Velle Cargo Handling System.....

Alistair Macnab
29th October 2010, 15:07
It appears we have temporarily run out of reminiscences from the 'old brigade' of Bank Boater but what about all you bright young sparks who sailed on the six ships of the "Freshwater Fish Class" of 1979. These ships:
"Roachbank", "Pikebank", "Dacebank", "Ruddbank", "Troutbank" and "Tenchbank" were designed by British Shipbuilders to be the answer to world-class competition for what was left of the multipurpose tweendeck market.
How well did these ships measure up as far as cargo handling was concerned. Were the Velle swinging booms good for breakbulk and containerized cargo handling? Were there any notable features that could have been carried forward to newer and better ship designs?
Let's hear it from the Last Generation!

John Cassels
29th October 2010, 19:50
Velle derricks - the nightmares return.

lakercapt
29th October 2010, 21:02
Oh my the horror of the Velle derricks, especially if you had to rig new wires and if you were unfortunate to lose the fox and have to do it by hand.
Hated those contraptions.

John Cassels
30th October 2010, 09:59
Did a complete self discharge of cement klinker on the Baknes 1972 using the
Velle derricks with grabs. Up some creek in the backwaters up from
Charleston.
Tried hard to forget those 5 weeks !.

NoR
30th October 2010, 10:16
Sailed on the Cape Rodney 1960s. She had a Velle Derrick at number one hatch and 2 Clarke Chapman electric self grabbing cranes for the other hatches. The Velle derrick was a nightmare, but so where the cranes. I'd be interested to know whether the cranes and the Velle derrick lasted the life of the ship.

Gulpers
30th October 2010, 18:11
For JC

This (http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=HxVcj90-U-kC&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=velle+swinging+derricks&source=bl&ots=3XpROCj3bx&sig=GSQ34e-k2x3HyPuo-bflWtqrIyk&hl=en&ei=-kLMTKeNB8K4jAeU2aXWBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=velle%20swinging%20derricks&f=false) may help to exorcise those demons John. (Jester)

Page 12 refers. (Thumb)

ccurtis1
30th October 2010, 18:31
Did a complete self discharge of cement klinker on the Baknes 1972 using the
Velle derricks with grabs. Up some creek in the backwaters up from
Charleston.
Tried hard to forget those 5 weeks !.

You actually managed to discharge a cargo with these things? We loaded a full cargo of phosphate in Rotterdam for Karachi and the Pakistanis insisted on a ship gear discharge. I think John, you will know the ship well, Argo Clyde, ex Silver Clyde , ex Binsnes the sister to your Baknes. Anyway, I digress. The grabs were duly fitted for the discharge on the quay and when it came to lift just the grabs, the boom it was which lowered, rather than the grabs being lifted. We finished up using mobile cranes. The vessel was sold after discharge to Greek interests and a huge sigh of relief emanated from the Silverline crowd. A dreadful ship.

John Cassels
30th October 2010, 19:53
It was a discharge at some private cement berth , full crew discharge , no shore
labour whatsoever. We did everything from rigging , discharge , cleaning ,
driving the bobcats stc. - I was 2nd.mate.

At the end , we had destroyed 2 out of the 3 hoppers , and on the last day,
our Glasgow Denholm crowd had , God bless ém , lifted up the dock owners
car by grab and dumped into the last remaining hopper.

jimthehat
30th October 2010, 20:13
You actually managed to discharge a cargo with these things? We loaded a full cargo of phosphate in Rotterdam for Karachi and the Pakistanis insisted on a ship gear discharge. I think John, you will know the ship well, Argo Clyde, ex Silver Clyde , ex Binsnes the sister to your Baknes. Anyway, I digress. The grabs were duly fitted for the discharge on the quay and when it came to lift just the grabs, the boom it was which lowered, rather than the grabs being lifted. We finished up using mobile cranes. The vessel was sold after discharge to Greek interests and a huge sigh of relief emanated from the Silverline crowd. A dreadful ship.

one lives and learns,never knew you could load phosphate in Rotterdam,nauru and ocean island yes and maybe N. africa,unless it was transhipment
jim

ccurtis1
30th October 2010, 21:11
one lives and learns,never knew you could load phosphate in Rotterdam,nauru and ocean island yes and maybe N. africa,unless it was transhipment
jim

Fertiliser perhaps? It was some time ago.

randcmackenzie
30th October 2010, 22:17
Ah well, the lone voice - I thought they were pretty good.

On Baknes we discharged a full cargo of phosphate in 4 ports on the Japanese coast, without any bother, apart from a failed winch, which we had to jury rig our way round for the last 300 tonnes.

Of course the grabbing version had two extra blocks on both derrick head and mast.

When we took her over from Tenax in Le Havre, she had originally been sent to Immingham, and while anchored off there the crew opened the hatches and topped the derricks ready for a quick getaway.

To open No.6 you had first to move the grab out of the MacGregor hatch stowage area.

When they picked up the grab to restow it, it started swinging and they couldn't stop it, so they dropped it down on top of the cargo, brought the fore and aft sections of the hatch together until they stopped at the wires and then cut all 4 wires with an angle grinder.

When we got on board, first job was to find a wire in the flooded foc'sle (they hadn't told us about that either) and then figure out how to rig it.

It wasn't all that difficult, but the ship herself was pretty disastrous, and in horrible shape for a one year old.

We sank a police car leaving, but that is another story.

Duncan112
31st October 2010, 00:00
Did a couple of trips in "Troutbank" and don't remember many problems - the MG sets in the masthouses provided some entertainment for the electrician.

In responce to Alistair's two specific questions though - for break bulk cargos they were considerably slower than union purchase even allowing for the greater lifting capacity. With containers they suffered from the lack of both a spotter and auto spreader, although it is difficult to imagine how the necessary electrics could be accommodated, I have seen a number of serious injuries caused through the lack of an efficient spotter/spreader and the stevedores attempting to manhandle containers or riding on the tops to expedite releasing the chains. Yes, I know that we shouldn't let these dangerous practices occur on our ships but telling shore stevedores not to do something and ensuring that they don't are two separate things.

NoR
31st October 2010, 00:40
Randmackenzie

When I used a Velle derrick we had a dump grab so no extra blocks. The main problem with it was speed, or the lack of.

rabaul
31st October 2010, 17:13
I did a trip on the Tenchbank in the early 80's on the east coast of the States / South Africa service.

When we use the derricks, and for much of the trip we used shore side cranes and the gantry cranes in Durban's Salisbury Island container terminal, they were slow.

We had to use them for opening and closing main deck hatch covers - this was not a smooth operation - I would not have liked to have had to work them over 5 hatches in PNG during the wet season. I seem toremember a situation when number 3 after port hatch cover was damaged due to some inattention during its closing -

I was never directly involved in replacing any wires - however I do not image it would be the easiest of tasks.

I always felt happiest when working with simple derricks - and I still feel that until the TEU came into common use New Orlean's stevadores and union purchase are hard to beat.

Waighty
2nd November 2010, 14:04
Sailed with these on Ruddbank and Troutbank and found them exceptionally good kit. Had to change wires a couple of times and not a problem provided logic was applied (not normally something I was blessed with). On Ruddbank we lifted the heel needle pins a few times for maintenance purposes and again no problem provided logic ruled.

Also on Ruddbank we had to get shore wallahs in at Durban to free-up the swiveling top blocks (the ones secured to the accommodation front) as they were frozen solid. It took the shore gang three days to release them; when opened up lo and behold no grease channels within!

My only complaint was that the derrick at No5 had insufficient outreach to do anything other than cargo work; although we did try a number of times!

At New York on Ruddbank, No4, fwd panels loaded two high with boxes but when we came to close aft panels it was a no go due to weight on fwd panels. Solution - use fwd Velle derrick to apply a certain amount of "lift" to fwd panels and successfully closed aft panels. Not something that would pass a safety risk analysis these days!

david harrod
22nd November 2010, 21:20
I did the maiden voyage on the Pikebank with them; ah, the strange little winches on the mast tops! Seriously for some cargoes they were good; loading timber in a stream they worked OK, no good whatsoever for containers. They were also difficult to rig; reeving split drums in opposite directions was a real test for crews. Having said that, after doing the EAC charters on the Fir and Clover (Siena/Sibonga) in the USA where all we had was derricks without power guys, they were paradise! Anyone want to talk about the container lashing systems on those ships? I still can't bring myself to do it...