Bailey Control Systems

25th October 2005, 15:37
I have been trying to engender some interest in the old Bailey systems without much sucess. I'll try one more time! There must be some old sea dogs (engineers) out there who would like to curse or otherwise the boiler control systems which I lovingly, ha-ha, worked on for most of my working life. At one time the oceans were full of vessels with these systems. So come on start cursing.

25th October 2005, 16:14
Rings a bell, more details pse.

25th October 2005, 16:53
Hi Readhead6,

You are right you either loved those controls or hated them.
The first time I saw a chief's hair turn from black at the start of a (Ouch) voyage, to white by the time we got to Japan. Voyage 2 of the Liverpool bay. Ocean Fleets Container vessel. I said to him one day, I didn't understand why Bailey's were fitted in a German Built ship. He turned to me with a distant look and said "It's no the Baileys thats losing me sleep it's those damn flash evaporators" Wrong again Dino I thought to myself. By the time we got back to Southampton the poor lad could hardly speak. Me that is.

Nice to hear from you lads.


25th October 2005, 19:00
Ha! I did the sea trials on the Kowloon Bay out of Kiel. Actually these systems were very well designed and if set up properly worked very well. If I remember correctly from a cold start on full auto all sequenced. Were the turbines scrapped and retro-fitted with deisels on these vessels?

25th October 2005, 19:15
For member R58484956 the Bailey Control systems were mainly boiler controls. They controlled combustion, feed water ( drum level), steam temp , atomising steam and of course main steam pressure and anything else that required regulating. In the early days this was all done with pneumatic controllers, and later by electronic means.

Allan James
26th October 2005, 08:43
I was deck cadet on the Kowloon Bay in 1979, great big, fast and comfortable ships. Got some photos taken of her in HDW's floating dock in Hamburg when she was being painted with a self-polishing co-polymer paint system (strange how the memory improves using this site!) I'll post them with other photo's when I work out how! At the time the Bay boats were all steam turbine ships, but not long after the tubines gave way to diesels-must have been during the early 80's. I'm sure someone out there knows when???

26th October 2005, 10:35
Hello Allan
Yes, I thought they went deisel around that time. Look forward to seeing your pics! (Thumb)

26th October 2005, 15:37
Thanks Redhead6, for info, never sailed with Baileys, all manually controlled on my ships !!.

13th November 2005, 13:48
Correct Readhead6,
Kowloon Bay, as built with Swedish Stal-Laval steam turbines. with double reduction gearing to twin screws. From Oct 81 two, eight cylinder Sulzer diesels manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, Kobe, Japan. 50,880 BHP. How they got those roof fired boilers out I'll never know.

All the best lads.

13th November 2005, 14:55
First I saw of these was when app. at Scptts' of Greenock when building the Caltex Edinburgh in 1956. The engineers said they were the bees knees, but never sailed with them. It was usually two and half turns open on the feed control valve, and another bit for luck!

15th November 2005, 00:05
I must have done some work on the Caltex Edinburgh, went on so many in the 60's & 70's and again in the 90's although VLCC by then. It was good gear when set up right. The problem was that quite often we never had enough time to optimise the systems properly and had to leave the vessels half done. It meant that the gear got cursed when it shold not have!

Jim S
29th January 2006, 19:03
I sailed on only two ships with Bailey Control Systems - Elders & Fyffes Chicanoa of 1958 and Camito of 1956. Both turbine steamers the latter twin screw. On Chicanoa the boiler control system worked well. However when I joined Camito it was not functioning at all. After a great deal of perseverence the Chief and I managed to get it working to control boiler pressure but never achieved complete combustion control.
Most of the problem was that air was taken off the general duty air compressors which had a hard time of it supplying air for the Babcock Air Puff sootblowers which operated 24 hours/day at sea sequentially on the three Babcock header type boilers. There is no doubt in my mind that a separate "Instrument/Control" air compressor with oil separators and driers would have prevented the deterioration that had taken place.
Short of a diaphragm for one of the relays the Chief formed one from a Durex!
Even controlling only the boiler pressure by means of oil fuel pressure to the burners some gain in service speed could be made over reliance on the will of the watchkeeping firemen.

10th November 2006, 17:16
Only turbine ship I ever sailed on with a "baily board" was the Athel Chief
and from what I can remember we never had any major problems.
Kind regards

neil maclachlan
10th November 2006, 22:13
Hi Gang,
I sailed on two tankers belonging to Stanvac Transportation Company, both with Baily Control boards. The first one built by Mitsubishi in Japan, and she was a nightmare, she had Brown Curtis turbines and Mitsubishi
auxiluaries, which were a headache from day one. The other the "Stanvac India" built by "Cammel Lairds", and ran like a Swiss Watch,the way we all thought turbines should run. Easiest ship I ever sailed on, and her Bailey Board was am engineers dream come true.
Neil Mac.

11th November 2006, 09:22
Shell Tankers of 50's and 60's, V, H and (I think) A Class turbine tankers (Gentlemen's engineering) all had Bailey Boards for combustion control. They worked - more or less - as long as the pneumatic air supply lasted.

H Class tankers had a reciprocating harbour feed pump which was only used for flashing-up after drydock or an emergency and could be run on air or steam. The steam and air supplies to the pump were isolated from one another by an in-line blank. One particular vessel ran the pump on air until the plant was up and running, got the main feed pumps running and shut down the harbour feed pump. Unfortunately, somebody forgot to replace the in-line blank and the steam and air valves leaked....

Like the Ustinov story, the steam pressure was now greater than the air line pressure and the instrument and service airlines were common. Back up the airlines went the very hot steam - all the way to the Bailey Board with its multiple rubber diaphragms and hoses. It was far, far, too late when somebody asked, "What's that burning smell?"

16th November 2006, 15:26
Great story about the steam/air mix up. Would have cleaned out the shitty air supply lines though. Excuse the engineers language! Worked on a few of the "A" &"H" class vessels.


Joe Whelan
20th November 2006, 16:03
Sailed on several T2s with Bailey Boards , only minor problems.

Allan Wareing
21st November 2006, 14:34
Great story about the steam/air mix up. Would have cleaned out the shitty air supply lines though. Excuse the engineers language! Worked on a few of the "A" &"H" class vessels.


Dont quite know how I found myself in this thread but it brought back memories of Shells clapped-out T.2 Tomogerus in 1957.
The engineers were always moaning about the ' Hagen Board ', as mate I usually carried a few tons of fresh water ' hidden away ' for the chief.

John Mepham
23rd November 2006, 17:16
I never sailed on a ship with Bailey controls, but after I left the navy I had a
job with a boiler engineering firm, who did maintainance on both power station and factory boilers, part of the annual survey involved stripping and
servicing the Bailey's, I finnished up being offered a job by the Bailey Manchester depot, including company car, but the pay was rubbish so I just
carried on swearing at boilers.