Manchester Challenge 1970

david smith
21st July 2004, 11:09
Manchester Challenge arriving Felixstowe

Ian
22nd July 2004, 02:32
Hi David,
Your contribution to the site is very much appreciated.
If you sailed with Manchester Liners you must be familiar with Montreal!?
My personal site at <mnnostalgia.com> has a page on this Co. as well as Bank Line. I have been corresponding with a Captain Williamson who sailed with Manchester for over 30 years. I was R/O on the Carinthia.
Glad to have you aboard!
Ian
(Admin)
Montreal.

Bunkerbarge
21st October 2005, 22:23
I sailed on this Manchester Challenge as well as the Courage, Crusade, Vanguard, Venture and the Reward.

This Manchester Challenge was a conversion from someone elses ship (I can't remember whose) and only came into being after the CY Tung take over. We did not see it as a 'real' Manchester Liners ship at the time. They had all been sold off anyway!!

shipmate17
16th December 2005, 18:52
Hi,
Manchester Challenge.1968.12,039grt.19.5.knots.renamed Ocean Container in 1979.Hung Fu in 1989.MSC Susanna in 1989.Swan.1. in 1992.scrapped Alang 1993.

firey
17th December 2005, 00:11
I sailed on the CP Ambassador (1985)exact same as Manchester Challenge with the enclosed bridge. Sailed to Montreal regular run from Europe. What if any is the connection?

fred henderson
17th December 2005, 13:30
The Manchester Challange was built by Swan Hunter as Dart America for Clarke Traffic Services of Canada. The other members of the Dart consortium were Cie Maritime Belge and Charles Hill/Bibby. They contributed Dart Canada (built in Belgium) and Dart Atlantic (Swan Hunter).
The service was unprofitable and was re-organised in 1981 as Combined Container Services with C Y Tung taking a major part in the business. Dart America was allocated to Manchester Liners and became Manchester Challange. Dart Atlantic had been bought by C Y Tung for Furness Withy in 1980. As part of the re-organisation she was placed on demise charter to Canadian Pacific as C P Ambassador. In 1985 she became Canmar Ambassador.
In 1988 Manchester Liners ceased operations and Manchester Challange became OOCL Challange. She was scrapped in 1996.

Fred

fred henderson
17th December 2005, 13:41
Hi,
Manchester Challenge.1968.12,039grt.19.5.knots.renamed Ocean Container in 1979.Hung Fu in 1989.MSC Susanna in 1989.Swan.1. in 1992.scrapped Alang 1993.
You are information is about an earlier Manchester Challange, Shipmate. The 1968 ship was the first of four container ships built by Smiths Dock to fit the Manchester Ship Canal. She was in fact the first container ship to be built in Britain. Unfortunately she was too small with too fine lines to be economic. She could only carry 502 TEUs, whereas the Second Manchester Challange carried 1556.

Best regards
Fred

firey
17th December 2005, 14:08
thanks fred for the info

regards

firey

david smith
17th December 2005, 14:20
Wrong Manchester Challenge!
The one pictured is the ex Dart America built in 1970 30,817grt becoming the Manchester Challenge in 1981. The CP Ambassador was the ex Dart Atlantic, and the CMB Europe was the Dart Europe. These ships had the honour of having the largest enclosed bridges in the world when built. All scrapped now.

firey
17th December 2005, 16:15
Dave

Found photo of Dart Atlantic see gallery

Firey

david smith
17th December 2005, 18:12
Wrong Manchester Challenge!
The one picture is the ex Dart America built 1970 30,817grt became Manchester Challenge in 1981 then OOCL Challenge before being scrapped. The Canadian Ambassador was the Dart Atlantic and the CMB Europe was the Dart Europe. All scrapped now.
They had the largest enclosed bridges in the world when built. Powerful ships in ice in the Gulf of Newfoundland and the St Lawrence.

Jim S
24th June 2006, 19:36
On the night of 16th March 1969 the container ship MANCHESTER COURAGE outward bound from Mnchester to Montreal collided with the lower gates at Irlam Locks. The lock system being breached lowered the level of the canal closing it for about 5 weeks, trapping a number of ships in the Manchester Docks.
MANCHESTER COURAGE was one of four 500teu. 12000 grt container ships built by Smiths Dock, Middlesbrough between 1968 and 1971.
Can anyone tell me the cause of the incident - was it a ship handling error or machinery control problem. I seem to recall that the ships were powered by Crossley-Pielstick diesel engines but may be wrong. Were they bridge controlled if so with Controllable Pitch Propellors or direct reversible engines.
Sister ships were MANCHESTER CHALLENGE, M-CONCORDE, and M-CRUSADE.

Hillview
24th June 2006, 20:21
I understand the problem was dirt in the propeller pitch telemotor filters which allowed the pitch to go to full ahead position.This was a get you home system if you lost the hydraulic pressure to the pitch mechanism.
Theses ships had 18 cylinder Pielstick engines built under license by Crossley.
They had a fuel injector fault which meant the engines were always smoking.
The engines drove the propeller by way of Fawick air clutches with Ferodo linings which when seen engaging were a sight.
I was on the Challege coming down the Manchester Ship canal after the Courage problem and all movements for pitch control were relayed by a headset and commands repeated.
I left Manchester Liners shortly after as being Manchester based did`nt cater for out of towners.

Jim S
24th June 2006, 21:57
Thanks for the info on the MANCHESTER COURAGE incident.
It seems that this was a similar incident that befell Brocklebank's MAHSUD at Colombo when she damaged her bow. Again it semed to be a blocked filter that caused the pitch mechanism to go into "get home" mode and full ahead pitch.
By coincidence both ships were of similar vintage although MAHSUD was Swedish built with two 14 cylinder Pielsticks developing about 11600 bhp driving a single screw.

Derek Roger gives an account of MAHSUD's incident.

Can you tell me the power of the Manchester Courage and her sisters?

Thank You

Hillview
25th June 2006, 11:41
Main Engines were 2 Crossley Pielstick 18PC @ 500BHP per Cylinder engines giving a total of 18,000 Bhp.
Engines had camshaft drive Rocker Arm Lubricating Pumps. Rocker arm lub Oil delivery was poor to the Rockers due to the fact that ML supplied cotton waste instead of rags so continual problems with blockages in small bore pipes and drain holes.
Ships ended up on Los Angeles to Japan run but had terrible time getting Engineers.
Pielsticks are heavy maintenance engines burning heavy oil and how I wish slow speed engines were used in this and other ships on long passages.

Jim S
27th June 2006, 21:48
I take it you are not a great fan of the Crossley Pielstick. You mentioned the high maintenance effort required.
Previously I had asked Derek Roger for his impressions of life with the 2 x 14 cylinder Pielsticks he had as C/E on Brocklebank's MAHSUD and the 7 cylinder Sulzer he had on MAHOUT. So far he has not replied.
In both your cases there seems to a lot of units to maintain plus the normal auxiliary diesel engines (generator/alternators). You indicated the longing for a Doxford.
My only experience of medium speed diesels was 2 - 12 cylinder Deutz of 3200 bhp (total 6400 bhp) each driving twin screws through single reduction gearing on two small container ships in the Caribbean. In this case due to manning levels and sailing schedules, unit maintenance was entrusted to fitters from Tela Railroad Company in Honduras.
The Pielstick seemed to be a very popular engine for period until MAN - B & W and Wartsila became the favourites in this market. I was surprised when the Navy fitted Pielsticks in HMS OCEAN. But there again the Navy seemed to be only one that liked the generally hated Paxman.

andywright
11th May 2007, 08:59
Nice to see accurate replies from people who must have been on the job, I sailed Manchester Liners for 11 years.
Andy

vectiscol
13th May 2007, 00:14
My uncle was a superintendent with Manchester Liners. The day after his "Manchester Courage" wrecked the lock gates on the Ship Canal, I was given the rush job in Vickers design office at Barrow-in-Furness to dig the drawings of the gates out of the archives, and prepare a new set of plans to utilize welding instead of riveting. Keep it in the family!

rockertez
4th September 2007, 11:20
Hi, back in the late 1980's i worked for a ship repair company based in Ipswich, we use to sail to hamburg and Rotterdam carrying out repairs.
on one trip we stayed over in Rotterdam for a week to weld down bits or bollards as her next trip was to take her through the panama canal and she needed these to get her through.
have posted a photo of her coming into felixstowe as she is different to the 1970 one. and one with her empty in Rotterdam when we were getting her ready for the panama.
As far as i remember this ship was owned by furness withy in the 90's and the name was changed to "cap blanco" not to sure of the spelling thoe I'm sure she was not a "cape"
she ran from felixstowe hamburgh rotterdam or antwerp?? across to south america, panama down the coast and back across to i think spain before coming back to felixstowe.
Any way hope it is of some interest(Thumb)

CliffsVictory57
9th April 2008, 16:12
Greetings,

Newbie on deck. I just received this Dart Containerline model (7.25"), and have ID'ed her as the SS Manchester Challenge (2).
Assuming it was made for the Dart Containerline, can anyone shed light on who/when/where this detailed waterline model was made?
I'd been looking for a container ship model for awhile, and love this one for its fine lines and chrome plating.

This thread has already answered my questions about the actual ship and her history.

Thanks,
CV57

Flixtonian
20th August 2008, 18:36
Nice to see accurate replies from people who must have been on the job, I sailed Manchester Liners for 11 years.
Andy


I think I sailed with you on the `Courage` in 76. We were both cadets (you were senior). Klondyke was the Old Man and Roger Llewellyn, now of TV fame was Mate.

Steve F.

DACOUROUX
17th December 2008, 22:38
Ahem,
I might not be the most experienced in this field but I did work for Thomas Meadows of Manchester at the time and have an aerial picture of hte Manchester Challenge taken by a heli photographer for the line in Manchester UK ( signatures et all ) and she was a GCS...not yet converted into container...
I'd schan my picture ( still in its original frame ) and try to post
Denis

DACOUROUX
17th December 2008, 22:42
Cliffs,
I have been many times around the world looking for model container ships... never came across one - I have a few in their box that are offered by the toy makers - RO/RO mainly.
I used to be in the CSL building in Montreal where the finest collection of ships were exhibited.... then most carrier ornated their halls with replicas that were breathtaking but unfortunately unaffordable.
CCAL, Holland Canada Line, UAL, CSL, Hapag, CP and more have wonrderful collections Id love to own...Most of these dissapeared with the carriers along the years. Besdies Hapag and CSL - there arent any left really.

steviej
22nd December 2008, 08:22
Ahem,
I might not be the most experienced in this field but I did work for Thomas Meadows of Manchester at the time and have an aerial picture of hte Manchester Challenge taken by a heli photographer for the line in Manchester UK ( signatures et all ) and she was a GCS...not yet converted into container...
I'd schan my picture ( still in its original frame ) and try to post
Denis
I think the photo must be of the Manchester Prospect. Renamed Manchester Concept. The Challannge was a new container build. Like to see the photo.

MICKBAILEY
26th December 2008, 09:28
My Dad (Tony Bailey, Doncaster) sailed on the Manchester Challenge in the 70's. He took us around it one day and it seemed as big as a city.

Locking Splice
27th December 2008, 09:21
Sailed on the Dart America (Manchester Challenge) in the late 70's. Lovely Ship and a great run and good wages. My brother Dick also sailed on her in the 80's after the name change. You could get lost in your cabin.

Best Regards

Yuge

Sarky Cut
27th December 2008, 12:45
Now that was a blast from the past.

I will try to get some order into this thread if I may, the vessel shown at the beginning is indeed the Manchester Challenge and it is some time since I was on her.

The story is as follows. there was a need for a regular service across the North Atlantic and the weather being as it was a large all weather vessel was required. The companies were involved originally, Charles Hill of Bristol City line, Bibby Line and a Belgium company who's name escaped me.

Three ships were built, two were constructed in Swans and another in a foriegn place.

They were identical in outward appearance but the Belgium one was superior in finish in the officers accomodation. They all had huge Sulzers and had semi automated engine rooms.

The plan was to run them with a minimum number of staff and the maintainance was to be be carried out by shore based rideing gangs.

The consumable stores were to be loaded onto the vessel and carried on the stern in containers stowed in purpose made positions.

The thinking behind the idea was of immaculate conception, unfortunately the working practises and cost of riding gangs made these ideas dead in the water.

This made the storerooms that were fitted rather small.

The original run was as follows, load at Antwerp sail to Southampton, discharge and backload, proceed to LeHarve discharge and load then proceed to Halifax Nova Scotia, discharge and load proceed to the Global Terminus at Bayonne (New York), from there it was a couple of days of warm weather down to the container terminal in Norfolk Virginia. The terminal was just up from the USN Naval Base.

From there the ships then returned to Southampton for a part discharge/load before returning to Antwerp. The berth was in the Churchill Dock and entailed a fairly log pilotage up the river and in the Locked area of Antwerp Port system.

Some time before I joined the company there was an expensive failure of the engine of Dart America which allowed CY Tung to take an interest in the consortiam.

This company had a new vessel placed on the run called the Dart Canada making it a four ship operation, the Dart Canada was built at Bremer Vulcan Vegesak (Bremen). The engine was of M.A.N construction and would power the vessel at approx 25 knots on a good day. She was built for the far east run and was not a “dry ship” on this run as many will know is not blue water for many days of the year and many containers were lost at sea.

This run changed over time to include Hamburg and Dundalk( Baltimore) and continued until the early '80's when all changed.

There was a split in the service where smaller vessels took over the Halifax run and the four original Dart Vessels were put in for a radical refit for Arctic weather work. This consisted on the hull plating being removed in way of four metres of the water line and “low temperature” steel being fitted and all ballast lines being lagged and electrically heated, the main engine cooling was also changed to allow internal cooling via ballast tanks.

This work was carried out in Blomn and Voss Drydock Hamburg and was over a duration of about three months for each vessel.

The hulls were grit blasted and a specialised glass reinforced paint system applied to the new ice belting.

The names were changed at this period and with the other Dart boat changing the Dart Canada became the Canadian Explorer.

It was about this time when CY Tung bought out Furness Withy.

The run changed to Felixstowe/ Hamburg/ Antwerp/ Le Harve/ Montreal. There was a complete strip out of cargo at Montreal and reload. The ships continued the service through out the winter and were used to unblock the narrows at Quebec on many occasions, The Canadian Explorer broke the Rainbow Warrior out of the ice to allow it to proceed to interfere with the seal cull on one occasion.

In the summer months this was an enjoyable run as the Straits of Belle Isle would be transitted if the ice conditions were favourable, there was many opportunities to see the icebrgs on this run as well as the green shores of the lower St Lawrence.

The teams that had were worked hard to keep this service running were broken up by the new management as the work dried up and their own staff were deemed to be more experienced!

K urgess
28th December 2008, 16:57
I've had to delete your re-posting of your own information Sarky Cut because it comes under the guideline of multiple posting of the same information.

colinw
29th January 2009, 23:16
i did my first trip to sea as an Engineer cadet on the Manchester Challenge in Septemer 1971. I susequently sailed as fourth , third and second engineer over the years , my last trip being her penultimate trip efore being sold to Far East interests . She could never have een described as an Ocean Greyhound , but was pretty reliable as the "C" class ships went , and left me with many happy memories.

RobW
9th February 2009, 14:13
Re Sarky Cut's message - the third partner in the Dart Line consortium was CMB who owned the CMB Europe (later Canmar Europe). I dealt with these vessels towards the end of their careers and can say they were certainly a cut above more modern boxships, particularly in way of the accomodation. If my memory serves me right the Bremer Vulkan-built Dart Canada was originally owned by Bibby Line who I think had a share in the Dart Atlantic. She was actually ordered as an LPG carrier with the contract being changed at the last minute. CY Tung took her, and the Dart America, over in the early 80's when she became the Canadian Explorer (the Dart America becoming the Manchester Challenge). Management of both was undertaken by Furness Withy which by then had been purchased by CY Tung. The Dart Canada/Canadian Explorer had a very high DWT and consequently she sailed rather high out of the water even when fully loaded with boxes - as a consequence she rolled like a pig on the transatlantic run and on at least one occassion almost came to grief when her steering gear broke down in a big storm on the US East Coast.

homerus
23rd March 2009, 14:27
I sailed on the Dt America as motorman from feb81-july81.
Around may,Southampton was on strike so we went to felixstowe instead. Around this period she had a lot of engine troubles,amongst other things 2cracked pistons that we pulled in Halifax overnight. 1 Turbo charger went out of alignement coming back over the pond,the other caught light coming out of Antwerp. 1 armature burnt out and1generator crankshaft blew it's balance weights to kingdom come. A hush power plant was installed on the boat deck that could be heard for miles away & gave the Engineers
many a sleepless night. Other than that a good time was had by all. Greetings.Homerus
Edit/Delete Message

graysonlad
9th June 2009, 11:52
On the night of 16th March 1969 the container ship MANCHESTER COURAGE outward bound from Mnchester to Montreal collided with the lower gates at Irlam Locks. The lock system being breached lowered the level of the canal closing it for about 5 weeks, trapping a number of ships in the Manchester Docks.
MANCHESTER COURAGE was one of four 500teu. 12000 grt container ships built by Smiths Dock, Middlesbrough between 1968 and 1971.
Can anyone tell me the cause of the incident - was it a ship handling error or machinery control problem. I seem to recall that the ships were powered by Crossley-Pielstick diesel engines but may be wrong. Were they bridge controlled if so with Controllable Pitch Propellors or direct reversible engines.
Sister ships were MANCHESTER CHALLENGE, M-CONCORDE, and M-CRUSADE.

I have read with interest the details above and other comments on this incident as it fits in with a project I am working on i.e. Accidents on the Manchester Ship Canal.
I recall, but can't give a date, that a M L on its maiden voyage from Manchester hit the gates of the Latchford Locks at Warrington.
I wonder if this was the same incident or was it "two for the price of one". I understood at the time of the incident that it was a bridge control fault as the new system malfunctioned. As with the details of the above vessel the lock was out of action for some time.
Can anybody help with clarification and information.
Thank you.

Duncan112
9th June 2009, 19:16
I have read with interest the details above and other comments on this incident as it fits in with a project I am working on i.e. Accidents on the Manchester Ship Canal.
I recall, but can't give a date, that a M L on its maiden voyage from Manchester hit the gates of the Latchford Locks at Warrington.
I wonder if this was the same incident or was it "two for the price of one". I understood at the time of the incident that it was a bridge control fault as the new system malfunctioned. As with the details of the above vessel the lock was out of action for some time.
Can anybody help with clarification and information.
Thank you.

Can't put my hands on them at the moment but Derek Clulow's 3 volume history of the Ship Canal pilotage service "No Tides to Stem" may have the info you seek.

Duncan

steviej
12th June 2009, 20:04
Yes The "C" Class boats had CCP Control Pitch Propeller. The Pitch of the propeller varied. If you were at zero pitch you could run the engines with the clutch in, which gave the bridge full control. However the CPP had a fail safe if there was a loss of hydraulic pressure the pitch defaulted to full ahead. It had to happen in Modewheel locks. I think it was the Manchester Courage that shut the canal down for a few weeks, perhaps somebody can confirm that. After the incident if the ships were in the locks the engine clutches had to be out.

Flixtonian
13th June 2009, 12:44
Indeed it was the Courage, but it was at Irlam locks. I was at school a few hundred yards from there and used to go down every day to see how they were getting on. The small lock could still be used, and therefore coastal traffic could still get up and down, but it was about 6 weeks before larger vessels could transit.
I also did my first trip on the Courage with Capt. D. Thomas, who I believe was Master when the ship went through the locks.

Steve F.

Jim McFaul
13th June 2009, 16:18
I was a student in Salford at the time and went down to see the Manchester Courage at Irlam. Have posted four photographs in Maritime Casualties of her taken on the 17th. (I think, or it might have been the day after).

jeraylin
26th August 2009, 13:36
The "Fourth ship" u refer to eventually became the OOCL Bravery - I sailed on her as Mate and Master and think that was the start of my hair loss! She was sold to Canmar which became CP and traded as the Canmar Bravery with croatian crews, later in 2007 Hapag bought CP and she was renamed "Bravery" and went to scrap soon after. The Last Manchester Challenge did indeed become the OOCL Challenge and saw out her retirement (after striking a bergy bit on the grand banks in winter 1992/3 and dry docking at Halifax) by going on the australia run and was scrapped I think
about 1994 or 1995. She had a high scrap value owing to the fact the side tunnels were full of copper de-gaussing gear.

Manchester
5th November 2012, 13:31
I think the photo must be of the Manchester Prospect. Renamed Manchester Concept. The Challannge was a new container build. Like to see the photo.

Manchester Progress was converted to the Manchester Concept.

A.D.FROST
9th November 2012, 08:45
I think the photo must be of the Manchester Prospect. Renamed Manchester Concept. The Challannge was a new container build. Like to see the photo.

Manchester Progress was converted to the Manchester Concept.

MANCHESTER CHALLENGE (I)1968-79 r/n OCEAN CONTAINER.
MANCHESTER CHALLENGE(II) 1981-88 ex.DART AMERICA bt.1970
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/90971/title/manchester-challenge/cat/513

budrover
24th June 2013, 16:50
Manchester Challenge - my brother was a deck cadet on the bridge of the Challenger when she went through the lock gates.

Dart America - I spent a week rolling around the Atlantic in the run up to xmas after a scavenge fire took out the main engine turbo charger and most of the scavenge reed valves ....to say we limped into Halifax on boxing day would be an understatement.
I can still see flames coming out of every orifice of the engine - and the GP crew fleeing the engine room ...as this was a daily problem on the 12/4 we knew exactly the procedure to follow.
On departure at full away on passage the engine was slowly loaded up to 122 rpm [max revs] and you just held on for the ride !!!

Datam
2nd January 2014, 05:25
I was with Liners from 69-76 (Syd) cadet and third mate

Chris Wakefield
2nd September 2014, 09:53
Hi.
Although not having sailed on the Manchester Challenge, I spent a long time as C/E on the CP Ambassador and then the CanMar Ambassador as she was renamed (Originally Dart Atlantic), fondly also called by the crew the Empress of Felixstowe due to the old CP passenger liners.
They were good ships, although in the latter years were very hard to run.
When I was onboard, the C/E and 2/E, both British, were on daywork and then the remaining officers were Sri Lankan and crew Indian.
Was onboard her right upto the time when CanMar, read CP Ships, got rid of the management and handed her over to Anglo Eastern Ship Management.
I then left CP, having started as Cadet and going all the way upto C/E with them.
As i said excellent ships but hard work but also good fun.
10RND90 Sulzer main engine, with Ruston generators, although when I was on her we always carried a Agrekko container generator on deck as the Rustons were totally un reliable.
Felixstowe, Antwerp and Montreal, a nice 3 week round trip, always tried to get into Montreal on a Tuesday evening, then we sailed on a Saturday morning. All very pleasant.

loco
22nd October 2014, 01:54
Rockertez;
If you still read this forum, I think the CAP BLANCO may have been the former Shaw Savill's DUNEDIN. I saw her in Felixstowe, but despite having being in Shaw Savill myself, I didn't realise her identity for some time.
I think the former ANDES (the last one-fully containerised) also ran to Felixstowe for a time.
I did trips on both the MANCHESTER CHALLENGE and CANADIAN EXPLORER from Felixstowe in the early 80's when filling in between trips on HORNBY and ELSTREE GRANGE. The Master on the CHALLENGE both trips was Capt Pryke;he later became Chief Exec of Harwich Haven Authority, and amongst other things he is now an EB of Trinity House.
I also served on DART BRITAIN for my last year or so at sea, on the re-organised run to Antwerp, Bremerhaven, back to Flx, Le Havre, New York, Charleston, Norfolk, Baltimore, New York and back to Flx. Very handy as I lived near Harwich!
Martyn