RAS Methods

NickNZ
26th April 2010, 08:31
Having studied the photo of astern RAS-ing in the photo gallery, and getting a clarification from Hill-Shepherd.
I would like to know & understand more about the pro's & con's of each method.
Can astern RAS be done at a higher speed than abeam?
Are the risks of collision lower in astern RAS ?
In abeam RAS, I assume a maximum of 2 ships can be refuelled at a time?
Are all RFA's equipped for astern RAS? (Apart from Dry Goods)
Has a submarine ever been Rass-ed at sea?

Lancastrian
26th April 2010, 09:49
1. No. the standard speed for both is 12 knots.
2. Yes. But collisions are rare anyway, and are usually no more than minor scrapes.
3. Yes though depending on size they can each recieve two rigs with several hoses on each. (Dieso/Avcat/Luboil/Water). I have never seen 2 ships astern attempted.
4. Used to be. The conventional stern rig has been/ is being replaced by the Hudson Reel but Shaun will have to confirm current policy.
5. No. Anyway they are all nukes these days.

Since Abeam rigs were developed during and after WW2 they have proved to be the best method for reasons explained by Hillshepherd. They are much quicker and time is important as ships are vulnerable during RAS in war. Stern rigs have been retained as a foul weather alternative (and cheap conversion) but I wouldnt be surprised if they are phased out and I for one wouldnt miss them!

Andrew Craig-Bennett
26th April 2010, 10:46
Possibly irrelevant, but I recall that Jimmy Lough told me that Salvesens used astern RAS between tanker and whale factory; this was a two way job as the tanker having supplied fuel had to clean to receive whale oil, (which would not be my idea of a bundle of fun!).

hillshepherd
26th April 2010, 12:00
Lancastrian - RAS speed. Connie (Constantine) used to boast about a 20 knot carrier RAS in a TIDE - not sure which one, he served in both old and improved. Anyone else heard of this - not sure the TIDES could go as fast as that and it would not leave much steam for the turbo pumps !

BelliniTosi
26th April 2010, 13:48
2. Yes. But collisions are rare anyway, and are usually no more than minor scrapes.



But when they do happen, it can be brown trouser time.

HMS Penelope and Canadian oiler HMCS Preserver, September 1988. having
a bit of a bump.

Billieboy
26th April 2010, 15:22
Whoops! back her up a bit Chief!

Lancastrian
26th April 2010, 19:20
Lancastrian - RAS speed. Connie (Constantine) used to boast about a 20 knot carrier RAS in a TIDE - not sure which one, he served in both old and improved. Anyone else heard of this - not sure the TIDES could go as fast as that and it would not leave much steam for the turbo pumps !

Sounds like a Crack me Charlie yarn to me. Fastest I can recall was 14.

Steve Oatey
26th April 2010, 22:52
But when they do happen, it can be brown trouser time.

HMS Penelope and Canadian oiler HMCS Preserver, September 1988. having
a bit of a bump.

Lucky they had the fenders out (!)

McCloggie
26th April 2010, 23:23
Since Abeam rigs were developed during and after WW2 they have proved to be the best method for reasons explained by Hillshepherd. They are much quicker and time is important as ships are vulnerable during RAS in war. Stern rigs have been retained as a foul weather alternative (and cheap conversion) but I wouldnt be surprised if they are phased out and I for one wouldnt miss them!

In the wonderful world of floating production we use stern offloading from the FPSO through a hose normally stored on a reel.

As I write this however I realise that while in the North Sea we discharge via the stern offloading hose to shuttle tankers with a bow loading system, this is not the case in other places and although we might run a hose from the stern, we could and do often discharge to a conventional midships manifold tanker - which is still normally based astern of the FPSO.

Normally in these cases you are considering two stationary ships, maybe assisted by tugs.

In my time, I only came across midships RAS from the RFA so a couple of questions.

In RFA/RAS terms when you say "stern rig" are both ships under way or do you have to stop?

Is the loading to the midships manifold, is there a way of transferring to a bow manifold or does the receiving ship have to run hoses from the bow to the main loading points?

McC

Lancastrian
27th April 2010, 21:17
In my time, I only came across midships RAS from the RFA so a couple of questions.

In RFA/RAS terms when you say "stern rig" are both ships under way or do you have to stop?

Is the loading to the midships manifold, is there a way of transferring to a bow manifold or does the receiving ship have to run hoses from the bow to the main loading points?

McC

Both ships are underway, normally at 12 knots. A marker buoy is streamed to help the receiving ship keep station. The hoseline is grappled and when the hose is heaved in it forms a bight.
Tankers have stern manifolds and receiving ships have fuel connections on or near the focsle.

Brian Twyman
28th April 2010, 06:05
Both ships are underway, normally at 12 knots. A marker buoy is streamed to help the receiving ship keep station. The hoseline is grappled and when the hose is heaved in it forms a bight.
Tankers have stern manifolds and receiving ships have fuel connections on or near the focsle.

In my RFA days 1959-63 we often carried out astern RAS whilst up off Iceland during the first 'Cod War' This was purely because bad weather prevented the abeam method, and the ships needed fuel. Standing aft in shelter I always felt worry for the guys on their focsle shipping greenies.

We also used the astern method in RFA Cherryleaf when we refuelled HMS Protector way down in the South Atlantic ...... we had no abeam rigs but always carried hoses for an astern rig.

I can confirm that in RFA Tideflow we could do no more than about 15 knots for RAS.

Cheers to you later RFA guys ! .... nice ships now.

Brian

dab
28th April 2010, 13:36
Regarding the speed of Tides (improved). On Tidepool in 64 we we received a SOS from a Japanise fishing vessel. Joe Dines, the master requested all available speed from the engine room. The duty 3rd eng contacted the Ch/Eng, George Burnett, and he refused to open up the extra nozzles on the turbine unless the master signed for the main engine makers warranty as the engine had not yet had its first years inspection! We steamed for about 4 hours flat out and averaged 21 knots plus. We were then informed the Japanese vessel had sunk. Connie was 2nd/eng at this time!

kaybee
29th April 2010, 21:06
I was on the Tidesurge in '71 for 10 months, I remember we did only 1 stern RAS. The hose's that were laid out on the deck made a great seat whilst having a fag, aft of the red demarcation line of course, what made me smile though, was that when we took onboard avgas the line was moved further aft a few feet because it was so flammable. I think the worst job of RASing was on the telephone or distance lines that us boy ratings had to endure, especially the night RASes. To be on the distance line at night was made worse because small lights with batteries were fitted to the line to enable both captains to see how far apart the ships were. I wonder, are these still used with today's technology? Funny, we rescued a Japanese fishing boat, we had to secure a 4" hose to 45 gallon drums and floated it across to give them water, in thanks, they gave all involved a Yucca plant, of course nobody had ever seen one of these before and all thought them very strange indeed. As for 12 knots, I don't think Tidesurge ever reached that speed. On our two week work up before we went to the Far East, we had the opposite to a collision, we were RASing HMS Leopard; orders got mixed up some how, she turned 10 degrees to port and we turned 5 degrees, well you can imagine the scene the lads slacking the hose winches off hell for leather to no avail and the hose pulling out of HMS Leopard. Great day's, fond memories.

NickNZ
29th April 2010, 22:10
As an aside to all these interesting reminisences.
Can anybody tell me if there is any nrecord of the most ships refuelled (liquid or otherwise) at one tiime? Or the most ships in a givgen period?
I hasten to add that I have ordered the book "RFA:The Fourth Service", and very much look forward to receiving it, and finding out much more about this essential commodity.

slick
30th April 2010, 06:32
All,
Somewhere in my loft I have a Table of the Replenishments carried out by the Olmeda during one month of the Falklands War, I seem to remember it was in excess of 150 the majority carried out in "Blackout Conditions" all the ships are listed.
The Olmeda was part of what was disparagingly called by some (who should have known better) the "Far East Fleet" and that personnel serving in her should not of been awarded the South Atlantic Medal.
I believe that the Excocet attack on the Sheffield was carried out by aircraft armed with two Excocets both of which were launched, one of which struck the Sheffield the other I believe "splashed" astern of the Olmeda.


Yours aye,

slick

George.GM
30th April 2010, 08:10
In 1961,on an exercise in the Moray Firth, Wave Chief (Capt W Town) refuelled 22 ships in one day.
At the end of the period, the Admiral asked "how many ships did you fuel yesterday?"
We replied "22".
After a long pause he said "name them".

Lancastrian
30th April 2010, 09:42
Kaybee, the battery driven lights on the distance line have been replaced by chemical lightsticks, but the line itself is more reliable than any modern technology provided its kept taught!
Nick, you will find it worth the money. Anyone else looking for one, you can click through to it on Amazon from HERE (http://www.rfaaplymouth.org/plymnews.htm)

Pat Kennedy
30th April 2010, 10:05
As an aside to all these interesting reminisences.
Can anybody tell me if there is any nrecord of the most ships refuelled (liquid or otherwise) at one tiime? Or the most ships in a givgen period?
I hasten to add that I have ordered the book "RFA:The Fourth Service", and very much look forward to receiving it, and finding out much more about this essential commodity.

Nick,
Another book well worth reading is 'No Sea Too Rough' by Geoff Puddefoot.
It is the story of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in the Falklands War.
Contact Hill Shepherd for details.
It really is a splendid and informative read.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

Lancastrian
30th April 2010, 10:14
That can also be obtained at bargain prices on the link above and also HERE (http://www.rfa-association.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=107&Itemid=40)
Notable for its excellent photos supplied by certain contributors to this thread, even if we didnt get proper credits.

lesbryan
30th April 2010, 10:57
In my RFA days 1959-63 we often carried out astern RAS whilst up off Iceland during the first 'Cod War' This was purely because bad weather prevented the abeam method, and the ships needed fuel. Standing aft in shelter I always felt worry for the guys on their focsle shipping greenies.

We also used the astern method in RFA Cherryleaf when we refuelled HMS Protector way down in the South Atlantic ...... we had no abeam rigs but always carried hoses for an astern rig.

I can confirm that in RFA Tideflow we could do no more than about 15 knots for RAS.

Cheers to you later RFA guys ! .... nice ships now.

Brian

When in the mob we have at times rased fuel FFO at fifteen from the RFA's .these were done more so when on excirecises whils on patrols it was more like between 5 8 or so especialy on biera

NickNZ
30th April 2010, 11:40
Thanks PK, and Lancastrian for the tips, I shall look out for both.

I have to say, that when growing up in Torpoint, I often watched the (to me) huge RFA's at Yonderberry. Yet due to family ties, was more drawn to the RN.
This website, has corrected that slight imbalance of interest.
Oh, and when 'helping out' my uncles on the tugs, Hebe was a most popular visit when she sat at a buoy, because of the goodies which seemed to come from her galley every time we called on her.

Lancastrian
30th April 2010, 11:51
Yes it was well understood that if you wanted any afloat services from the Dockyard, you had to feed them first!(==D)

Slick, I'm sure that the suggestion the the "FEF" should be awarded the Burma Star instead was only meant as a joke!

hillshepherd
1st May 2010, 07:01
NickNZ - a 'must have' book for RFA enthusiasts is A CENTURY OF SERVICE, a book written by Adams and Smith and published jointly by the RFA Association to mark the RFA Centenary in 2005. You can get a copy through Pat Thompson or Lancastrian (using their web sites). In the trade this book is regarded as the successor to 'Sigwart', the first definitive work of reference on the RFA.
As for RAS records, I offer up one I took part in in 1961 during the first kerfuffle over Iraq/Kuwait. RFA Fort Charlotte replenished a carrier (HMS Victorious, I think) at a rate of 120 loads an hour - using two jackstay rigs at 60 loads each. That was down to very skilled pre-staging on rollers, the skill of the Chinese deck crew, and the old original steam cargo winches. We must have spent millions trying to find our way back to that 'holy grail ' of RAS but never got near it !

xieriftips
29th May 2010, 18:08
Sounds like a Crack me Charlie yarn to me. Fastest I can recall was 14.

Yup, but there were occasions. . . . When I was 2/O on Olmeda we RASed 'Tigger' on her way to an urgent appointment; kicked off at 12kt and got her up to 20, by which time 'Tigger' reckoned she was burning fuel as fast as we were pumping it to her! I think she survived about a year after that op. (A)

LouisB
9th June 2010, 18:01
Lucky they had the fenders out (!)

I must admit that in eleven years with the RFA I saw a couple of scrapes - usually caused by undertow and lack of power - but no collisions. Quick lick of paint with a bit of chippy work and all forgotten.


LouisB

onestar
9th June 2010, 20:34
My personal preference was to carry out refuelling downwind, provided the tactical circumstances allowed. It reduced the strain on the gear, as well as making it much easier for the men on deck. Chosen speed was 14 or 15 knots. One did surf to a certain degree, but I found it could be done in fairly marginal conditions.
Light jackstays, between destroyers/frigates could be done at 18 to 20 knots, in good weather. That was the fastest I ever did, anyway!

Graybeard
5th September 2010, 14:00
NickNZ - a 'must have' book for RFA enthusiasts is A CENTURY OF SERVICE, a book written by Adams and Smith and published jointly by the RFA Association to mark the RFA Centenary in 2005. You can get a copy through Pat Thompson or Lancastrian (using their web sites). In the trade this book is regarded as the successor to 'Sigwart', the first definitive work of reference on the RFA.
As for RAS records, I offer up one I took part in in 1961 during the first kerfuffle over Iraq/Kuwait. RFA Fort Charlotte replenished a carrier (HMS Victorious, I think) at a rate of 120 loads an hour - using two jackstay rigs at 60 loads each. That was down to very skilled pre-staging on rollers, the skill of the Chinese deck crew, and the old original steam cargo winches. We must have spent millions trying to find our way back to that 'holy grail ' of RAS but never got near it !

Yesterday on FORT ROSALIE, we could see she had 2 Mk 1's up forward, one old-fashioned jackstay aft, and no Mk 2's to be seen. All those years "trying". CHARLOTTE's famous record was generally reckoned to be ubeatable by 1982. Many people knew the development was in the wrong direction. The variable top whatsit was the one to devope but it wasn't glamorous as we all followed the fashion with hydraulic control systems. Today it might be electronic and probably electric servo-motors on high quality steel sliders and pulleys, very "deck".

Graybeard
5th September 2010, 14:31
Yup, but there were occasions. . . . When I was 2/O on Olmeda we RASed 'Tigger' on her way to an urgent appointment; kicked off at 12kt and got her up to 20, by which time 'Tigger' reckoned she was burning fuel as fast as we were pumping it to her! I think she survived about a year after that op. (A)
In summer 1966 OLEANDER RASed TIGER with with an FO aboard, Second in Command Home Fleet I think was the title.
The RAS started at 12 knots and then went up in stages to 20 knots, with conversations bewteen Capt Ditchburn and the Admiral, as I remember it.
It was done with caution by people who had inate confidence in what they were doing. Quite exciting for a first trip cadet too. I think we did something similar 3 times in 18 months and then it never happened again, for me.