Bulk Carriers - Continuing Safety Concerns

Lemschout
14th April 2009, 21:40
We could assume that most problems with the bulk carriers have been solved thanks to the recommendations of Justice COLMAN after the Derbyshire RFI and their incorporation into the IMO regulations, mostly SOLAS Chapter XII.

However the PSC inspections reveal that many of these regulations are wrongly implemented as shown in the refered to summary of 50 recent inspections between July 2008 and February 2009.
More than half the bulkers inspected had defficiencies or serious remarks, one of them was flying the red ensign.

http://users.skynet.be/p.woinin/bulk_psc.doc

Unfortunately there were few cape sizes among the ship inspected, but those visited had the worse defficiencies or remarks taking into account what happened with the Derbyshire: serious vulnerabilities on the forecastle (not raised) which include weak ventilation heads of boatswain store and forepeak on the bow, poor securing of fore access hatch, undersized ejector to empty the huge boatswain store than can hold up to 3000 cubic meter of water.

Generally the managements are quickly rectifying the deficiencies, but some of them and their classes are fighting them to defend their wrong interpretation of the rules on many bulk carriers, mainly the absence of remote activation from a safe place aft of the collision bulkhead valve.

Lemschout
27th April 2009, 21:10
Still fighting with one classification society from the Far East about the implementation of the remote control system to activate the forepeak collision bulkhead valve. Captain D.Ramwell who received, among others, a copy of the summary of bulker inspections will contact the DFA to make some noise about this sorry state on many bulkers.
In the meantime in order to find some arguments I checked again the RFI report from Mr. Justice COLMAN and was astonished to read in section 13.19:
" One of the problem arising from the exposed position of the foredeck and its immense distance from the bridge on a Capesize bulk carrier is that of pumping out the spaces in response to the water ingress. Clearly it is insufficient to depend on a pumping system which can only be effectively activated from the foredeck area. On the DERBYSHIRE, for example, there was a facility for 2-valve separation of the forepeak ballast tank only if a manual valve operated from the bosun's store were left open. It would then be possible to pump out through the ballast line the contents of the ballast tank by operation from the cargo control room. ... If the manual valve were left closed, the forepeak could not be pumped out. Although it was normal to leave the manual valve open in the dry cargo condition, this would not be a desirable course with regard to effective maintenance of insulation of the forepeak. "
What bother me here is " Although it was normal to leave the manual valve open in the dry cargo condition...". Was Mr.Colman reflecting about what he heard about the practice on British freighters and bulkers? On all the ships on which I sailed this manual valve of the collision bulkhead was always kept closed, except of course for ballasting operation of the forepeak, and that contributed to keep it functioning properly.
This makes sense as collisions are obviously unpredictable and the collision bulkhead could be deformed in the accident, preventing the operation of the valve.
Checked also the net about the origin of the collision bulkhead valve legislation, and only found a case law article of 1910 about an incident with the INDRAPURA where the cargo in the hold behind the forepeak was damaged by a water ingress after a collision. Has anybody heard about another similar incident?

greektoon
30th April 2009, 09:23
Interesting points Lemschout. Accessibility to the forward store spaces is still problematic for store space ejector systems and critical equipment. This not only applying to bulkers. I sailed on the Sir Alexander Glen and I remember that the emergency fire pump was also in the forward store space.

Another quite common problem I come across is the inoperable remote operation for tank / bilge valves in the pipe tunnel. This entails a crew member going into the tunnel to manually operate valves, an onerous task in heavy weather or if, as is often the case in these circumstances, the tunnel contains large quantities of water / hydraulic oil / fuel oil from leaking valves and pipelines.

Another negative effect of this is that the pipe tunnel doors are left open in the engine room, compromising watertight integrity.

chadburn
30th April 2009, 10:41
greektoon, your #885 is absolutely spot on, if the "automatic" ballast system fails the Engineers have to go down the Duct Keel to open the V/V,s ,manually in our case after a Salt Water flooding of the Chamber it was a complete stripdown of the compound air operating heads on every valve because of rust in the bores, only after the heads were removed could the v/v's be operated manually. It was all done whilst we were at Sea and with the hatch in the Engineroom left open at all times whilst we were in there as it was our escape route if anything went wrong, not that we had much chance of getting out if we were working in the For'ad end of the Duct Keel.

K urgess
30th April 2009, 11:37
These keep getting posted into the Derbyshire thread which has run it's course so I've started a new thread so that the apparently continuing problems with bulk carriers can be discussed.

Bill Davies
30th April 2009, 17:59
Good idea Kris, takes all the contention and possible emotion out of some posts.

Bill

Lemschout
2nd May 2009, 11:43
Thanks to Greektoon and Chadburn for their answer. These arguments can help a lot to answer the classification societies which are proposing to keep only the valve in the tunnel to empty the forepeak.

Regarding the pumping system of the dry spaces forward, recently I have checked the installation on a young 200000dwt bulker which had both an ejector and an electric pump. The ejector system could not be activated from aft, thus useless as per the new regulations. The electric pump was nicely fitted in a well but its capacity was only 20m3/hour while the huge void space it had to pump could be flooded with roughly 3750m3 of seawater under the main deck level. If the pump a was functioning perfectly it would take almost 8 days to empty that space, while the regulations only require to have an IPX8 protection (against water) for 24 hours! And when I ask to start it, it took the crew almost one hour to succeed doing it.
Luckily the boat had a double hull and a raised forecastle!

Bill Davies
25th May 2009, 11:37
The ejector system could not be activated from aft, thus useless as per the new regulations. The electric pump was nicely fitted in a well but its capacity was only 20m3/hour while the huge void space it had to pump could be flooded with roughly 3750m3 of seawater under the main deck level. If the pump a was functioning perfectly it would take almost 8 days to empty that space, while the regulations only require to have an IPX8 protection (against water) for 24 hours! And when I ask to start it, it took the crew almost one hour to succeed doing it.
Luckily the boat had a double hull and a raised forecastle!

The highlighted parts above do surprise me.
The raised foc'sle (although well discussed on peripheral threads) gives little comfort to those sailing in such a vessel knowing of the inadequacies in other areas. The key is of course the integrity of the foc'sle.

Lemschout
27th May 2009, 20:23
Thanks to Bill Davies for commenting on this issue: "The raised foc'sle (although well discussed on peripheral threads) gives little comfort to those sailing in such a vessel knowing of the inadequacies in other areas. The key is of course the integrity of the foc'sle."

The ventheads fore were quite strong and the access hatch was secured from inside, therefore the integrity of the foc'sle was probably very good.

But the green seas in a storm have a tremendous power and besides they can bring on board some drifting object (tree trunk...) able to destroy any protuding pipe. When that vessel is on its summer freeboard it displaces more than 200,000 tons and the forecastle adds some 25pc to the 6.7 meters freeboard, quite a bonus to prevent shipping those things that can make havoc there.

Anyway the main problem now is to drastically and urgently review the timid IMO regulations regarding the pumping capacity of these huge boatswain stores (larger than the fore peak). It will make the largest bulkcarriers a lot less unseaworthy.

chadburn
30th May 2009, 15:33
The highlighted parts above do surprise me.
The raised foc'sle (although well discussed on peripheral threads) gives little comfort to those sailing in such a vessel knowing of the inadequacies in other areas. The key is of course the integrity of the foc'sle.

Foc'sle integrity, also means all hatches are mechanically sound/clamped and not lashed down with bit's of wire rope that prevents/severly delays entry into an area where an emergency could occur.(Cloud) .

Lemschout
2nd June 2009, 21:17
Quoting Geordie Chief: "Foc'sle integrity, also means all hatches are mechanically sound/clamped and not lashed down with bit's of wire rope that prevents/severely delays entry into an area where an emergency could occur." Unquote.

At least concerning the access hatch to the boatswain store some extra securing is badly needed on all bulker without a raised forecastle, because green seas are pressing this cover down, freeing the butterfly screws which are then pushed outwards and down by the water. It happened on our Panamax bulkers, and on many others as I even heard that on one ship this cover was welded for the long crossings. On the Derbyshire these butterfly screws were retained with an additional rope system linking them, but they finally failed because the falling foremast, or something of the like, distorted the whole structure of the access hatch.

And of course nobody would ever consider to enter the boatswain store during a storm, not even to reach the fore ship.

But on the recent large bulk carriers there is always another entrance to the boatswain store with a well protected door which allowed the entry at any time if it safe to walk on deck. It is on one of those ships that I took the attached picture with a wire securing down the cover of the access hatch, possibly also for the stowaways. See the attached picture.

Bill Davies
2nd June 2009, 21:38
Lemschout,

Interesting photograph! Brings back memories. Doing nothing when you have a potention problem on your hands is not an option I ever considered. I often wonder how many came to grief waiting for head office to make a decision.

Brgds

Bill

Lemschout
3rd June 2009, 17:32
Lemschout,

Interesting photograph! Brings back memories. Doing nothing when you have a potention problem on your hands is not an option I ever considered. I often wonder how many came to grief waiting for head office to make a decision.

Brgds

Bill

This is unfortunately the attitude of many bulker masters of the new generation, most of them from the Far East. As they are not even aware of the Derbyshire tragedy, they must rely on the ISM literature to discover what they must do to prepare for stormy weather.
When I check the corresponding heavy weather procedures, generally no such reinforcement of the watertightness of the covers and vent heads fore is mentioned.
All what I can do is to issue a deficiency against the management and its ISM system, at least it can contribute to the awareness about the dangers of a flooding of the fore compartments.
Recently I made an extensive review of the internet article on this issue, adding some pictures and sketches, it can be found at: http://www.kerkefas.net/spumpbow.htm

All the best,
Pierre

John Cassels
3rd June 2009, 19:19
Pierre ; seem to remember you appeared in a BBC documentary years ago
concerning safety aspects on Bulk carriers ?.

Lemschout
4th June 2009, 19:45
Pierre ; seem to remember you appeared in a BBC documentary years ago
concerning safety aspects on Bulk carriers ?.

You must be confusing me with somebody else, like many people do.
Never had any contact with the BBC.

Bill Davies
4th June 2009, 20:49
Pierre,

Your views on Ultrasonic testing of Hatchcovers would be interesting to hear. One of your countrymen who operates a survey company out of Antwerp swears by this method.

Bill

Lemschout
5th June 2009, 17:27
Pierre,

Your views on Ultrasonic testing of Hatchcovers would be interesting to hear. One of your countrymen who operates a survey company out of Antwerp swears by this method.

Bill

Sorry I have no experience on this matter.
Regularly I meet a friend who was my chief mater and who is doing it regularly for a P&I, this to check the hatch cover watertightness on small bulker loading steel. Maybe I can ask him about it.

Otherwise a few years ago I had a serious confrontation with the head of the flag state about the watertightness of hatch covers on new build containers ships. A child could have seen that they could never be efficient, but he approved them.

Pierre

Bill Davies
6th June 2009, 00:25
Otherwise a few years ago I had a serious confrontation with the head of the flag state about the watertightness of hatch covers on new build containers ships. A child could have seen that they could never be efficient, but he approved them.

Pierre

I can well believe that.

Bill

surfaceblow
6th June 2009, 00:34
I have witnessed the Ultrasonic testing of internal hatch covers and internal doors of a large RO/RO. The shore gang making repairs to the gaskets were using ultrasonic testing to find the areas of the gasket channels that needed to be worked on and where the knife edge needed to be build up. After the repairs were finished the internal hatch covers and internal doors passed the water leak test witnessed by ABS and the areas disturbed were wire brushed and repainted. The USCG did not want to sign off on the test witnessed by ABS so the Ultrasonic testing was done on the doors and hatches so the paint had time to dry. One joint that passed the water test did not pass the ultrasonic testing.

Joe

alastairrussell
10th February 2013, 06:25
I have been searching trying to find if research has been carried out on the bulk carrier structural failures that were introduced as a result of the 1966 Load Line Convention changes.

I have a heap of old Institute of Marine Engineers technical papers going right back to the early 70's in my basement so I started there. I was pleasantly surprised to find a few good articles with a research paper from Professor R.G. Bea from the University of California being the best. Even though most of his research was carried out on fatigue cracking on oil tankers, I feel it has much relevance to the problems with the hulls of our bulk carriers. The discussion part of the paper was also an eye opener with good input coming in from others in the correspondence.

R G Bea's was paper was published by the UK Institute Of Marine Engineers in 1993 ( volume 105, Part 5) under the name --- Ship Structural Maintenance: Recent Research Results and Experience. His input along with his considerable offshore and marine experience was responsible for him developing and assessing design standards for ships and offshore structures. He was frequently involved in marine accident investigations and this included the Piper Alpha oil rig disaster investigation.

In his report on three lengthy research projects carried out by his university on a series of six 165,000 DWT single hulled oil tankers operating between California and Valdez in Alaska that had been in service for 15 years and during that time had experienced 7000 structural fractures, the majority of the failures declared were found to be fatigue failures. He refers to most of these design, manufacturing and operational defect areas as being 'hotspots'. R.G Bea states that the large number of fatigue cracks found on the above series of tanker could be explained by the following and I quote his no 1 and 2:

“1---The trend of reducing ship scantlings based on detailed stress analysis and the increased use of high tensile steel, resulted in an increased of the general stress and flexure levels. There was no explicit design or analysis for fatigue durability. CSD were poorly configured to minimise stress concentrations.

2----Quality control and assurance in the constructions of the ships was not as good as it could have been. Misalignment's, poor fit-up, incomplete and poor quality of welding, hand flame-cut edges, and poorly applied, low durability coatings played roles in the durability problems”

Prof Bea mentions in 3.--- The tankers were used on a bad weather route. 4.--- The presence of corrosion in the ballast tanks leading to a reduction of the fatigue life of the structural details. 5.---- The ships were worked real hard with short voyage and port times.


The whole purpose of his research was to develop procedures for an advanced Marine Structural Integrity Programs (MSIP) similar to an Airframe Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) that had been developed for commercial aircraft and started way back in the 50's when jet engines came on the scene. Apparently the main objective of the MSIP and I quote: “is to minimise the risks of low probability- high consequence structural failures while maximising the serviceability and durability of the ship. The three key technical strategies is 1--- High Quality design 2 --- High Quality production 3--- High Quality maintenance”.

I agree totally with the above and this fits in with my past experience with hull structure cracking on some bulk carriers. I found that the cracking appeared to depend on who designed and built the ship. I have to say I never experienced any structural fatigue cracking on any ships that I sailed on that were built by IHI of Japan. During the construction they had really good QA systems in place that worked well. They supplied all their ships with good operating, maintenance and spare parts manuals printed in english. The quality of the IHI built Sulzer engines they installed was A1.

As a senior engineer it was even a pleasure to do the regular dry docking of our ships at their safe and well run repair yards. I remember all the IHI workers and the bosses were fitted out with identical IHI shirts with with letters ND on the top pocket. I was told that this stood for --No Defect--- No Drop ---Nice Dreams. Yes, I did see a squad turn to the next day with new shirts with the ND having been removed The leading hand was young and had just completed university and was not happy that his team had dropped a section of the hull into the harbour (installing a tail shaft while afloat)! He was running around kicking his team members and shouting at them. He was telling them his career in the mighty IHI had a black mark recorded against his name and it was their fault!

R.B Bea found that most of the ship structure problems that he found were caused by fatigue cracks due to cyclic loading and stress concentrations at Hot Spots. The MSIP system involved developing computer software to help naval architects and engineers to perform and simplify fatigue life analysis. This would improve the proposed ships critical structural factor (CSF)which would then improve the vessels fatigue life. The software also includes using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to remove any hotspots from the structure.

In the paper's discussion section Dr J MacGregor from Amerada Hess Ltd shocked me when he displayed in his input in the discussion, a table of the plate thickness difference over say 30 years of 45000 ton loaded displacement tankers.

year of Build 1953 1978 1983

lBP (M) 190 182 194

Bottom thickness (mm) 26.4 19.6 14.5

Side thickness (mm) 20.0 14 13.0

I found the change in above dimensions quite surprising. I do realise that the 1983 figures include the use of some high tensile steel along with the use of specialised welding in various areas of the structure.

It must be remembered that the structural problems that appeared in the 1970's were not just restricted to oil tankers and bulk carriers. I remember reading about the first nuclear submarine built in UK to a US design, developing cracks in the welds of the pressure hull after the sub's first deep dive. I think she was built from a high tech alloy steel that had tricky welding procedures which used preheat and low hydrogen rods. Apparently the welders were on piece work and that they cut out a few of the very necessary QA procedures and low and behold look what happened !! The whole submarine had to be pulled apart with all the defective welds being gouged out and redone.

Before I finish off by quoting R G Bea' s conclusion in total, I would like to mention that he has written many technical papers on this subject both on his own and as an associate with other concerned professionals. I do acknowledge that all their research was mainly targeted towards oil tankers (high cost oil pollution concerns!!!) but on reading his paper I feel that 80 % of the design, construction and operational problems he mentions can be directed towards bulk carriers.


R G Bea's Conclusion

I quote: “The experience associated with these research projects indicates that the primary problems associated with the commercial ship industry are not fundamentally technical. Basically, the industry has available the technical background to do what is required to achieve durable and reliable ship structures. The primary problem is that in the majority of the cases this technology is not being used wisely or applied.

This experience indicates that the primary problems are associated with the organisation of the commercial ship industry. ' Human and organisation errors' in design, construction, operation and maintenance are responsible for the vast majority of our present problems with ship structures. The sources of these errors are imbedded in the history, culture, management, and financial philosophies of this world wide industry. Until the sources of the errors are identified, positive incentives put in place to reduce their occurrence and effects to acceptable limits, and controls exerted to reduce their assure that the levels are achieved, one should expect to continue to experience significant problems with ship structures.”

What can I say? Thank You Thank You to R G Bea and all his associates and to the USA based organisations that he acknowledges have assisted him in his research and the development of the Marine Structural Integrity Programs (MSIP). Thank you also to the UK based Institute of Marine Engineers for publishing this paper.

R.G. Bea refers to 13 Technical papers that have been written on ships structural problems prior to this paper which was published in 1993. I find this quite uplifting and I now wonder if the MSIP has been accepted and put in to use by IMO and if not why not. Surely, surely, the days of selling off corroded, FATIGUED and sub standard tankers and bulk carriers to FOC companies who manned the ships with third world crews is a thing of the past. Why can't we have one world standard for all commercial ships?

Regards

Alastair

chadburn
10th February 2013, 14:50
The concern's go back a long way, a paper with the title "Effect of Variation's in Loading on Longitudinal Structural Stresses in Ships" by W. Thomson B.Sc was published in 1923. In one paragraph is this comment " So far as ordinary cargo vessels are concerned, the most extreme cases of concentrated loading are found in vessels engaged in the carriage of Iron Ore in bulk" later it goes on to say "There is a decided increase in the moment in the sagging condition in the case where the machinery is fitted Aft"

John Cassels
10th February 2013, 20:19
The concern's go back a long way, a paper with the title "Effect of Variation's in Loading on Longitudinal Structural Stresses in Ships" by W. Thomson B.Sc was published in 1923. In one paragraph is this comment " So far as ordinary cargo vessels are concerned, the most extreme cases of concentrated loading are found in vessels engaged in the carriage of Iron Ore in bulk" later it goes on to say "There is a decided increase in the moment in the sagging condition in the case where the machinery is fitted Aft"

Just common sense .

chadburn
10th February 2013, 21:00
Considering the paper was written in 1923 before the computer age it is a very detailed and comprehensive comparison paper on the loading of vessel's with either midships Enginerooms or Aft Enginerooms carrying either Ore or Oil Cargo, the Bending moments and shearing forces on both configeration's. The passage's I have quoted are just a very small snapshot of a very interesting paper which highlighted the same concerns that still exist today.

John Cassels
11th February 2013, 09:16
Considering the paper was written in 1923 before the computer age it is a very detailed and comprehensive comparison paper on the loading of vessel's with either midships Enginerooms or Aft Enginerooms carrying either Ore or Oil Cargo, the Bending moments and shearing forces on both configeration's. The passage's I have quoted are just a very small snapshot of a very interesting paper which highlighted the same concerns that still exist today.

All very true and yes , impressive for it's time.

alastairrussell
12th February 2013, 05:31
Chadburn

Tried to find a copy of your 1923 W. Thomsons technical paper in the IMarEST website and failed. Mind you I did end up reading an 1896 paper on Electric Welding were a Thomson welding machine was mentioned! I also read a 1935 paper called 'Electric Arc Welding in Ship Building'. They were trying to eliminate weld generated hotspots in the hull design way back then by modifying the riveted ship design. He mentions that a German boiler company were manufacturing all welded high pressure watertube boiler drums!

Another paper that was good reading was 'Engineering and Safety-- A Marine Engineer's View Point' by J Cowley read in 1986. Mind you I was a wee bit dissappointed that he did not mention our bulk carrier problems, he did point the finger at the Classification Societies for their poor attitude to change!

Alastair

chadburn
12th February 2013, 14:12
Perhaps they should have stuck to a rivetted Hull for Ore Carrier's, it was interesting to see that what I believe was the Neass Parkate all those years ago had been "Stitched" along the crack across her Deck with a Doubler and Rivet's.

chadburn
12th February 2013, 15:26
Alistair I did not lift the Paper off the Site, I have had it in a Box along with other's since 1955 when I worked in the Drawing Office at Smith's. It and other's have moved house with us at least four time's, every time we moved house I thought about throwing them out but after stopping to have a read of one of the Paper's whilst having a brew I decided to keep them again & again much to my Wife's eye brow raising, I am unfortunatly a Hoarder.

randcmackenzie
13th February 2013, 00:23
Perhaps they should have stuck to a rivetted Hull for Ore Carrier's, it was interesting to see that what I believe was the Neass Parkate all those years ago had been "Stitched" along the crack across her Deck with a Doubler and Rivet's.

Where did you see it, and were you sure it was the Naess Parkgate?

She seems to be developing a life after death on this and other forums.

chadburn
13th February 2013, 21:32
Where did you see it, and were you sure it was the Naess Parkgate?

She seems to be developing a life after death on this and other forums.

I was on the "Har Addir" when were moored at the Botlek in April 1968, as it was our Maiden voyage and because we had problems with the Butterfly v/v's on the Ballast system due to a flooding in The Duct Keel we had the Furness Guarantee Chief with us. He arranged for us to go aboard the vessel (Parkgate?) to have a look at the damage at around 2 am!! as we had been ashore. It was a query on my part as to whether it was her bearing in mind she was built at the Furness Yard and was only around 12mths or more old and along with comment's about a crack in her Deck on this Site by other's. It would be interesting if there was anyone on this Site on her at that time, if it was her of course.

randcmackenzie
13th February 2013, 23:01
Chadburn,

If it was a 1 year old ship, I am almost certain it was not the Parkgate. From what I remember, though not an easy number, she ran reasonably well and without drama all the time Denholm's managed her.

Denholm's were, by and large, a very open company, and any such incident would have been common knowledge, if not published in the magazine.

That being said, my only contact with her was a visit when she was docked in Lisbon in 1975 - in the daytime I may add, and by which time she was having her Paxmen replaced.

That being said I cannot categorically say what ship you visited!

However, Alistair Russel is somewhat Parkgate fixated, and he mentions no such repair, which I'm sure he would have, had it existed.

Maybe some other ex Diamond D men can expand further.

John Cassels
14th February 2013, 09:00
Can only add that I was on the Naess Talisman ( sister ship ) for 8 months.

Apart from the fact that she used to "flex " badly in heavy weather , don't
remember any dramas.
She was a good ship.

chadburn
14th February 2013, 14:34
Chadburn,

If it was a 1 year old ship, I am almost certain it was not the Parkgate. From what I remember, though not an easy number, she ran reasonably well and without drama all the time Denholm's managed her.

Denholm's were, by and large, a very open company, and any such incident would have been common knowledge, if not published in the magazine.

That being said, my only contact with her was a visit when she was docked in Lisbon in 1975 - in the daytime I may add, and by which time she was having her Paxmen replaced.

That being said I cannot categorically say what ship you visited!

However, Alistair Russel is somewhat Parkgate fixated, and he mentions no such repair, which I'm sure he would have, had it existed.

Maybe some other ex Diamond D men can expand further.

The only expansion I can give is that the repair was in the No5 Hold area.

When you say Sister, John are you referring to the same design, as the Talisman was not built at the Furness Yard.

John Cassels
14th February 2013, 20:25
Yes , guess I am . Tha Naess Talisman was Clyde built so you're right ,
sister ship is a misnomer .

alastairrussell
14th February 2013, 23:51
Chadburn

I am thinking we must have a lot in common as we also have shifted four times and I am also a wee bit of a collector. My better half has given up on me and now allows me one room in the house as my study and when she has friends visiting she ensures that the door to my mess is kept closed at all times! Any overflow from my room has to go down to the damp basement.

My favourite item is an old copy of a book published by Fairfield's shipyard in Glasgow in 1907 . It is in a very bad condition (Binding is suffering from fatigue cracks!), it has some lovely large photographs of the shipyard and workshops back then. It was apparently published as a sales gimmick during a shipping depression in 1906. If you go into the Directory part of this web site and click on WW1 and then click on the dreadnaught HMS Bellerophon you can then see a couple of photos I scanned showing them blading up a Parsons turbine casing way back in the dark days. I must purchase another scanner and complete putting all the photos in this website.

Chadburn, you are on the ball with your comment on the riveting . I remember a lot of UK ships in the early 60's having the plates riveted to the frames with the plate edges being welded.

I now quote R.G. Bea on the subject: “ We want sufficient strength, ductility, weldability and durability . The use of high toughness steels, which still allow yielding and the redistribution of stresses and arrest cracks, is an important issue. Here again, there is much we can learn from the technology of design of airframes. The only primary structural component that is welded is the landing gears ( and these are periodically replaced). The rest of the primary structural components are riveted, pinned, and bonded(glued) Airframe designers have found that welding brings about material change that result in significant decreases in durability; the material cracks in the vicinity of the welds. In addition, welding tends to short-circuit fail safe design. Cracks can readily propagate across the welded seams.

While I am not suggesting that we go back to riveted ships or that we should start gluing our ships together, we do need to consider how we combine the basic material, its joining processes, and the configuration of the details to achieve the durability and the damage tolerance we design into our ship structures. Perhaps in the future, riveting lapped joint and bonding ship materials will become part of our engineering strategies to achieve durability.”

With regard to RG Bea and his tankers on the cold Alaska run, I wonder if they looked into low temperature embrittlement of the hull plates if all his tankers were not built from the same grade of steel that ice breakers are made from. I know that the mighty titanic should have hit the iceberg straight on but they are saying now that the sinking was caused by brittle fractures in the steel plates (not ductile). This apparently was caused by the extreme low temperature of the sea near the iceberg and therefore the steel plates. The early built Liberty ships suffered from this problem when sailing in the North Atlantic in the winter months.

Regards

Alastair

chadburn
15th February 2013, 17:04
As I indicated the old information that I have came from Smith's Drawing Office Library when I was there and I have no idea if any copies of the paper's are on any Site's. A lot of the paper's are out of date but some apply today as they did in yesteryear. An interesting paper titled "Further Experiments on Large-Size Riveted Joint's" by J. Montgomerie D.Sc was published in 1923 is an interesting read bearing in mind what the expert's were blaming for the demise of the Titanic (other than the negligent act of sideswiping an Iceburg)

alastairrussell
16th February 2013, 08:41
I quote from the above randcmackenzie post

However, Alistair Russel is somewhat Parkgate fixated, and he mentions no such repair, which I'm sure he would have, had it existed.

Maybe some other ex Diamond D men can expand further.


Mackenzie Mate

Its good to know that we still have some real good company men around preferring to bend the truth to cover up any wrong doings by the mighty management!

I just have to mention the 'three Japanese wise monkeys' who went under the names 'See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil'. Anyway it turns out that there was a fourth wise monkey who was used occasionally (he crossed his arms) with the other three names, he was called 'Shizaru' and he symbolises the principal of 'do no evil'. The western world often use the three wise monkeys to refer to those that deal with a impropriety by turning a blind eye!.

I had a read through all my posts in this website and just cannot see how you can find me 'fixated' with the Iron Parkgate. She is just one of many ships in a large fleet that was allowed to be operated in a substandard condition. Unlike you I am of course only 'fixated' by the thousands of poor desperate third world crews who have lost their lives sailing on the ships that us 'whities' thought were too dangerous!!.

With regard to the 6 months court case in London it must be remembered that it was the owner of the Parkgate who started the legal action against BHP and as a consequence BHP were to forced to counter sue for a lot more! I ask you mate, was it not when the Denholm's C/E who broke down under cross-examination and admitted telling porkies that made BHP the winner of the ridiculously long court battle.

I quote a post from this web site:

Alastair
I joined the Nordic Trader in Singapore after the fire as 3rd Engineer and completed the refit. We completly stripped, realigned and rebuilt the main engine before sailing to Newcastle Australia to load coal for France. Although the Nordic Trader proved to be capable of its designed functions it is probably one of the toughest ships I ever served on as far as hours worked just to keep everything working.
Some evidence of bulkhead cracking did reappear but extensive strengthening had been added in drydock.
The fact that she ended up at the breakers does not distress me in any way.
Ian

Alastair

PS MacKenzie, I completed a 6 month contract carried out with Western Ferries when we were taking MacBraynes to the cleaners on the Kennacraig to Islay run. I am thinking it might have been in the summer of 1970.

randcmackenzie
17th February 2013, 00:37
Well Hello Alastair.

To call me mate and also accuse me of bending the truth is somewhat incompatible, please clarify! More specifically, where have I bent the truth, whatever that is?

Reiterating events that took place for a short period on a ship scrapped so long ago in connection with a desire to remember seafarers lost and being lost on bulk carriers today seems to indicate a minor fixation of some kind.

As for the court, I only know what you tell me, you say the judge? threw both parties out to sort it out for themselves.
How was it ever a court? Charter party disputes are invariably settled by arbitration, as defined in C/P clause.

Denholm had many ships, a few excellent, a few absolutely dreadful, and the majority somewhere in between.
Apart from the odd name change, none of us were ever in any doubt as to which were the good numbers.

By and large they kept them all going, and the only ship they ever lost in my recollection was the Link One.

I say in my recollection, as this is not a court of law, and I stand ready to be corrected.

The same applies to the Parkgate, I am merely recounting the common discussions that were company wide. Voyages for officers were down to 4 months in the seventies and circulation through the fleet was quite brisk, so experiences were widely shared without any restraint by what you call the mighty management.
We all knew she was no bed of roses, but she kept going, her years as Nordic Trader were quite uneventful, she didn't break in two, and lived on to be scrapped.

You say many other ships in the Denholm fleet were operated in a substandard condition. Names and proof please.
Out of Class? Detained? Refused loading? Lost at sea? Long time chartered by BHP?
Several of the latter anyway.


I'm sure you would have enjoyed your time running Kennacraig/Islay. I actually crossed to Islay on Western Ferries myself about that time.
Their Marine Superintendent was an ex Denholm man named Ferguson.
MacBrayne, however, prevailed in the end.

alastairrussell
17th February 2013, 05:23
Mackenzie Mate (I am a Scottish born Australian)

Thanks for your reply. I see we will never agree on anything to do with shipping as we have a totally different approach to what the word 'truth' means. I feel its up to you to put a search through all your posts in this website and have good read?

I also made the same mistake that you are now making and that is taking it for granted that court case was held in an Admiralty Court when I found out recently that it was held in a different type of UK court in London. You must realise this case was quite important to Australia and it was a real eyeopener for all Australian shipowners. They found out during this case that the mighty LR had two different survey standards, one for UK ships and another for Australian ships. This created havoc and I feel it must have cost LR underwriters a few bob from then on!

I am sorry mate but I was not pointing the finger at your Denholm fleet I was referring the large fleet of bulk carriers that were built to the defective 1966 Load Line Convention rules.

As a result of the mistakes in their design rules effecting mainly iron ore carriers, there has been a few changes in the way the classification societies are operating and they are now talking to each other and attempting to operate all ships to one world wide standard. This process has been far too slow (twenty years) and not very successful. I remember BHP and Rio Tinto throwing in the towel in 1992 and putting a blanket ban on loading any bulk carrier over 15 years old. This shows the lack of confidence in the survey standards of the classification societies and the port surveyors.

The shipping companies accountants method of investing in a cheap and nasty new bulk carriers (unpainted ballast tanks and Paxman alternators!!!!) and running them into the ground over say a 5 years period and then selling them on to the Foc companies to operate them in substandard way has to be stopped.

With regard to Western ferries I checked up and it was in the summer of 1971 prior to us emigrating to Aussie that I was working under a contract for Harrison’s of the Clyde as they owned Western Ferries at the time. I was one of only 2 engineers who had the required marine certificate, the rest were operating on dispensations ! The top man was a civil engineer (can't remember his name) who had developed a clever but cheap floating bow ramps for clipping onto the ferry in the smaller islands. There was only 2 deep sea types working onboard that summer ( two ferries) to cover the extra trips and we both were not terribly impressed with some of the operational procedures being used and we both could not wait to shoot through in September. I also remember having a wee problem when I left over holiday pay and travel expenses. Harrison’s I believe sold Western Ferries to MacBraynes and I am told they did very well out of the deal. I do not remember meeting any marine supers at Kennacraig.

Regards

Alastair

alastairrussell
17th February 2013, 06:23
Mackenzie

I am getting confused with all the following info who am I to believe? Was it just a normal scrap and paint drydocking in Singapore?
Alastair

Alastair
I joined the Nordic Trader in Singapore after the fire as 3rd Engineer and completed the refit. We completly stripped, realigned and rebuilt the main engine before sailing to Newcastle Australia to load coal for France. Although the Nordic Trader proved to be capable of its designed functions it is probably one of the toughest ships I ever served on as far as hours worked just to keep everything working.
Some evidence of bulkhead cracking did reappear but extensive strengthening had been added in drydock.
The fact that she ended up at the breakers does not distress me in any way.
Ian


Andrew Craig-Bennett
24th February 2010, 04:03
A slightly different take on the "IRON PARKGATE" - if I recall correctly she was actually built for P&O, who bareboat chartered her to BHP.

BHP claimed against P&O at arbitration in London under the bareboat charter.

I worked at the time (1975) for a London shipping law firm in their Admiralty department (salvage, collisions, scuttlings - "wet" law, for which some sense of which end is which is helpful, as opposed to charter party work - "dry" law, for which no sea experience is needed). A partner in our "dry" side, Johnathan Ecclestone, got a phone call from an Australian outfit that he had never heard of (this was the Seventies) who wanted to sue P&O.

He was rather doubtful, but agreed to see them, and he took the case. It turned into the biggest case in the history of the firm and one of the biggest civil cases ever in London. Where it really got interesting was on discovery of documents, when our firm, for BHP, alleged that we had found a memo, written by someone in P&O standing by the newbuilding, which boiled down to "this one's an utter dog - we'd better get rid of her asap!"

We hired the National Liberal Club as a place to hear the arbitration.

The case settled after a few months, but I think P&O paid.

randcmackenzie
24th February 2010, 09:37
I don't think so Andrew.

If I recall correctly she was built for some combination of Turnbull Scott and Naess (hence the -gate), with Denholm having the management, she started life as Naess Parkgate.

Of course at some point P&O and Naess merged to become ABC, but I can't remember where that was in her history.

Though I did not sail on her, she did not have the name of being one of denholm's easy numbers, and nobody was sad to see her bare boated out.

After her return, there was a big court case.

After redelivery, she underwent docking in Singapore, and a Denholm Superintendent died in an engine room fire while in dock.

Following the docking, her first loading after return to denholm was from BHP country, Newcastle NSW.

Though there were a few clenched buttocks, she arrived, berthed, loaded and sailed entirely without incident, perhaps much to the amazement and perhaps disappointment of the watching waterfront.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
24th February 2010, 10:54
Thank you for the correction, I wasn't much interested at the time, being very fully occupied with Lloyds Form salvages for Smit, Bugsier, Nippon Salvage, Luzon Stevedoring, etc, which were our bread and butter, and I obviously got some of it wrong. But certainly that was the big court case.

chadburn
25th February 2010, 02:48
During my research work on the River Tees , it's Shipping and it's Shipyard's after I retired I spoke to a number of people who were involved with them all, of particular interest was the Furness Yard because I stood by and sailed with a new build (1967/68) from there (which was not without it's problems as I have indicated elsewhere). The problem in the 1960's for British shipyards was that the subsidised Japanese shipyards were starting to make inroads into the "normal" British build market and British Shipowner's did not help by obtaining their new builds cheaply from the Japanese. To keep their workforce going in the hope the Japanese were a "flash in the pan" (the same was felt with the Black Bomber in the m/cycle world) British shipbuilder's had to offer fixed price contract's with most labour going on to piecework(MAD) . From what I can gather the "Parkgate" was the last of a total 3 ship fixed price order, the other two being liquid sulphur carrier's and thereby hangs the crux of the matter as they proved to be more expensive to build than estimated for, which meant the last build "Parkgate" was a bitsa as most last builds usually are in order to reduce the overspend in the hope that the next contract will be more profitable to make up any shortfall.

randcmackenzie
17th February 2013, 23:24
Hello Alastair.

I tried to 'Quote' and reply, but the forum wouldn't let me. I've pasted in some answers/comments to different items.

I don't feel the need to review Alastair, I regard the forum as an interesting piece of entertainment, and post without any particular regard to a later defense.
I am however, quite clear on what is truth and what is falsehood.

Re the court:
In this instance I don't think I am mistaken - charter party disputes are always settled by arbitration - it is a clause in the charter party. Three arbitrators are appointed, one by each party and one acceptable to both. I was called to one in London on behalf of the shipowner and it was quite an eye opener. I seem to recall that there is a procedure whereby a dis-satisfied litigant can appeal further, and eventually to the House of Lords.

Substandard bulk carriers:
In this we agree, and perhaps to some extent are still being built. I have been away from straight bulkers for many years, developments there passed me by.
It doesn't strike me as good sign that brand new 400,000 tonners are cracking up on their first load.


Western ferries:
I believe you are correct, essentially MacBrayne made them an offer too good to refuse. More is the pity, their continued unsubsidised competition might have made a whole lot of difference to the Scottish ferry scene today.

Best Regards,
Roddie MacKenzie.

John Cassels
18th February 2013, 08:52
Was that the Western ferries on the MacInroys Point - Hunters Quay run ?.

randcmackenzie
19th February 2013, 00:28
No John,

Kennacraig/Port Askaig.

B/R.

alastairrussell
19th February 2013, 02:36
Roddie

You have to remember that the 60's were terrible times for marine engineers sailing with the British liner companies. I feel this was caused by the rush of the experienced engineers to leave the industry when the national service was stopped and remember also at that time the shipping companies were changing over and operating all their diesel engines on the really cheap heavy oil (HFO). The shipowners refused to spend the money necessary to convert their ships engines and the ER fuel systems over properly and as laid down by the great engineer John Lamb. Also as per usual LR did not want to upset their clients by forcing them to comply! This of course then increased the work load of the engineers on board some of the ships especiallly the ex ww2 ships. I myself would not have got to sea with only one eye if there had not been a massive shortage of engineers wanting to go to sea in 1962.

I am always hearing in this website mainly from 'deck side wallahs' on how great it was going to sea in the 60's and this I think was due to the long discharge and loading periods in ports. This was just before the container ships moved in and reduced the turn round times to that of bulk carriers and tankers (working three shifts).

After I got my seconds ticket, I just kept moving around the British liner companies because then all I wanted to do was say 9 months at sea and then say 3 months sail boat racing and doing yacht delivery around Scotland in the summer months (the Forth and Clyde canal was closed then). Because of the massive shortage of ticketed second engineers then the only way I could do this was by resigning every June and then finding another shipping company in early September when I ran out of money .

Its only now when I look at the text books that I appreciate what I did as being a big plus. I managed to gain operational experience on operating every dammed diesel engine in the text book including the J type Doxford, steam up and downer and a horrible gas turbine ship (four days)!

Even sailing with Western Ferries for six months (in the summer) was a real eyeopener. I could not go deep sea because I had got married and we had applied for assisted passage to Australia.

That civil engineer (I still cannot remember his name) who was the brains behind the Western Ferry system was tops. Remember the puffers that used to serve the whole of the west coast of Scotland and how they used bring the coal into the islands using the tide and how they brought horse and carts alongside the puffer when the tide was out to load the coal for the island. Well the first Western Ferry 'Sound of Islay' had a strengthened bottom and used her stern ramp to discharge everything from machinery, kit homes, cranes etc on the same beaches the puffers used. If I remember correctly she was allowed to carry 95 passengers in weather up to force 5 when on the Red Bay run! I remember the civil engineer boss meeting the ship in Campbeltown once and doing his 'block' after we had a real bad trip when he saw all the spew from the passengers down the side of his ship (clean that up immediately was the order from the jetty). We all preferred the passengers doing it there than doing it in the toilets!

I remember a big timer coming on board the bigger Sound of Jura at Kennacraig and asking the engineer to pump a soft tyre up in his brand new range rover. He was on his way to Jura for a wee bit of fishing and shooting and I am thinking he should have been paying a first class fare on the MacBraynes boat. Anyway the engineer got a wee bit confused and managed to put the full ER air start pressure on his vehicles tyre which totally destroyed it and damaged the body work. He was not a happy customer even though the engineer 'apologised' and fitted the spare for him!!


Regards

Alastair

alastairrussell
19th February 2013, 03:11
John and Roddie

I think it is the same company or what was left after the sell out of the Kennacraig depot to Caledonia MacBraynes. I suggest you google Western Ferries Scotland' and read the Wikipedia history on the company.

I got a shock when I found out that world war 3 must have broken out between CM and WF on the Arran run. It said in wikipedia that WF had ordered a new ferry to run against CM to Brodick and that it was to be delivered in 2012. Is it operating and who is winning?

Alastair

alastairrussell
25th February 2013, 03:30
Great News

I have just read in the February 2013 Shipping World and Shipbuilder magazine (page 34) that IMO's Performance Standard for Protective Coatings (PSPC) regulations has become mandatory and that all ships over 500gt delivered after 1 July 2012 have to comply.

I quote part of the article : “The amendments to the convention for safety at sea(SOLAS) were originally adopted by resolution MSC216(82) on the 8 December 2006 and apply to dedicated seawater ballast tanks of all ships and to double-side skin spaces of bulkcarriers.

The regulations were introduced to achieve a target coating lifetime of 15 years, thereby improving safety at sea by reducing the corrosion encountered in steel ships. For common structural rules vessels (tankers and bulkers) the PSPC was immediately mandatory from the adoption date, but for other 500gt+ newbuilds it only previously applied if the building contract was placed on or after 1 July 2008 or the keel was laid on or after 1 January 2009.

Compliance has to be verified by an independent party, such as a classification society, so owners now have to obtain approval of pre-qualification tests and a statement of compliance or type approval certificate for coating systems”

Apparently too the Coating Inspector has to be qualified in accordance with the qualification standards laid in the IMO PSPC.

Well what can I say, its been a long time coming (nearly 40 years) but its here now so thank you IMO.

Regards

Alastair