Rajula and Barbeta

Jim S
29th January 2006, 16:40
I thought some of you BI guys would like to see a couple of pictures from early 1964 - Built by Barclay Curle, Glasgow in 1926, RAJULA is shown leaving Madras and the 1960 Harland & Wolff, Glasgow, BARBETA is in the River Hooghly. This class of 5 ships by same builder were the first British merchant ships to have all a.c deck machinery - a combination of the conventional winch/derrick arrangement and cranes. A 6 cylinder Harland -B&W engine of 6700 bhp drivibg a single screw gave a speed of 16 knots.
Very modern in appearance but in my opinion lacking the classic look of the larger turbine ships WOODARA and WAROONGA of the same period.
I was with Brocklebank at the time so I guess it could be argued I am not one to judge elegant ship designs.

Regards
Jim S

Ron Stringer
29th January 2006, 17:27
Jim,

Those little BI ships were not classic but they were very attractive ships and their modern cargo handling equipment seemed very advanced in the early 1960s. I remember on the Indian coast leaning over the bridge wing with the 2nd mate as he looked enviously at one of those ships (I think it was the Bombala) and said, "That is the way cargo ships are going Sparks, there is the ship of the future." He was very jealous of their AC supplies and cranes. The old 220-volt DC winches on the City of Lucknow were an endless source of trouble (but kept the lecky in full-time employment).

A few months later we were in Newark N.J. and watched a Sealand container vessel leaving port. "Ugly bloody thing" he said, "who would produce ships like that?" Sorry 2nd, time has shown that it isn't necessarily the pretty girl that lasts the course.

Ron

japottinger
2nd February 2006, 20:15
There has been a long and protracted correspondence in various marine journals re the first with all AC. Some quote the Hunstland, others the Mangla, certainly the Maskeliya and Maturata had first two AC winches as a trial

Jim S
6th February 2006, 21:03
There has been a long and protracted correspondence in various marine journals re the first with all AC. Some quote the Hunstland, others the Mangla, certainly the Maskeliya and Maturata had first two AC winches as a trial
I guess the arguements as to which British ships were first to have a.c electrics is on a par who reached the summit of Everest first - was it Hillary or Tensing.
I cannot comment on Hunstland but the Brocklebank ships are not in the contest. Maskeliya had a couple of ac winches that could not have been successful as they were replaced by steam winches. Her a.c power generation was primitive - a.c alternators driven by steam recip engines - carbon pile voltage regulators. Mangla and Mathura of 1959 and 1960 had 440 v a.c. power. However deck machinery was d.c conversion from a.c either by transformer or motor generator set. - a.c variable speed drives being in their infancy in those days.

Pat McCardle
6th February 2006, 21:45
I wonder which 'Strath' She became? (Thumb)

Jim S
6th February 2006, 22:26
I wonder which 'Strath' She became? (Thumb)
As far as I know Barbeta never became a "Strath---".
She was sold in 1971 to Sudan Shipping Co. and renamed MARIDI.
A further sale in 1980 to Sea Faith Nav. Panama saw her renamed SPIJKENISSE. She was broken up at Gadani Beach, Pakistan in 1980.

Jim S

tom e kelso
12th February 2006, 07:27
Thanks for posting these splendid photos.

One of the best of pots-refit Rajula I have seen, with her steaming "at speed" (13kts) and one can almost feel the oppressive heat rising from the Hoogly river in that of Barpeta.

I don't know about the B class vessels pioneering AC power throughout, but it was claimed at the time that settees in the officers' cabins, which could be "capsized" to reveal a 42" bed. already made up with bedlinen, was a "first" (later to be copied in many passenger ships)

Regards

Tom kelso

Jim S
14th February 2006, 21:36
Tom,
Glad you liked the photos of Rajula and Barbeta. - I remember reading about the "B-Class" ships when Bulimba was featured in the "Motor Ship" magazine, the settee to bed conversion being a feature. - How successful this worked in practice would be interesting to know.

Jim S

Pilot mac
15th February 2006, 16:06
The conversion worked very well in practise. The steward used to make your bunk and then strap it down with webbing straps before 'capsizing' it into the bulkhead. It made your cabin a lot more spacious, more of a convertable day room! The BI M and Z class also had this arrangement not sure about the A's.

regards
Dave