Dry Dock Debacle

jim garnett
17th October 2009, 02:26
In 1949 the MV Tweedbank limped into Melbourne on one engine after having a disagreement with bank of the Suez canal.She was unloaded and taken into Duke and Orrs dry dock.A" state of the art" dock when built by convicts in about 1860.( No dockside crane)
It was decided that both shaft and prop would be replaced as the carried a spare of each.
I was on the inside gang and we sooned ripped out a couple of intermediates and tail shaft after the outside gang had done their magic with wedges, heavy hammers and heating torches.
Sounds simple when written down but it was all blood sweat and tears.
The problem now was how to get the old shaft out and the new one in.Simple really,we will use the
ships winches.Rated at SWL 3Ton and a shaft weighing 10 ton what could be simpler a F. O. S of at
least 4 meant we had plenty of reserve.No,this was not the debacle,we got away with it despite yours truly operating the winch.(First time too,either the boss or I was stupid or perhaps both.)
We then threw it all together again and it was a good job done in about 24 hours.
Then the outside boss came in,"take it all apart again boys" Much laughter,what a comic,but he meant
it,the spare prop didn't fit the spare shaft!!
We boys didn't care about who's fault it was, we were too busy working out our overtime !!
We worked two thirty hour shifts with eighteen hours off between them,
Oh to be young and fit again(and stupid)

Jim Garnett

Derek Roger
17th October 2009, 14:11
Good story Jim .
When I ws 2nd Eng on Brocklebanks Mahsud we were in Antwerp to have our main gear box bull wheel ( cracked teeth ) changed by shore squad . It weighjed 14 tonne if my memory serves me well .
We had checked their rigging plan and given the Ok ( consisted of a number of 20 tonne blocks to rig the unit up the fiddley )

The shoreside supervisor had asked me if they could make use of some of our tackle to save going ashore for more ; to which I agreed .

During smoko I could hear the familar sound of our 3 tonne pnuematic chain fall being used for something ?

On entering the engine roon i was shocked to see the bull wheel almost out and being suspended on the 3 tonne block ! On my objection the supervisor said its OK we are following up the the 20 tonne blocks .

I just about sh-t my pants . They were made to follow up and take the weight with the manual blocks and we took back our 3 tonne block .
We examined the block and all was fine ; Chief said we can consider this block to have been Proof Tested to 14 tonne .

Happy Days Derek

Don Matheson
17th October 2009, 14:22
On a supply boat docked in Singapore we were changing the the engine coolers to tropical type. Local fitters removed the coolers and the oil coolers ( smallest) were removed by lifting them coolie style on bamboo poles and then the water coolers were attempted.
First cooler breaks the bamboo and the job stops. Chief says "thats us, they cant replace them with bamboo poles". He was right as they had to change their plans and cut out a deck plate and remove some pipework and use our derrick to lift them in and out. Took an extra day due to the deck removal but they still did an excellent job.
Not heavy lifts by our thinking but it was for the bamboo poles.


K urgess
17th October 2009, 14:48
Not a debacle by any means but it seemed strange that this wasn't done while we were actually in the drydock rather than having to trim ship afterward and risk dropping it in the oggin. (EEK)
Mobil tanker Satucket at Genoa, Christmas 1976 (Thumb)
2/Eng Andy Flack chairing the proceedings while 4/Eng Steve Whowell looks on.