from the original configuration except for new and improved burners. Superheater Outlet Pressure is still the same- 875 PSIG (remember that due to the pressure drop across the superheater, the drum pressure runs nearly 1000 at full sea speed) at 945 F. This vessel is still capable of speeds above 33 knots, but yes- they literally suck the fuel out of the settling tanks- somewhere around 4500 barrels a day...they can run on 180 or Gas Oil. For 37 years old- most of the eight vessels are in outstanding condition- and if manned with good engineers- still remainthe fastest cargo ships in the world.
Am I right that 4500 barrels is over 600 tons a day ? or are my calculations wrong ??

steamer659
28th November 2011, 15:53
Hmmm, the SS United States, SS Normandie, RMS Queen Mary, RMS Queen Elizabeth were quadruple screw single rudder vessels. The RMS Queen Elizabeth II is a twin screw single rudder vessel.

Given the "fineness" of the SL-7 Hull form, it would be impractical, albeit counter productive to change the size of the transom and stern design to incorporate a twin rudder approach- this would dramtically alter the transom width as well as the water flow characteristics to the propellers, which by the way are outboard turning.

These vessels were built to sustain high speed and carry containers 90% of the time, and to maneuver less than 10% of the time. The original captain's observations were very correct- with respect to handling, turning circles and general sea keeping- these are excellent ships....

Naval vessels and tugs can't haul 1880 35' containers at 33.25 knot operating speeds!

steamer659
28th November 2011, 16:00
R:

About 669 tons per day at 33 knots, 7% slip...

MARINEJOCKY
28th November 2011, 16:04
35' Containers ??

I have to agree that Naval Vessels and tugs can not haul those size of containers but would also suggest that container ships do not haul those either now-adays

Jeff Taylor
28th November 2011, 21:49
Appropos of nothing, but I went to high school with Malcolm's daughter Nancy in Short Hills, NJ. She used to have numerous parties and I met him several times. Of course I had no idea how important he was, but it was obvious they had $$$$$. Ok, back to a serious thread.

steamer659
28th November 2011, 23:44
Yes, the SL-7's were originally built for 35' Container Cells, I think that the rationale was that only Sea-Land could use them, chassis and all- so that the vessel's always had an adequate supply, and that the shoreside logistics stream wouldn't be able to hold the vessels up waiting for containers- they guaranteed 5 day reefer container delivery on the Atlantic side and 7 day on the Pacific side as I have been told. The reefer container load was a real money maker...

Wallace Slough
29th November 2011, 04:10
Steamer659

You're obviously very enamored with your ship, as well you should be. The SL-7's are remarkable ships, but not good handling ships.

I piloted the SL-7's (including your ship) on many many occasions, and I stand by my previous remarks that they are very poor handling ships. All the ships you refer to, including the SL-7's, required very high horsepower to attain the speeds required for their intended use. Multiple propellers were required to attain this horsepower. Certainly designing for twin rudders would not have been advisable for their intended use: high speed transits across the ocean.

Nonetheless, at the reduced speeds required when transiting within harbors, almost all twin screw ships with single rudders are notoriously poor handling. They generally require multiple tug assist to safely transit most harbors. As you point out, they spend a minimal amount of time manuevering, so the sacrifice to design for twin rudders was not advisable. They may make wonderful turning circles at sea where their high speed allows high water flow over their rudder, but they handle very poorly when at slower speed in restricted waters. With regards to their outboard turning wheels, since they were placed so closely together, the ships do not "twin screw" at all.

The SL-7's were fine ships, but not good handling ships.

steamer659
29th November 2011, 16:17
Wally: Correction- SL-7's are not good handling ships in maneuvering situations.

Are you familiar with the following formula- Ar = T(LBP) /100 [1+25(B/LBP)2] ? And the normally added surface area of 30% for a twin screw vessel with a single rudder...

Typical rudder area coefficients for twin screw vessels are usually between 1.5 to 2.1, your tug boats 3.0 to 6.0,

Shiba correlated the effect of rudder area and deflection angle on turning diameters in as early as 1960-

The tactical diameter /L at low v/ square L is of course a function of the type of rudder, number of rudders and screws, length/beam and etc....

Unfortunately, those of us in our respective career paths are usually locked in to observations within our realm of expertise...Have you ever been outside of the sea buoy on these vessels? If not, how do you know how they handle underway at sea speed? What would you believe the drift is during tactical? Turning Rate as part of rudder movement and the effect of SMALL rudder corrections while at steady sea speeds with regard to fuel rate?

Granted, your experience is well founded within areas of ship controllability during MANUEVERING and DOCKING, which occurs less than 10% of the time with respect to total operating characteristics, unless you're aboard a ferry, tug or pilot boat.....

As a Chief Engineer, ex ABS Surveyor and a currently studying for my Naval Arch P/E License- I am only too well aware of the constraints of rudder size, placement and the effect of low stall drift in channels...Cheers(Pint)

Robin Hughes
29th November 2011, 16:32
Although not the most powerful cargo ship built, It might be worth mentioning here that the 10,000 grt cargo ships Southampton Castle and Good Hope Castle were built as twin screw vessels powered by two sulzer RND 90,s giving a BHP of 47,000 and a service speed of around 30 knots.

fred henderson
29th November 2011, 18:32
Although not the most powerful cargo ship built, It might be worth mentioning here that the 10,000 grt cargo ships Southampton Castle and Good Hope Castle were built as twin screw vessels powered by two sulzer RND 90,s giving a BHP of 47,000 and a service speed of around 30 knots.

The Union-Castle liner service to South Africa was dependent upon the receipt of a handsome subsidy in the form of a mail contract. The renewal of the mail contract, which came into effect in 1966, required an accelerated service time of 11 days to Cape Town, instead of 13. Durban was reached in 16. To achieve these times a service speed of 22 knots was needed. The pre-war passenger liners Stirling Castle and Athlone Castle could only make 20 knots, while the 22 knot Capetown Castle was getting towards the end of its life. Fortunately the accelerated schedule could be maintained with 7 ships instead of the 8 needed for the previous schedule.

Nevertheless two new ships were required at a time when passenger numbers were rapidly declining. The problem was solved by building two 22 knot cargo liners Southampton Castle and Good Hope Castle.

The two new cargo liners were designed for a service speed of 22 knots and a trial speed of 25 knots. They regularly operated at 25 knots to recover service delays, and may have achieved even higher speeds, but I think that 30 knots was not a common service occurrence for these ships.

Wallace Slough
3rd December 2011, 03:40
Steamer659

I do recall the SL-7's masters, including my brother-in-law plus a classmate (Neil Grueland) telling me they were wonderful handling ships at sea. I never had the pleasure of standing a bridge watch on these vessels, or I would have learned to appreciate their capabilities more. Nonetheless, during manuevering and docking, they were truely awful! There were several near misses making the entrance to Oakland on these ships. As a result, their arrival times were set up after these incidents to mitigate their poor handling capabilities so as to transit the entrance with less current.

I was on the after tug made up on the transom on one occasion making the entrance where I was told later that we missed the corner of PCT by about 40 feet. The ship was deep and transiting the entrance at high speed with subsequent squat. The ship failed to answer her rudder until the tug was ordered "hard right, full ahead". I remember it distinctly as I had the engine on the Resolute hooked up and the quarter bitt of the tug buried as the boat heeled over to answer the command. I was told that the pilot was in the "machine gun position" on the center line waiting for the ship to come around. As the ship slowly started to come left and they passed the corner, the second pilot on board told him, "you owe that guy a bottle of booze."

Afterwords he came up to me in the office and said, "Thanks". As I wasn't aware there had been a problem, I asked "what for". His reply was, "for keeping my name out of the newspaper."

Good ships, but not good handling ships.

DURANGO
3rd December 2011, 08:18
Back in the early 80's I sailed on the Sealand D-9s and a lots of my shipmates sailed on the SL-7's the AB's had to go back to Piney Point MD, SIU school for Quartermaster training while the ships where getting built , you had to be a Quartermaster to stand wheel watch. I did here the story that when they set the record for the fastest time across the Pacific that the sea's broke all the windows out in the wheel house. The wheel house window came in when my cabin mate Pat Price was on the wheel of the Royal Mail ship Potaro we where crossing the Atlantic at the time homeward the chippy cut a peice of timber to fit in place ,I was on the wheel going into Liverpool it was awkward trying to steer her steady by a landmark .

cmakin
9th May 2012, 14:39
I just discovered this thread. I sailed on the McLean back in '81 when she was moved from the west coast to the east coast and then made several Northern Europe runs. Just a couple of notes. When I was onboard, SeaLand had already sold all but two of the SL-7s to the Navy. When I signed on in Oakland, the McLean had just come out of lay up over at Hunter's Point. We made the run to the east coast without any cargo. Because of the fuel consumption and cost, we would only run on two boilers during maneuvering. Once clear of the sea buoy/light station, we would cut a boiler out and run on just one. Still made around 26 knots as memory serves. The feed pumps were fitted with helical flow turbines and were always a *****. I sailed on a couple of other ships with them and had similar (if not worse) problems. Later, during my ABS days, I was told that the change to Coffin pumps was a huge improvement.

With a boiler down during an ocean crossing, we spent lots of time doing boiler work. Got pretty good at cutting one in and out, too. Not that I could remember how to do it now. The biggest problem that I recall with the condenser was cracking of the heads. The sea water inlet and outlets were huge.

The standby generator was an EMD 645. 8 cylinder as I recall.

My cabin was on the top deck of the after house. With the way the ship rolled on Atlantic crossings, I figured that I traveled about twice as far north and south as I did east or west. . . .

It was a real pain when the elevator broke down when it was time to leave the engine room. . . .

I recall a rumour about why the aft deck house had the doors (and just about everything else) backwards. The story goes that the ships were originally to be nuclear powered, and were designed that way. When it was ultimately decided to make them conventional steam ships, the layout of the aft deckhouse had to be turned around. When looking at the deckhouse, it does seem to be backward. I understand that there have been times when the lifeboats were blown overboard because of this. Again, just a rumor.

I sailed as Day Third Engineer, and there were two of us in that position. We rotated duties. As mentioned previously, there was big money in the reefer containers. They were all over the place and above deck for operating reasons. Most were plugged into the ship's electrical system, but there were so many that some were fitted with their own diesel generators and had to have fuel pumped to them every few days. As with any machinery, there were also the odd breakdowns and other mainteance needs. One of us Day Thirds was assigned as the "Reefer Third". Also as stated previously, there were several second mates. One was the "Reefer Mate" and his primary duty was to walk the containers twice a day and write down the box temperature. At Coffee Time, he would put a list of the ones with high temps or other conditions in a box. The assigned Reefer Third would then have a list to deal with. There was also another "day" second mate who did the purser work. Of course his nickname was the "Paper Mate".

One last. If anyone has seen the movie "Contraband", the engine room and other machinery space scenes, as well as bridge and interiors, were all shot onboard an SL-7; in the New Orleans area.