Derrick topping winches

japottinger
2nd July 2010, 22:00
Hoping some of the topside lads can help. Trying to figure out the arrangement whereby topping winches topped up the derricks. As far as I can recall the derrick hoist was taken down and a a few turns around the drum of the topping winch and the tail led to the in line nearest cargo winch barrel which then hoisted the derrick. The topping winch had a braking arrgt. with a lever engaging in checks in the outer barrel which allowed the derrick to be set at required height. Question is did it rely only on this to take the load, or was the lift wire taken off the winch barrel and secured to standing part with a clip. Cannot quite imagine the load was taken by a few turn around the topping winch barrel only . I note on the GA of Mathura the topping winch had a dividing plate on the barrel, was the topping lift tail would on one section and another short length around the other section and then to the cargo winch barrel.

randcmackenzie
2nd July 2010, 22:57
Yes, in the arrangement you describe the weight was taken by the pawl and ratchet on the topping winch.

There were many other arrangements, one of the best was a central winch with dog clutches to topping drum and runner drum.

To top a derrick you:

Disengaged the runner clutch, and put the drum brake on lightly, the runner being left shackled on deck.
Engaged the topping winch clutch, and hove away.

The topping lift winch had a ratchet bar engaging in the pawls on the drum sides, when you clanked up to the desired height, the weight was taken by the pawls and bar.

Disengage topping winch clutch.
Engage runner barrel, take off the brake, and its ready.

B/R.

Boatman25
3rd July 2010, 00:17
Mr japottinger,

On the ships I was on, to raise the derrick, we put the topping lift to the nearest cargo winch barrel, raised the derrick, chain stoppered the topping lift, took it off the barrel of the winch then cleated it and finished with a stout whammy around the turns to keep the topping lift tight on the cleats. Job done.

To lower the derrick, we surged the topping lift around the cleats and lowered onto the supports.

Pat Thompson
3rd July 2010, 00:31
Greetings,

I think you are talking about "Jason Topping Gear".

Marcus C. Smith
3rd July 2010, 16:11
On the "Beacon" boats we had topping lift arrangements consisting of chain and wire topping lift combined with a "monkey plate", (a triangular steel plate with shackles at each apex). The topping lift was shackled below the topping lift block to the "Monkey Plate" to which a length of open link chain was shackled and led to the deck eyebolts. Connected to the third eye on the Monkey Plate was the bull wire.To top or lower the derrick, sufficient length was slacked off the cargo runner drum, topping lift bull-wire then turned up on the side drum and weight taken sufficient to be able to release the chain shackles. The bull wire slacked/heaved until derrick correct height, closest chain link selected to re-shackle to deck. Eased the weight off the topping lift wire, weight taken by chains/topping lift. Job done. Seemed a pretty efficient and reliable system to me but did require the bull wires to be hanging around permanently at each derrick.

E.Martin
3rd July 2010, 16:56
What no preventers?
Just before I came ashore we stopped useing chain stoppers on derricks,we used I think they were called Mackissek Stoppers?,any old sailor remember them?

Nick Balls
3rd July 2010, 17:51
McKissick gear is still made & used , mainly snatch blocks.(Used a lot on supply vessels.) and also hooks and gear used offshore. Now part of the Crosby group
On the SD14 cargo boats a separate topping winch for the topping lift with drop down pawl was used. I have also seen the monkey face arrangement using a steel cable with tulurit ferrels in place of the chain.

Octavius
3rd July 2010, 19:49
Topping Lift gear fell broadly into three camps.
Randmac, MCS describe the first two. The third was the topping lift itself being taken to the drum end being first stoppered off by a chain stopper 'Cow hitch'....a must. The topping lifts themselves were made up on cleats or bitts depending on company. Lowering was simply surging the topping lift wire around the bitts or cleats.

randcmackenzie
3rd July 2010, 23:49
All methods very common - the ultimate luxury in the heyday of derrick rigged cargo ships was a separate winch for the topping lift with its own drive motor.

Pat Kennedy
4th July 2010, 00:01
All methods very common - the ultimate luxury in the heyday of derrick rigged cargo ships was a separate winch for the topping lift with its own drive motor.

We called them "Dolly Winches" for some reason, but they were very handy and a great improvement on the methods described earlier.
regards,
Pat(Wave)

Billieboy
4th July 2010, 10:59
I learned my rigging ashore, mostly in Barry when we were changing out cradle hoist rams and cylinders, these were a total weight of about 70tons and were lifted and moved out and in the frame work of the static coal tips by means of snatch blocks, hydraulic capstans and about a mile of 6inch wire, one capstan was on the main hoist and another one, or sometimes two, to tail the lift out and in. The ram and cylinder unit usually arrived on a flat bed rail truck, requiring the unit to be moved as much as 100yards using sky hooks over roads and water.

After a couple of those jobs, derrick topping and winch operating was quite simple.

michael charters
4th July 2010, 15:04
any Ideas of the 'SAN FRANCISCO' rig. Did they use two derrecks in tandem. one block decending as the other accends? one lifting from hold. the other loading on dock side, and vice verser? Was this a common practice?

Pat Kennedy
4th July 2010, 17:28
any Ideas of the 'SAN FRANCISCO' rig. Did they use two derrecks in tandem. one block decending as the other accends? one lifting from hold. the other loading on dock side, and vice verser? Was this a common practice?

Michael,
There is a plan of the Frisco Rig in the gallery here;

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/133337/title/frisco-rig/cat/501
Followed by some enlightening comments from members.
Regards,
Pat(Wave)

japottinger
4th July 2010, 23:29
Yes, in the arrangement you describe the weight was taken by the pawl and ratchet on the topping winch.

There were many other arrangements, one of the best was a central winch with dog clutches to topping drum and runner drum.

To top a derrick you:

Disengaged the runner clutch, and put the drum brake on lightly, the runner being left shackled on deck.
Engaged the topping winch clutch, and hove away.

The topping lift winch had a ratchet bar engaging in the pawls on the drum sides, when you clanked up to the desired height, the weight was taken by the pawls and bar.

Disengage topping winch clutch.
Engage runner barrel, take off the brake, and its ready.

B/R.

Mnay thanks for response lads. Still with topping winches my thoughts are if the tail end of the runner was not secured there must have been quite a few turns around the barrel of the topping winch to prevent them unwinding and running off.
As said with the split barrel on the topping winch am I right in saying that a length of wire was used around this section and led to the cargo winch drum to provide the pull to rotate it and wind on the derrick topping lift on to the other section of the topping winch.

I am familiar with the "Monkey Face" arrgt. of length of chain hooked to a deck eyebolt when the derrick was raised to required height.

R798780
5th July 2010, 00:03
Jim
The arrangement on the Moss Tankers was with a topping winch. The topping purchase wire was on one side of the winch and a smaller (12mm I think) wire on the other side. This smaller wire was turned round the drum end of a winch and drawing that smaller wire drew down the 21 or 24mm wire to top the derrick.

There was a pawl on one side of the winch which was engaged by a heavy round bar. Lowering the derrick involved an AB holding the bar up while the small wire was surged on the drum end or lowered with winch power. Winch power was only actually required to disengage the pawl.

The fun started when, after years of service, the end plates or bearings wore and or perhaps the whole topping winch bent over (they were only about half inch steel when new), and the small wire rode over the barrel end plate and engaged on the much smaller diameter of the axle. At some point, probably when the derrick got below 30 degrees, physics said that the tension exceeded the breaking strain and there was a loud bang as the derrick head met the deck. [ Durban 1985 0r 1987 ] Then when Ro-Ro Marine [was it Peter Rohr ??] had rebuilt the winch frame and re-installed it we couldn't extract the wire clamp bolt from the barrel. Chief Engineer Mike Alport with his trusty gas axe first freed off the bolt, then when it would not emerge ( I tried and he confirmed) he burnt it out. Ah! fun and games !!!

I don't however, recall seeing that system on the steamships, and I can't recall what the topping winches were on (MV - 1963) Mahout. Topping purchase wire on the steamships was led through a deck (snatch) block to the drum end and then stoppered off and turned up on the cleats on the mast or samson post as described above.

jmcg
5th July 2010, 00:48
It was best practice to run the runner off before topping the derricks. Not always practised however. Some would leave the runner on and lead the topping wire under the outer winch drum. The topping would have the effect of running the runner off its drum - but it required the attention of another man to coil it. The dogging mechanism to the runner drum was prone to damage where the reduced wire eye splice was fixed (bent on). Usually as a result of riding turns but sometimes a bas***d to get off.

The triangluar plate referred to earlier was often seen and used on tramps.

The bitts offered much, much more integrity and security than cleats. On Farcados (EDs) I saw and witnessed a derrick drop from topped position to deck in a second or two. He lost it completely.


BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

Wanstead
5th July 2010, 13:24
The triangluar plate referred to earlier was often seen and used on tramps.

The bitts offered much, much more integrity and security than cleats.

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

ref Monkeys face (triangular plate) common in tramps

Cleats were outright dangerous.

Most important was to have a system. OK in certain companies that carried permanent staff but, can you imagine the chaos of new members leaving less turns that expected on a set of bitts.

jmcg
5th July 2010, 14:42
Three turns below and two on top - save for lowering derrricks when some removed a turn below the lug piece. It was a matter of experience whether or not to practice it. Heavy SWL 10 ton + derricks with many parts of topping lift wire one could generally safely lower on two parts below but one would need to be recognisant of the overall increasing force of the derrick as it was lowered.

When one reflects on the amount of derrick watches stood in round the clock ports it is little wonder that not more serious calamaties occurred.

On one GP crewed Jebsens geared bulker I was on the Old Man (Capt Ronnie Safe) would not entertain non deck crowd operating the Hallen Swinging Derricks. There were just 3 of us ABs including the Bosun. The Mates and cadets were supporters but no other non deck crowd. A nightmare rigging and re-rigging after/during pig iron d/c. Capt. Safe rewarded us well for the many many hours we spent on overhauls and repairs.


BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

Pat Kennedy
5th July 2010, 15:48
John,
I had a(friendly) online dispute a couple of years ago with Bill Davies about how many turns on the bitts while lowering a derrick. My recollection was three below the lip, and Bill's was two.
Glad to see you recall three as well.
Regards,
Pat

jmcg
5th July 2010, 15:54
Oh yes - but dear old Bill was a swashbuckler who came good in the end!

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

jmcg
5th July 2010, 16:32
An earlier posting referred to preventers. These were used as an additional guy support and to my knowledge were not part of the general topping lift arrangements.


Preventers took many shapes and guises - from a simple redundant runner wire suitably spliced and finished to wire endless "rings" and laterly galvanised chains. These were heavy and awkward gear that fouled and caught on everthing in their way. The H class vessels in the China had the chains in abundance. Rather than set them fair fore and aft for the long passage home it was permissable to derig them from the pennants and store them in the masthouses. Even JB on Hector detested their very existance.

BW

J

Wanstead
5th July 2010, 17:28
The point I was making was that whatever is decided upon must be adhered to. Accidents happen when people leave turns off and the subsequent user expects a certain amount.
Imagine lowering a derrick in the pitch black and thinking you have (x) turns only to find you have (x-1). She will run!

Preventers have nothing to do with topping lifts!

ALLAN WILD
5th July 2010, 17:51
What no preventers?
Just before I came ashore we stopped useing chain stoppers on derricks,we used I think they were called Mackissek Stoppers?,any old sailor remember them?
Stoppers!!!!
Afew of the old trampers I was on we just got the three biggest ABs to swing on the toping wire while it was made fast.

joebuckham
5th July 2010, 18:40
Stoppers!!!!
Afew of the old trampers I was on we just got the three biggest ABs to swing on the toping wire while it was made fast.

you must have been in some good feeders(*))

Pat Kennedy
5th July 2010, 19:28
Stoppers!!!!
Afew of the old trampers I was on we just got the three biggest ABs to swing on the toping wire while it was made fast.

There is an ex Blue Funnel AB, (who is a respected member of SN), who I saw take the bull rope off the drum end, which was rove through a gob block aloft, and had the jumbo purchase blocks attached, without thinking what he was doing. The blocks came down and he went up, rather like that story concerning the bucket of bricks.
The rest of us were able to grab the rope and save his bacon, but not his dignity, and he got some good natured ribbing for the rest of the trip, because, then ,as now, he was a popular character.
Regards,
Pat(Wave)

Trader
5th July 2010, 19:28
John,
I had a(friendly) online dispute a couple of years ago with Bill Davies about how many turns on the bitts while lowering a derrick. My recollection was three below the lip, and Bill's was two.
Glad to see you recall three as well.
Regards,
Pat

I remember that dispute with Bill Pat. My recollection was three on the bottom, two on the top then cross turns all tied up with a wammy.

Alec.

muldonaich
5th July 2010, 19:29
John,
I had a(friendly) online dispute a couple of years ago with Bill Davies about how many turns on the bitts while lowering a derrick. My recollection was three below the lip, and Bill's was two.
Glad to see you recall three as well.
Regards,
Patalways three pat rgds kev.

Pat Kennedy
5th July 2010, 19:33
On the "Beacon" boats we had topping lift arrangements consisting of chain and wire topping lift combined with a "monkey plate", (a triangular steel plate with shackles at each apex). The topping lift was shackled below the topping lift block to the "Monkey Plate" to which a length of open link chain was shackled and led to the deck eyebolts. Connected to the third eye on the Monkey Plate was the bull wire.To top or lower the derrick, sufficient length was slacked off the cargo runner drum, topping lift bull-wire then turned up on the side drum and weight taken sufficient to be able to release the chain shackles. The bull wire slacked/heaved until derrick correct height, closest chain link selected to re-shackle to deck. Eased the weight off the topping lift wire, weight taken by chains/topping lift. Job done. Seemed a pretty efficient and reliable system to me but did require the bull wires to be hanging around permanently at each derrick.

Marcus,
it was a very good system, but it would only work properly on single span topping lifts.
Pat(Wave)

Wanstead
6th July 2010, 12:53
Stoppers!!!!
Afew of the old trampers I was on we just got the three biggest ABs to swing on the toping wire while it was made fast.

When a derrick is topped up to it's full extent there is hardly any weight! The smallest of the sailors could hold it.

Klaatu83
6th July 2010, 14:22
The old ships I started out on had only one winch for each cargo boom, and that operated the cargo runner. However, the winch also had a gypsy head beside the winch drum, and that was used to hoist the topping lift. Each topping lift actually had two ends secured together by a union plate, one a wire and the other a chain. The procedure was to slack off the runner from the drum, secure the topping lift wire to the gypsy head, and use that to hoist the topping lift to the desired height. Then the topping lift chain was shackled to a padeye on deck, after which the topping lift wire could be slacked off from the gypsy head. Once the topping lift wire was removed from the gypsy head one could resume using the runner. It was more complicated than having a separate winch for the topping lift but one had to bear in mine that, in those days, time wasn't so pressing and people were less expensive than machines.

Pat Kennedy
6th July 2010, 14:28
The old ships I started out on had only one winch for each cargo boom, and that operated the cargo runner. However, the winch also had a gypsy head beside the winch drum, and that was used to hoist the topping lift. Each topping lift actually had two ends secured together by a union plate, one a wire and the other a chain. The procedure was to slack off the runner from the drum, secure the topping lift wire to the gypsy head, and use that to hoist the topping lift to the desired height. Then the topping lift chain was shackled to a padeye on deck, after which the topping lift wire could be slacked off from the gypsy head. Once the topping lift wire was removed from the gypsy head one could resume using the runner. It was more complicated than having a separate winch for the topping lift but one had to bear in mine that, in those days, time wasn't so pressing and people were less expensive than machines.
Klaatu
Gypsy head being US speak for drum end?
Pat

Klaatu83
6th July 2010, 14:59
Klaatu
Gypsy head being US speak for drum end?
Pat

Interesting point, I suppose it is. I've always heard it referred to on shipboard as a "gypsy head". I happen to know that in the "bad old days" it was known as a "n----- head", although that term had fallen out of common usage before I ever started going to sea, and was expressly forbidden. However, presumably the People of the Romany Persuasion have no civil rights organizations through which to raise objections, so the term "gypsy head" still remains in regular use.

E.Martin
6th July 2010, 15:04
Klaatu
Gypsy head being US speak for drum end?
Pat

Thanks Pat for enlightening me what Gypsy head means the only Gypsy I can recall was on the Windlass.
How can a Drum End or Whip End become Gypsy Head on a British ship?
Any AB worth his salt would not have to be told how many turns would be needed to top or lower any derrick.
Question? do modern ships still use canvas if so do they carry a sewing machine.
Way back was giving a palm some twine, bee's wax,canvas, was told to make a cover for some wire,I had never used a palm and needle,I was told the differance
between a flat seam and a round seam and was left to get on with it,eventually the cover was made and it was all part of sailorizing,a experience for me which I used later as a rigger
to repair Lifeboat covers and mizzens on trawlers.
Walking along the quay any ship you passed you would weigh up its derrick system,biggest surprise I got as I approached a coaster his derrick was topped,the only wire in sight was the runner,all the rest of the gear was hydraulic.

Wanstead
7th July 2010, 10:04
Any AB worth his salt would not have to be told how many turns would be needed to top or lower any derrick.
.

A sweeping statement. Any system requires procedures. All this talk about two or three turns above or below the lip is fine as long as everyone concerned knows it and individuals to not exercise editorial licence. That's when disasters happen.

Wanstead
14th July 2010, 10:41
I thought I posted this several days ago.
I am having difficulty with agreeing posts 26 & 27 above.
The position of the topping lift lead block to the bitts is all important. The lead needs to be at the same level of the lower part of the bits (above base). Surely the fewer turns the better. Two turns below the lip have a far less likelihood of jamming than three.

Pat Kennedy
14th July 2010, 19:23
Wanstead,
I had this disagreement over a year ago with Bill Davies, and we eventually agreed to disagree.
I learned how to lower a derrick when I was JOS from a very well respected Blue Funnel bosun.
Bill Davies likewise.
He was taught two turns, I was taught three, on the clear understanding that you could always throw off one turn if the derrick didn't want to come down, but that it was a damn sight harder to throw a turn on if the derrick started to run away with you.
Thats the way I did it, and the way I always saw it done.
Best Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

jmcg
14th July 2010, 20:21
It was always 3 below the lip and two above - then a figure of eight finished off with a rope yarn (whammy. )That was my training and contuining understanding of derrick work.

There should be no reason why the wire would "jam" when lowering unless it was previously kinked. Granted too many turns would reduce the fall rate but if it "jammed" it could prove difficullt and time consuming - never mind your ego.

Believe it or not I have seen so called experienced seamen attempting to wrap the topping wire to the bitts anti-clockwise. That was on a Harrison job- Scholar.


BW


J(Gleam)

Mike S
15th July 2010, 03:40
Three below and then crossed on top and tied off.

On the NZS/Fed ships we also had a wedge brake and the wire ran through between the bits and the lower block. This made things very safe as one lifted the brake, lowered on the bits and set the derrick on the brake. Once the correct height was achieved the bits were turned up and the brake lifted to put the weight on the bits. Then the brake was put back on and away you went.

Sounds complicated but two AB's and winch-man per derrick could flatten out a hatch very quickly.

Billieboy
15th July 2010, 06:41
Failure of the derrick to, "fall", off the topped position, is nearly always due to lack of greasing/lubrication of the topping blocks and/or pintle, and foot pins. I never could understand deckies who allowed these areas to become red with rust.

Mike S
15th July 2010, 07:02
I honestly never saw that on any ship I sailed on. The gear was lowered and overhauled after every coast, home and overseas. Often it had hardly been used on the UK coast as cranes were used but it did not matter..........down it all came.

However that was a looooooooooong time ago now. !950'60's.

Pat Kennedy
15th July 2010, 08:33
Failure of the derrick to, "fall", off the topped position, is nearly always due to lack of greasing/lubrication of the topping blocks and/or pintle, and foot pins. I never could understand deckies who allowed these areas to become red with rust.
Never happen on a Bluey, the running gear was comprehensively overhauled every voyage outward bound between Liverpool and Port Said.
Pat

jmcg
15th July 2010, 10:07
Mike S
As familiar to us in the China too. Homewoard bound not so intensive - more of a protection from the elements than a requirement for efficient workings on the UK coasts. The shore supers would cast a critical eye over her gear on arrival back in UK. Any recalsitrant Bosun or Mate would be sanctioned.

On breaking out a Jumbo it was not uncommon to assist its departure from the cradle (housing) by sending booted men aloft to hoof it on its way. Have also seen gantlines used to break it out.

Cor- do they have it easy on these Box Boats!!

Sorry Pat- missed your comment on this page as I was penning my response to Mike S. I concur!

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

Peter Martin
15th July 2010, 10:14
One of the tasks allocated to midshipmen was to sort out the correct block and move it to the correct place. Involved much wire brushing, checking of block numbers with a register and moving to the right spot. Did this outward bound many times but never really noticed them being moved while working cargo during a voyage. My supposition is that this happend on the UK coast. But why?

jmcg
15th July 2010, 10:25
The rigging loft at Odyssey was an impressive site. All running gear was marked up and registered with its own unique number, SWL, ex vessel, application, inspectors details etc,etc.

Im sure Pat will be able to elaborate on the machinations at Odyssey as I rarely had the opportunity to visit.

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

cueball44
15th July 2010, 12:02
The rigging loft at Odyssey was an impressive site. All running gear was marked up and registered with its own unique number, SWL, ex vessel, application, inspectors details etc,etc.

Im sure Pat will be able to elaborate on the machinations at Odyssey as I rarely had the opportunity to visit.

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)One of my brother inlaws was killed by a swivel that parted because it had been fitted wrongly ie SWL was wrong,It was a 5 ton swivel that was attached, And should have been a 15 ton one.'cueball44'

Pat Kennedy
15th July 2010, 13:16
The rigging loft at Odyssey was an impressive site. All running gear was marked up and registered with its own unique number, SWL, ex vessel, application, inspectors details etc,etc.

Im sure Pat will be able to elaborate on the machinations at Odyssey as I rarely had the opportunity to visit.

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

John,
I was in the China shore gang for a while, and one of the jobs we did on every ship was to replace runners, topping lifts, guys, and any blocks or shackles that had been earmarked as damaged, or simply at the end of their working life. Each piece of gear had a recorded history from new.
Old runners were reused as preventers.
Old topping lift wire ropes were cut up and used for general purpose , ie lashing wire etc.
Sometimes old guy ropes were made up into fenders etc.
Chain slings were taken to Odyssey works for testing, as was the ship's outfit of cargo hooks and plate clamps and so on.
All wire and rope slings were replaced before sailing.
They left nothing to chance, and accidents due to faulty cargo handling gear were unheard of.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)
PS
We often did this job on a Saturday afternoon when the dockers had finished for the day. A bit of a bummer if you wanted to go to the match

Wanstead
16th July 2010, 11:58
Failure of the derrick to, "fall", off the topped position, is nearly always due to lack of greasing/lubrication of the topping blocks and/or pintle, and foot pins. I never could understand deckies who allowed these areas to become red with rust.

Yeah, right!


My rationale is not borne out of Blue Flu traditions as I never sailed in them.
I still stand by the safety implications of too many turns below the lip.

Hank
16th July 2010, 16:35
Wanstead,
I had this disagreement over a year ago with Bill Davies, and we eventually agreed to disagree.
I learned how to lower a derrick when I was JOS from a very well respected Blue Funnel bosun.
Bill Davies likewise.
He was taught two turns, I was taught three, on the clear understanding that you could always throw off one turn if the derrick didn't want to come down, but that it was a damn sight harder to throw a turn on if the derrick started to run away with you.
Thats the way I did it, and the way I always saw it done.
Best Regards,
Pat(Thumb)
Hi Pat,
It's been suggested to me that it might help the discussion if I posted a picture of a Blue Funnel topping lift taken in about 1964. I am camping out on someone else's computer at the moment so I can't do that but if anyone wants to see it just click on the link below
http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/chinaboats/whammy.html
Cheers, John

Pat Kennedy
16th July 2010, 17:50
Thanks for the link, and I'm grateful for the input,and I have seen this particular picture before, and yes it clearly has two turns below the nib.
However the point is that several here were taught to use three turns below the nib, and others were taught two.
At the end of the day, it is irrelevant, and not worth arguing about, both worked just as well, but three was the way I did it.
Regards,
Pat

deckboypeggy
16th July 2010, 19:11
Hi to you allthank you Pat kENNEDY,wise words i was a bluey from the odessy school in april 1960,im sure i must have brushed past you at sometime,you sound a wise man .i moved to a few companies [deck hand] and the BLUEY WAY WAS ALLWAYS CORRECT CONCERNING ANY DECK WORK I REST MY CASE.

Pat Kennedy
16th July 2010, 21:13
Hi to you allthank you Pat kENNEDY,wise words i was a bluey from the odessy school in april 1960,im sure i must have brushed past you at sometime,you sound a wise man .i moved to a few companies [deck hand] and the BLUEY WAY WAS ALLWAYS CORRECT CONCERNING ANY DECK WORK I REST MY CASE.

We may well have been shipmates at some time or other, I was at the deckboy school at Odyssey works in November/December 1958, Sailed on Achilles as deckboy Dec 24th.
Best regards,
Pat(Thumb)

slick
17th July 2010, 10:14
All,
I seem to remember the "turns" was a constant subject of discussion in ships so fitted n Hain's in the 50's particularly when topping and lowering derricks at night in the Gulf.
I seem to remember that lifting derrick heels during routine maintenance was referred to as "drifting the heels".
Who were BLUEY's?

Yours aye,
slick

price
17th July 2010, 13:18
In 1958 on the maiden voyage of an Esso Tanker from Monfalcone to Tripoli to load a full cargo of crude oil for Fawley the manifold derrick was topped on arrival at Tripoli in order to lift the underwater pipeline on board. The topping lift was led through a deck mounted new block, something akin to a three fold purchase, the wire was crossed alternatively between the upper and lower sheaves, the derrick hauled up on
the winch and when in position the two sets of three sheaves were locked by a sturdy two pin lock inserted through the block, the wire was then secure with a small clamp for safety. Having completed loading, the end of the pipe lowered into the depths, we watched in horror as the bosun, (who forbade any lesser mortal to touch the contraption) go to the block and, before anyone could stop him he released the clamp, pulled out the pin while everyone was running away as fast as they could as the derrick came crashing down across the cargo manifold.
Bruce.

jmcg
17th July 2010, 13:21
Slick

The Bluies were Alfred Holt & Co Ltd vessels. Also known to Blue Funnel men as "The China". Many other companies were merged during its heyday. Wonderfully majestic ships and always a privilege to sail in them.

The manner of the demise of such a company has always troubled me.

Much on this site to explore -just key in Blue Funnel in the search facility.

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

jmcg
17th July 2010, 16:05
Lifting the "heels" was not a routine task in the other outfits I was with but on the H Class - Helenus, Hector it was usual to lift and apply copious amounts of lubricants (grease).

The derrick head block would be let go and released (surged) back on a gantline or bull rope warped around a drum end until the block and falls were "up and down". A short strop attached to the head block (now hanging) would cradle the heel of the derrick, all pinnions released and heel lifted to expose the pin - a 6inch hardened steel round bar. . I remember doing this on an ED job too - Degema or Obuassi.

The tabernacles offered a good indicator of the preventative maintenance so afforded.

BW


J (Gleam)(Gleam)

Wanstead
21st July 2010, 10:54
There seems to be two staunch advocates (PK & Jmcg) of the three below and two above even on the strength of a photograph submitted by Hank which clearly shows two below. I cannot even begin to understand why people cannot readily recognise why three below cannot be good seamanship.
Another point is that much is made by JCMG of this special Blue Funnel training which did not cater for ship to ship freedom of expression.

randcmackenzie
22nd July 2010, 00:11
Gentlemen, you are off the thread.

Dolly winches did away with the archaic methods that Blue Funnel persisted with almost until the end.

B/R

John Dryden
22nd July 2010, 01:14
Good though you remember the archaic bits,I did it but can,t remember how to do it.Used to, but only time I wasn,t involved was the time the 50 ton derrick was swinging with 45 tons but I suppose I did have a hand in it down the line.

Wanstead
22nd July 2010, 10:31
Gentlemen, you are off the thread.

Dolly winches did away with the archaic methods that Blue Funnel persisted with almost until the end.

B/R

We are indeed off thread but, this is Ships Nostalgia and we should be permitted a little extra license to address a 'digression' which is clearly of interest to some and has provoked safety issues of a bygone time. Even if it was the illustrious Bluey's.

Hugh Ferguson
23rd July 2010, 13:00
I sailed in the s.s. Elpenor in 1946 where Bill Brabner? was one of the A.B's. there. I believe he became a bosun and lost a finger with a derrick topping, or lowering accident. The ship was about to sail, so I heard, and after a quick visit to hospital, to have it dressed, he rejoined as the ship was leaving! Bill was a tough character, one of many I got to know in that ship all of those years ago.
(The Bosun was Tommy Boswell, and the only other name I can remember was Jimmy Newall A.B.. A grand crowd they were. Anyone recall any of those names?)

Pat Kennedy
23rd July 2010, 20:15
I sailed in the s.s. Elpenor in 1946 where Bill Brabner? was one of the A.B's. there. I believe he became a bosun and lost a finger with a derrick topping, or lowering accident. The ship was about to sail, so I heard, and after a quick visit to hospital, to have it dressed, he rejoined as the ship was leaving! Bill was a tough character, one of many I got to know in that ship all of those years ago.
(The Bosun was Tommy Boswell, and the only other name I can remember was Jimmy Newall A.B.. A grand crowd they were. Anyone recall any of those names?)
Hugh,
I believe you mean Mick Brabander.
He was for a time the instructer at the deck boy's school at Odyssey works, but decided he liked going to sea better, so shipped out again.
I sailed with him on the Ascanius round the land, and with his nephew Peter Brabander as well.
regards,
Pat(Thumb)

Hugh Ferguson
25th July 2010, 09:07
Thanks for that, Pat, that's him for sure. I was still a middy then, and post war our lives aboard changed somewhat-instead of watch-keeping on the bridge we worked on deck with the crowd which became very much a part of the learning curve! All is history now but Mick was one of those characters who stick in the mind.