How smart were Russian Engineers ?

Derek Roger
8th October 2010, 00:02
A Russian Ice Breaker damaged her propeller beyond repair due to ice damage and was frozen in for the winter . The crew had adequate provisions and fuel to last the winter . Without outside support however the Engineers devised a plan to remove the damaged prop and tail shaft and to fit on board spares so that come the spring thaw she would be "In Service "

How did they do that ?
Derek

For those who dont know how they did it the answere will show what " thinking out of the box " can do .

Thats another Story
8th October 2010, 00:38
it must have something to do with re ballasting if she was light the ice would force her up abit maybe way the bow to make the stern rise enough tricky whatever they did and clever too.john

JoK
8th October 2010, 01:02
If they had a trim pump, they certainly could trim her by the head, but given the construction of an icebreaker I don't think they would get her head down far enough. Interesting dilemma.
Derek, they took out the tailshaft? Was the propeller built up?

Satanic Mechanic
8th October 2010, 01:15
Give us a few more details about the construction, a bit tricky to figure out otherwise

John Dryden
8th October 2010, 01:36
Ship is frozen in ice so ballast would not move it.How about melting some ice round the prop?

Cisco
8th October 2010, 02:05
....remove melt water.... thus lowering the ice level each time as it refreezes.... proceed until an 'ice dock' has been created....

barrinoz
8th October 2010, 02:45
Watched a brilliant doco last night about the Russians moon rover vehicles and how much further advanced they were than anyone knew. Absolutely jaw-dropping stuff.

Don Matheson
8th October 2010, 03:14
They lodged the ship into the ice by moving it, towed by their motor boat onto a shallow ice shelf. They built a barrier astern of the ship and once it had frozen pumped the remaining water out using the ships pumps. this allowed them to work around the now frozen "dock" floor and remove the propeller using chain blocks rigged onto the normal eyepads for this job. They replaced the propeller with the spare and stayed until near the end of winter when they used steam lances to reduce the thickness of the stern ice wall they had created. They then let the water in by cutting into the wall allowing the area round the ship to flood then used ships power to damage the remains of the "wall" and set her free.
How about that for a repair job.

Don

Dickyboy
8th October 2010, 07:44
"Thinking out of the box" has me thinking.
Could it be that she was frozen inside of a drydock? It doesn't actually say that she was at sea at the time. The job could have been done in the usual way, whatever that is.

stein
8th October 2010, 15:52
Replacing blades only would be easier, and could be done as explained here: This even involved the ambitious project of replacing two of Vuyguch’s broken propeller blades. By alternately cutting away part of the ice around her stern, and then allowing the ice to thicken again from beneath, the rudder and propeller were “frozen out”, forming an ingenious ice dry-dock, allowing the engineers to work on the propeller. Each ship carried only one spare blade so one had to be sledged the 12 km. from Tuymyr; each blade weighed half a ton, so this was no mean feat.

Derek Roger
8th October 2010, 16:35
Replacing blades only would be easier, and could be done as explained here: This even involved the ambitious project of replacing two of Vuyguch’s broken propeller blades. By alternately cutting away part of the ice around her stern, and then allowing the ice to thicken again from beneath, the rudder and propeller were “frozen out”, forming an ingenious ice dry-dock, allowing the engineers to work on the propeller. Each ship carried only one spare blade so one had to be sledged the 12 km. from Tuymyr; each blade weighed half a ton, so this was no mean feat.

Stein has the solution ;
The story was told to me by a Czech marine engineer and was perhaps embelished over time to include a tail shaft.

The proceedure was exactly as Stein describes ; cutting away the ice with chain saws then allowing the ice to thicken again due to the extreme cold ; he effect would be from the top as opposed to the bottom. Once a sufficient thickness was formed it would be removed agian with chain saws . The process repeated until the ice dock was formed to sufficient depth to carry out the work .

Smart guys . Derek

Billieboy
8th October 2010, 16:51
VP prop blades are easy, half a ton each is heavy sledging though. I have seen a blade removed and put ashore, for repair, the spare fitted; whilst the ship was at anchor; in Rotterdam. The blade was substanially more than half a ton.

Derek Roger
8th October 2010, 17:19
VP prop blades are easy, half a ton each is heavy sledging though. I have seen a blade removed and put ashore, for repair, the spare fitted; whilst the ship was at anchor; in Rotterdam. The blade was substanially more than half a ton.

I would agree with you Billie that the blades would more than likley be a lot more than 1/2 a tonne .
I did an afloat blade change ( more correctly a blade removal ; renew the seals and replace ) on a super tanker "Texaco Tulsa " in Saint John some years ago . The vessel was "tipped " by ballasting to get her hub clear of the water . I do not recollect the weight of the blade but I do know we used a number of 5 tonne chain falls to effect the work . Cheers Derek

surfaceblow
8th October 2010, 18:02
While I was on the Valley Forge the fixed propeller was removed due to the tips of the blade were damaged after side swiping a buoy. This incident also damaged the labyrinth seals on the main turbines which were repaired at a later date but was never the same. We would lose vacuum at maneuvering speeds. The spare propeller was at a Mississippi yard and had to be trucked to Houston lay berth over a weekend so the trucker did not have the proper oversize permits. So the truck traveled the back roads and of course he got caught. After the spare propeller arrived several of the crew armed with wire brushes had to locate the ABS mark on the propeller and the serial number for the ABS Surveyor. We ballasted the ship to get the propeller hub out of the water but the Captain stopped when the loading computer said he was at 98 per cent stress on the hull so the remaining few feet trim was accomplished by removing the bunkers to a barge. This took a long time a couple of Wilden Pumps were put into the bunker tanks to aid in the oil removal. I had to take the bearing drop gage readings before and after the new propeller was installed. I had to stick my head into the Houston Ship Channel in-order to reach the lower hole to put the drop gage in. The same ear that was submerged in the Houston Ship Channel is the one that I have a slight hearing lost in.

Joe

Ian J. Huckin
8th October 2010, 20:07
Well I did figure that maybe there were some really good Russian Marine Engineers. It was just my bad luck to sail with the other variety.

Derek Roger
8th October 2010, 21:35
If they had a trim pump, they certainly could trim her by the head, but given the construction of an icebreaker I don't think they would get her head down far enough. Interesting dilemma.
Derek, they took out the tailshaft? Was the propeller built up?

Answer in post #11
I think the tailshaft part may be embellishment of the story over the years ; from Steins account the prop was built up assuming the same ship .

However given the length of an Arctic winter and the very low temps it would be possible to go down as far as one would want in the ice and do a full prop removal and tailshaft for that matter . Rudder as well in my opinion .

My understanding was on the vessel my friend described to me that the aft winches were used with a smart set of rigging such that there was little heavy labour required .

Stuck in the Arctic for a winter would allow much time to perfect such an operation and lots of time between ice removal / new ice biuld up of suitable thickness and strength that a considerable amount of Vodka would be consumed between operations .

Cheers Derek

JoK
8th October 2010, 22:21
and they just happened to have chainsaws and enough gasoline

Derek Roger
8th October 2010, 22:41
I was told they used chain saws ; perhaps brought out to the ship ? However a few axes and a good supply of Vodka would be just as effective .
I shall wait until Stein comments again as he has identified at least one ship in his earlier post and may have more factual information .
Cheers Derek

Derek Roger
8th October 2010, 22:50
Well I did figure that maybe there were some really good Russian Marine Engineers. It was just my bad luck to sail with the other variety.

My number 2 son would concur with your comment as he has had some less than satisfactory experiences ( they " obtain " a ticket in Russia but dont know how to fit a lid to a biscuit tin let alone run a machinery space ) .
The time I am talking about would have been many years past when the only time we met with the Russians was after a football match at a social . I found them very interesting and well informed .

Derek

Satanic Mechanic
9th October 2010, 04:07
Well I did figure that maybe there were some really good Russian Marine Engineers. It was just my bad luck to sail with the other variety.


Yup - my 'most sacked nationality' by a country mile (extended to include Ukraine) - which has led to some interesting farewell comments over the years including

"I have friends in the Mafia - you should be scared"
"One day I will meet you ashore - you should be scared"
"I will track you down to your country - you should be scared"
and somewhat bizarely
"I worked on submarines - you should be scared"(Jester)

Returning to the question - and this just out of curiosity as I don't know much about icebreakers - would it have been possible to de ballast enough to have some of the prop out of the water?

JoK
9th October 2010, 11:41
Not on any of the ones I am familiar with.
We were lucky to get to an even keel. Large fuel tanks with little slack, ballast at the wings. Propellers are deep in the water to avoid the ice.
For these engineers to manage to get enough ice out from around the stern, in the winter, is amazing. Where those ships get to, they may have been their only rescue though!
It is pretty intense when you have an icebreaker suffer a mechanical failure in the high Arctic, out of helicopter range, late in the season.

stein
9th October 2010, 12:08
Story on page 12 here: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:Adgr4UIyh-MJ:pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic27-1-2.pdf+This+even+involved+the+ambitious+project+of+ replacing+two+of+Vuyguch%E2%80%99s+broken+propelle r+blades&hl=en&gl=uk&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgWnndhyRxx6YHqIydVMCz2raG8TuPK6z2NbQcK ITcTon255VPOpqF-1K-Si7DVtVPMbWpB6i3IzVyzMgV-8MI3-BDx3HXmEmLiG60pvaBuinVKXngDWQuQl4GCF19xZ2Bj7foz&sig=AHIEtbQLtq13R8wHnZJHQSzM2uCR_JoIww

Or use the PDF on this page ("Otto Sverdrup to the rescue"): http://www.aina.ucalgary.ca/scripts/minisa.dll/144/proe/proarc/se+arctic,+v.+27,+no.++1,+Mar.+1974,*?COMMANDSEARC H

Pat Kennedy
9th October 2010, 13:23
Blue Funnel had two ships built in the Kherson shipyard in Ukraine, in 1976.
They were Laertes and Lycaon.
On arrival in Birkenhead the Lycaon was drydocked in Cammell Lairds.
My brother was chargehand fitter on this job at the time and had to liaise with the Ukrainian shipyard fitters who were still aboard working on various things.
His opinion of them was good, but the quality of the machinery was, he said dreadful.
Regarding the seven 12 ton deck cranes, none of which were actually working at the time, he said they were just big lumps of steel cunningly fashioned to look like cranes.
However, they did eventually get things working and they were apparently reasonably successful, both of them being involved in the Falklands conflict.
Regards,
Pat

Derek Roger
9th October 2010, 15:36
Thanks for post #22 Stein . Excellent reading . The story related to me was obviously an embellishment of this event .

Derek