Elect at sea

malakand
21st April 2009, 15:12
Many people thought that a sea going electrician"s duties were mainly changing light bulbs, little did they know that prior to the mid/late 60`s when the majority of ships had DC generators operating electric windlass`s and winches with brushgear which had to be maintained regularly, some companies required a rigid progamme of planned maintenance with an engine room inspection on return to your home port, with some companies such as Blue Funnel the electrician underwent in-house training and were responslble for looking after radar, gyro compass, and echo sounder and on the larger ships and liners the galley equipment usually needed a fair bit of TLC to keep going, my own career was with Blueys 59 to 62 then time spent with Broclebanks, Cunard, Elders & Fyffes, Buries Markes, and finally with Elder Dempster in 1967 when i came ashore and joined the CEGB at a nuclear power station starting back on the tools and worked my way back to an engineering grade before early retirement in 93.
Best wishes
Malakand

Chris Isaac
21st April 2009, 15:36
Great... now what about those cargo clusters?

Derek Roger
21st April 2009, 15:43
Welcome from Canada . You will find a lot of interest here . Enjoy the trip . I note you picked a Brocklebank name . Well done .

Regards Derek

K urgess
21st April 2009, 15:49
Welcome aboard, Malakand.
I always tried to keep on the right side of the Lekkie.
I wasn't much use without his "product" to keep my gear going. [=P]
Cheers
Kris

Ian J. Huckin
21st April 2009, 16:23
G'day chum, enjoy the trip....

Macphail
21st April 2009, 21:38
Many people thought that a sea going electrician"s duties were mainly changing light bulbs, little did they know that prior to the mid/late 60`s when the majority of ships had DC generators operating electric windlass`s and winches with brushgear which had to be maintained regularly, some companies required a rigid progamme of planned maintenance with an engine room inspection on return to your home port, with some companies such as Blue Funnel the electrician underwent in-house training and were responslble for looking after radar, gyro compass, and echo sounder and on the larger ships and liners the galley equipment usually needed a fair bit of TLC to keep going, my own career was with Blueys 59 to 62 then time spent with Broclebanks, Cunard, Elders & Fyffes, Buries Markes, and finally with Elder Dempster in 1967 when i came ashore and joined the CEGB at a nuclear power station starting back on the tools and worked my way back to an engineering grade before early retirement in 93.
Best wishes
Malakand

I served my apprenticeship with UKAEA , 1950's, then went off as a tool maker with the MOD, making steel Mach 3 wind tunnel models for the future SST at Twinwoods Bedford, the machine tool maintenance fitter was an old scot, ex BF engineer, he told me I was wasting my time, see the world and go off with BF, I duly applied and was accepted.. Engineer MN 1961 to 2000.

Going back to the thread..

An Electrician on a DC ship, the morning job, go round and check the brush gear on the running motors, also had to be in attendance at the switchboard whilst on Standby.

The AC ship has a motor ledger, some of the motor stators are interchangeable, I found this handy when the steering gear motor burnt out on the Hemina, a sea water pump for the cargo plant had the same stator.

No tugs required when entering Inchon.

Kind regards,

John.

iain48
24th April 2009, 11:29
Spent a load of time changing brushes and bedding in new ones on Safmarine's SA Merchant and Bank line's Elmbank. Plenty of bronzy time with winch maintenance on sea passages kept this lecky out of the hot noisy ER.

K urgess
24th April 2009, 11:59
Here's a picture of a Bankline Chief Lekkie doing what he did best.
Iain Duncan, Weirbank 1969-1970. (Thumb)

iain48
25th April 2009, 12:38
Great to see the old Laurence Scott DC winch again spent many a happy day cleaning and maintaining them Iain McArthur Chief Lecky Elmbank 1973/74

david freeman
3rd May 2009, 10:21
Many Lecky's on motorships did their 10 years as watchkeeper/lecky on the 8/12, and went on to become fine C/E. They knew many a thing besides how many engineers it takes to change a light bulb.

R58484956
4th May 2009, 13:10
A very belated greeting to SN Malakand. Enjoy the site and all that goes with it. Bon voyage.

seeanji
13th November 2009, 02:59
I was there at the same time, the D.C. gear made for a lot of work ,brushgear, starters etc but at the end of the day worth the effort.
I finished up with C.E.G.B on nuclear but took the easy option of light current and "hiss and piss" you don't need the big spanners!.

Jim S
14th November 2009, 18:42
Hi Malakand - Just a thought why did you pick the name of a Brocklebank ship that did not have an Electrician?
The 3/E had that duty among his many others.

david freeman
22nd November 2009, 16:56
until the advent of the larger BP Fleet (the 28's 32,s and other steam tankers) The Lecky on 8/12 on motor tankers after 10 years before the plates took his ticket and became many a good chief engineer. In the gulf many an excuse on the morning watch to go above decks, but then we all wished for better things?.

Bob McColl
18th December 2009, 06:17
I also am an old retired leckie with blue flu and lyles....those 26 winches kept me hopping along with the winlass and warping winch.....if a winch broke down during unloading then all hell broke loose...so maintenance was a major program....what a relief it was when you were told..."unloading by shore gear" ....so then it was "I'M OFF ASHORE"...as you couldn't go ashore if ships gear was used

GWB
18th December 2009, 06:36
We had a lecky on board who could change the brush gear cut back the comm and still have clean overalls how he did it I do not know but he said he hated DC, come to think about it he was AC/DC he only did one trip.

Norm
10th April 2010, 03:25
I served my 5 years apprenticeship in a steelworks in combined instrument and electrical training. 2 and1/2 years each dept. In the electrical shops we did everything. Most of the gear was DC. Completely overhauled motors. Series, shunt and compound wound. rewound coils and armitures. Repaired commutators, underscored mica etc, and fettled brushgear. Repaired and rebuilt starter panels, and drum controllers. Worked on Ward leonard systems. Built AC 3 phase switchboards, and did the generarl office domestic electrics. then in the instrument shop worked on Baily boiler controls, as well as a variety of electrical, electronic and hydraulic controls by Honeywell and Foxboro etc.
After all that I went to the pool for a job as a leckie at sea. Sorry son they said, you must have done all your time as an electrician, go and get a pre sea grading as an engineer. Did that and went as a junior eng. All the electrical kit I saw at sea was the same as I'd trained on ashore. Some of the leckies had not see any of it before as they had only been house wirers ashore. I was bashing up big bolts on an engine when I could have been doing my own work. Stuck it out for a few years anyway. I got a job with Dobbie McInnes of Glasgow as a marine service engineer on Teledep tank gauging and Teletrol valve control systems after that, and then into the oil & gas business where I was for 35 years.

bobw
10th April 2010, 12:15
Norm: In Australia in the mid-1960's when I first went to sea as a leckie, the Institute of Marine and Power Engineers would only have Electrical Fitters, preferably from a heavy industry, and with much of the experience you had. No Electrical Mechanics (Electricians) were accepted. Funny though, in those days we would have to do 4 extra years as a junior electrician shoreside to be able to get an electrician's licence to wire a house! I believe common sense prevails now and Electrical Fitters get a licence.

Klaatu83
10th April 2010, 14:05
Many people thought that a sea going electrician"s duties were mainly changing light bulbs, little did they know that prior to the mid/late 60`s when the majority of ships had DC generators operating electric windlass`s and winches with brushgear which had to be maintained regularly, some companies required a rigid progamme of planned maintenance with an engine room inspection on return to your home port, with some companies such as Blue Funnel the electrician underwent in-house training and were responslble for looking after radar, gyro compass, and echo sounder and on the larger ships and liners the galley equipment usually needed a fair bit of TLC to keep going, my own career was with Blueys 59 to 62 then time spent with Broclebanks, Cunard, Elders & Fyffes, Buries Markes, and finally with Elder Dempster in 1967 when i came ashore and joined the CEGB at a nuclear power station starting back on the tools and worked my way back to an engineering grade before early retirement in 93.
Best wishes
Malakand

I started on Victory Ships, which had 440-volt DC cargo winches. On one occasion I saw what happened when an inexperienced 2nd Electrician accidentally put a screwdriver across a couple of live contacts. He was lucky to be alive, and they took him off the ship with his arm swathed in bandages. That juice was nothing to fool with!

I also spent time sailing on several LASH ships. Those were most definitely electrician's ships if ever there were. They had two enormous cranes. One was a 35-ton capacity gantry for cargo containers and the the other was a monster 480-ton capacity gantry for the LASH barges. If the cranes didn't work then the ship didn't work, it was a simple as that. Consequently, no LASH ship could operate very long without a really GOOD, first-class electrician on board.

I recall one electrician who showed up to work on a LASH I was on. He was a young guy who had formerly been an electrician in the Navy, where they normally have a whole staff of electricians. He literally lasted one week! His replacement was an old lag in his mid sixties, but who had years of experience on LASH ships and knew exactly what he was about.

michael charters
14th April 2010, 16:27
Loved being Lecky. Day shift only and Sunday off. Nights on board were no joke, long shore men and doccker gave you a hard time if winches played up. Had spare cargo cluster light ready to change. The winch control rooms were kept spotless even with dusty cargoes. Contacts were bulled up to remove flashing pits. Changing boiler sight glass lighting was a hot job. Pity on the juniors blowing tubes. Looking after the walkers log and checking phones and steering gear was another job. I always had the bonus change navigation mast light for me. Although climb mast for morse light a few times. Always on DC equipment. The switch boards were open and dangerous. Remember having to remove earth faults daily. Mainly the Galley. Fridge gear was another job that kept us busy with the "Chief Freezer" . On motor vessel we had to man the hoist for pulling units. If I had clean white boiler suit, I was soon initiated with a black hand mark by the "fourth' mainly two around your rear. Happy Days. The best job on the Ships.
Unfortunatley had to connect shore power to a few when in 70's Layed them up in River Falmouth. As a matter of interest our ship pulled Crowhurst's catamaran out of the Atlantic. 'Tiegnmouth Electron'