Steam versus the Rest

thunderd
25th May 2006, 12:04
I only sailed on 11 ships and they were all steam ships. None of them experienced any breakdowns while I was on them.

I'm aware that steam became uneconomical but my question is, were steam ships more reliable?

Perhaps one of you engineers could answer this for me please.

R58484956
25th May 2006, 12:53
In all my years at sea on steamships (thank god) we only ever stopped at sea once
because of a boiler room problem, but under way again in less than 2 hours. My brother a motor man broke down virtually every trip he did and he was on some decent vessels, and he earnt his money. Once on one of the big U/C boats outward bound at Ushant they had to put in 2 cylinder liners, not much fun when the local ship repairers were supposed to have done it.
Never had a field day either.

John Rogers
26th May 2006, 03:37
I sailed on and worked on both and would have to say steam was the most reliable and cleaner. A big sledge hammer and a spanner and it was fixed. Of course supplying steam to that little radio and record player you played with was hard to do Derek.
John.

BarryM
26th May 2006, 10:37
As I've said before, steamships were Gentlemen's Engineering. Motorships were just Mechanised Plumbing....

Paedrig
26th May 2006, 11:22
In my experience steamships kept the smoke and flame bit in the right places and the motorships had a nasty tendency not to do so. Steam stuff basic Pametrada....motor stuff Doxford and B&W.

cynter
26th May 2006, 11:29
Steamships (even the old Sam boat) were bliss... so quiet compared to M/Vs.
Also, the "throb" of the engine kept my heart company... around 60 rpm..!!
This changed a little in bad weather when the prop came outa the water and raced a little.... so did my heart..!!!

Derek Roger
26th May 2006, 17:47
Having sailed on both and despite being a " motor man " I have to defer to steam turbines . They have only 1 moving part ! They were quieter and watchkeping was somewhat boring . Maipura was described by all as sweet as a sewing machine .
The boilers on steamers were however the curse and did require a lot of work ( thats why most vessels had multiple boilers )

Rolling or plugging bolier tubes down the Red Sea was not considered "Fun ".

Equally each watch had to " Blow Tubes " ; Going on the boiler tops to open the sootblower master and then blow tubes was "not fun " when you consider the E/R temp on the plates under the Fan inlet was around 120 to 140 east of Suez .The boiler tops were so hot if work had to be done ( pack a gland etc ) we would put the tools in a bucket of water so they could be handled !
Average time on the tops was about 5 to 10 mins then a break .
Also when we blew tubes the bridge was informed so they could alter course depending on the wind direction to avoid the deck being covered with soot .
Considering it took about 20 mins to blow the tubes on each boiler ( Maihar had 3 ) it meant we were going in the wrong direction for approx 1 hr / day ???
I wonder if anyone ever worked out how much that cost in Fuel ??

Steam tubines were more reliable but give me diesels anyday ( especially with air conditioned control rooms ).

We had one stoppage at sea on The Maipura and that was during the India /Packistan war when we had to change crews in Rangoon and our original Pakistani crew left us a present by putting sand in the Forced Draft
fan bearings .We were able to proceed slowly on natural draft until we replaced the bearings . ( That was the only time I saw the C/E in the engine room at sea )

fred henderson
26th May 2006, 20:13
I would suggest that a steam plant would generally be more reliable than diesel, but if anything did go wrong in a steam set-up it was often a tow-home job.
I remember during the sea trials of the RFA Olna, the manoeuvring valve spindle fractured whilst she was going full astern, fully ballasted down to her marks. Her draught was too great to enter the Tyne, and her cargo pumps were steam powered, so we careered out of control across the North Sea, chased by a posse of tugs, until we could lighten her, turn off the boilers and be towed home.
Olna had a new Pamatrada design that had very small blades in the first row of her HP turbine. A pair broke-off and went through the machinery. Not nice. We removed the first row and it did not seem to make any difference to her performance. So we removed the first row in the machinery in her sisters. John Brown’s built QE2’s turbines to Pamatrada plans and she had the same problem on her shake-down cruise and again on a transatlantic voyage.
QE2 managed to get oil in her feed water and wipe out all of her boilers off Bermuda. Towed into port again. She had further machinery problems in the Med, just before her conversion to diesel-electric propulsion.
Other high profile steam propulsion systems became unreliable. Examples are Northern Star and Pacific Sky. I think the modern multi-engine diesel-electric or gas-turbine systems are the most effective because the spare capacity will allow an engine to be shut down for repairs, but of course relatively few ships can enjoy that luxury.

Fred

bobby388
27th May 2006, 00:05
Never sailed with steam main engines but 1 ship prospero had 5 cyl dox with all steam auxullarys,and those things just hissed and sissed 24hrs a day apart from packing glands ive never even seen inside one i think they were amazing or was i just lucky?

Derek Roger
27th May 2006, 00:20
Was in Newport News on the Mahsud doing temporaty gear box repairs in Jan or Feb 1971 . We were at an adjacent dock to the USS Entrprise and had occassion to meet the lads when ashore . Although there was supposed to be full security re her " condition " we engineers from both ships freely swopped stories as to what our repairs were and why .
The Enterprise had a similar problem to the QE2. The degree of superheat was not sustainable from the Boilers / Reactors . U believe external supreheaters were added to make sure there was no carry over of wet steam to the turbines which is what was wrecking the 1st Row of blades .
I asked when they would be finished repairs " about 3 to 4 weeks "was the reply ; which the comment " see those 2 subs loading up stores at the next dock " " They are our escort "
USS Enterprise sailed sometime that night as she was gone in the Morning . Subs left a few hours before .

thunderd
27th May 2006, 02:52
Interesting answers and I thank you all, seems like you were either a "steam" man or a "diesel" man and very little in between.

Also interesting to a non engineer to get a glimpse of life down below, sounds pretty tough sometimes with a fair amount of pressure.

Derek Roger made an interesting comment "Rolling or plugging bolier tubes", I didn't understand rolling a boiler tube, can anyone explain that to an interested deckie please.

Derek Roger
27th May 2006, 16:03
Expanding the tubes is a more correct term than " Rolling " . On Scotch boilers the tubes where they enter the end plate are expanded in ( not welded ) This was done by using an internal tube expander which had 3 tapered rollers which could be adjusted to expand outwards ; the contraption was then turned ( Rolled ) inside the tube ; re expanded and rolled again etc until the tube was tight fitting in the end plate sufficient to hold a working pressure of 250 PSI .

billmaca
27th May 2006, 16:17
Rolling or expanding boiler tubes ; just imagine a big spike with a tapered roller bearing the spike stuck through the bearing so that if you push it further up the spike the rollers were pushed out (expanded)this was pushed into the end of the boiler tube given a good whack with the short handled sledge hammer then turned by a handle like you get in socket sets (the straight rod that fits through the hole in the end)this pushed the tube out against the end plate , hopefully sealing the leak ,you did'nt know If you were successful until you had a full head of steam on again, the plugging was like two round end plates with a bar through the tube wich was tightened up to seal the tube , getting near time to leave her if you had to do that to often, mind you I'm talking 1950/60s it was all water tube after that


Slainte Billy

thunderd
28th May 2006, 01:15
Great explanations Derek and Billy, I appreciate you taking the trouble to enlighten me.

raybnz
28th May 2006, 01:27
Ive been lucky to have sailed on both steam and motor. I enjoyed motor more as there was always something to do or watch while watchkeeping.

On one motorship (Cretic) we did a complete trip around the world without a breakdown and after some six months when a light ship we had to stop after the CW pump sucked a heap of herrings coming up the English Channel to clean the oil and water coolers on both engines..

However on the Waipawa it was a different story but what could be expected after 38 years of hard life which included WW2. It was how many days we could run between breakdowns But in all she was a good ship.

No I would have really been at home there been a ship with Triple Expansion and Scotch boilers simular to those I work on the W C Daldy. Simple and hard working.

R651400
28th May 2006, 08:03
I have sailed on both motor and steam with break-downs on both.
Steam turbine actually broke a rotor blade which I think is very rare.
Give me steam turbine for silence and comfort any day.

turbines48
18th June 2006, 16:58
All boiler tubes are rolled and expanded into place...no matter what the pressure. My experience has been that only the superheater tubes are then welded in to place. All the generating tubes and screen tubes are just rolled. Working pressures to 1050 psi and superheater outlet temps to 950 F have been my experience.

turbines48
18th June 2006, 17:08
I'll take steam any day. I went to sea as a tourist to see the world...not to be a grease monkey in every port. Sailed mainly WWII built C-2 and T-2 and never experienced a breakdown at sea. A few boiler repairs here and there but nothing we couldn't handle and still make "happy hour" at the localbar. Only twice had a tube failure at sea...slowed down to 60 RPM, waited for the boiler to cool down enough to enter, insert plug and fire her back up.

As port engineer I remember setting up repairs for the firecrackers every trip..if not for the mains then the generators or the coolers or the purifiers or the automation (otherwise they wouldn't start).

My big question is...if diesels are so efficient why do you need boilers to run them?

If diesels are so economical... do Sulzer and MAN give you all those parts for free because you sure seem to need a lot of them!

fred henderson
18th June 2006, 23:30
Cunard spent £100 million in 1986 replacing the steam turbine plant in QE2 with a far more reliable multi-engine diesel electric system. If they had not done so it is doubtful if QE2 would be with us today. The change resulted in a saving of 250 tons per day. At present day prices of $365 per ton, that is a saving of $91,000 per day.

Fred

Les Gibson
19th June 2006, 01:08
Sailed with Bank Line 1963-1964. In 14 months on DARTBANK, (B&W oil engine) we only stopped once at sea. That was because of a failure of the motor on the fuel valve cooling pump. Unfortunately at the time I had the other motor in the lathe skimming the commutator or we would just have changed over. On the other hand on the AFRIC (Shaw Savill) in 1965 with a 10 cykinder MAN oil engine we stopped every couple of days on the run back to the UK from Oz! Spent almost all trip going 99 clump.

jock paul
22nd June 2006, 19:46
It seems to be gospel that turbines and deisel ousted the old steam reciprocating engine because of the great savings on fuel. But are they really so economical? Think of all those expensive replacements in a deisel engine room-spare pistons, conrods, liners, etc.-and they are used and replaced with new spares. The old steamers I sailed on before I had to change over to motor also carried spares-piston rod, bottom end, coupling bolts and a host of other items. The point is, they had mostly never been used since the vessel was built, sometimes 30/40 years before!
As for maintainance costs, there was practically nothing that couldn't be done by the ship's engineers except for the very occasional machining job which had to be sent shore side.

JamesM
19th April 2008, 21:08
I'll take steam any day. I went to sea as a tourist to see the world...not to be a grease monkey in every port. Sailed mainly WWII built C-2 and T-2 and never experienced a breakdown at sea. A few boiler repairs here and there but nothing we couldn't handle and still make "happy hour" at the localbar. Only twice had a tube failure at sea...slowed down to 60 RPM, waited for the boiler to cool down enough to enter, insert plug and fire her back up.

As port engineer I remember setting up repairs for the firecrackers every trip..if not for the mains then the generators or the coolers or the purifiers or the automation (otherwise they wouldn't start).

My big question is...if diesels are so efficient why do you need boilers to run them?

If diesels are so economical... do Sulzer and MAN give you all those parts for free because you sure seem to need a lot of them!

Sorry turbines48, Don't understand your question " if diesels are so efficient why do you need boilers to run them?

surfaceblow
19th April 2008, 22:56
I have also sailed on both steam and motor vessels. My experience is that I had more problems with personnel on steam ships and more problems with machinery on motor ships. IMHO the steam watch standers had way to much time to devise jokes on each other. The one joke I disliked the most was closing the DC heater vent. After three days the feed pump would become air bound the both boilers would trip off due to low water level. It took us three black outs to figure out the cause. Of course the miscreant was no longer on the vessel.

The Marine Super that I had my most dealings with told me that my budget on the Marine Floridian T 2 tanker was 80 per cent over time 20 per cent spares. On the Marine Reliance at the time a 6 year old Sulzer Car Carrier my budget went to 20 per cent over time and 80 per cent spares.

It is just economics that Steam Ships are not build. The Steam Plant cost more to build, take more cargo space, require more fuel storage. When I was at school a long time ago a diesel plant would cost about 1 million dollars per cylinder while the reduction gears if you could get a set would be in the neighborhood of 46 million.

spongebob
20th April 2008, 14:34
Billmaca's post mentions plugging a leaking tube on a scotch marine wet back fire tube boiler.
I have never done it at sea but I knew many an older engineer that had done so and described it as the worst job ever .
It was not uncommon for the fire tubes that carry the hot flue gases from the combustion chamber through to the smoke box to develope a pin hole or more due to scale deposits on the water side causing the tube to overheat and if the leak was bad enough it was necessary to blank or plug the tube at sea. To do this the fires were drawn out of the furnace tubes, the front smoke boxes were opened to allow access to the tube outlets then a long steel rod with a large sealing washer and nut was fed through the leaking tube and poking its way into the combustion chamber ready to receive a similar sealing washer and nut on chamber end.
This is when the fun began as although the fires were out all the boiler components were at the steam temperature and it was a brave engineer that swathed himself in ample insulated, padded clothing before rapidly crawling up the furnace tube to reach up into the combustion chamber, find the rod end, slip the washer on and get the nut started by a few threads before beating a hasty retreat. Some old salts claimed that they went in with a leg rope on so that their mates could quickly haul them back if they passed out.

steviej
29th April 2008, 14:19
I'll take steam any day. I went to sea as a tourist to see the world...not to be a grease monkey in every port. Sailed mainly WWII built C-2 and T-2 and never experienced a breakdown at sea. A few boiler repairs here and there but nothing we couldn't handle and still make "happy hour" at the localbar. Only twice had a tube failure at sea...slowed down to 60 RPM, waited for the boiler to cool down enough to enter, insert plug and fire her back up.

As port engineer I remember setting up repairs for the firecrackers every trip..if not for the mains then the generators or the coolers or the purifiers or the automation (otherwise they wouldn't start).

My big question is...if diesels are so efficient why do you need boilers to run them?

If diesels are so economical... do Sulzer and MAN give you all those parts for free because you sure seem to need a lot of them!
Starting a Marine Diesel is not like starting your 4 x 4. Most marine engines have water cooled jackets. These need to be a certain temperature before starting. This is supplied by a dedicated pump and tracing steam is supplied to the cooling water until the correct jacket temperature is reached hence the need for a steam boiler. The heavy oil fuel had steam tracing and there are visco-therms that kept the heavy oil to its optimum temperature. Steam tracing was also needed for any liquids (palm oil that had to be kept at an optimum temperature. However the main boiler did not run whilst at sea a waste heat boiler was employed to use the waste gas to generate steam. Great stuff steam but the diesel proved economical.(Thumb)

GWB
29th April 2008, 15:05
I must say lads all I ever heard on the Oz or NZ coast on arrival from Shaw Savill Motor men was we only stop 3+++ times on way out but the steam guys always asked why. Diesels require to much maintenance, compared to turbines,only ever had one stoppage due to split pin being wrongly fitted by shore gang on turbo feed pump. As to personnel never found the steam guys any different from the motor men all enjoyed a good night out.

GWB

stewart4866
29th April 2008, 17:56
Ship's with diesel engines always had engineers. Ship's with steam turbines had plumbers

Bill Davies
29th April 2008, 20:18
Ship's with diesel engines always had engineers. Ship's with steam turbines had plumbers

Is there a difference??

On a personal level I preferred Steam and in NBC the owner definitely preferred steam to such an extent that in the whole fleet there was only one Diesel ship called 'Dea Maris'.

John Rogers
29th April 2008, 20:44
Amen to the rope around the ankle,a life line if you will.

John.

Pat Kennedy
29th April 2008, 20:51
Ship's with diesel engines always had engineers. Ship's with steam turbines had plumbers

Is there a difference??

On a personal level I preferred Steam and in NBC the owner definitely preferred steam to such an extent that in the whole fleet there was only one Diesel ship called 'Dea Maris'.

Well Bill, as a plumber in my "second" life, I would say its the same difference as that between a livestock farmer and one who grows crops.
Regards,
Pat

stewart4866
30th April 2008, 01:01
Plumbers down below fixed steam leaks, water leaks nothing really to do with engineering unlike motor ships.

cmakin
30th April 2008, 01:30
I have sailed on both steam and motor vessels. On a steam plant, I felt like an engineer. On diesel vessels, I felt like a mechanic.

Steamseadog
27th May 2008, 01:06
I have sailed on both motor and steam with break-downs on both.
Steam turbine actually broke a rotor blade which I think is very rare.
Give me steam turbine for silence and comfort any day.

I'd be interested to know if you sailed on the "Dolius" a powered by a Scotts Still engine

GWB
27th May 2008, 13:32
The problem with motor men was they took leads off the bearings and had to ask steam engineers why did they do this. A big hammer is not an engineer skill and feel is more important. O for the whisper of steam.

GWB

spongebob
27th May 2008, 13:47
If steam ships had any real un-reliability factor it was mostly due to boiler problems rather than the TX engine or turbine. Boiler feed water water quality
was the key to a good trip. I am reminded of HMNZS "Royalist" and her break down in the Pacific in the 60's ? due to boiler contamination and her ignominious tow home

R58484956
27th May 2008, 19:54
I sailed as an engineer on a steam ship after serving a 5 year apprenticeship to heavy engineering. We carried plumbers so I had no need or inclination to be a plumber or whatever that entailed.

twogrumpy
27th May 2008, 20:31
Sailed on some pretty poor steam ships over the years, BP,s Eyties spring to mind.
The 50's I thought were great, possibly as they were still in reasonable condition when I was on them.
Mitsubishi steam ships, magic!!!
On the whole I would say my preference was steamships, but whatever, I don't want some ex sailor telling me he does not know the difference between an engineer and a plumber.
twogrumpy

japottinger
31st May 2008, 17:06
Having sailed on both and despite being a " motor man " I have to defer to steam turbines . They have only 1 moving part ! They were quieter and watchkeping was somewhat boring . Maipura was described by all as sweet as a sewing machine .
The boilers on steamers were however the curse and did require a lot of work ( thats why most vessels had multiple boilers )

Rolling or plugging bolier tubes down the Red Sea was not considered "Fun ".

Equally each watch had to " Blow Tubes " ; Going on the boiler tops to open the sootblower master and then blow tubes was "not fun " when you consider the E/R temp on the plates under the Fan inlet was around 120 to 140 east of Suez .The boiler tops were so hot if work had to be done ( pack a gland etc ) we would put the tools in a bucket of water so they could be handled !
Average time on the tops was about 5 to 10 mins then a break .
Also when we blew tubes the bridge was informed so they could alter course depending on the wind direction to avoid the deck being covered with soot .
Considering it took about 20 mins to blow the tubes on each boiler ( Maihar had 3 ) it meant we were going in the wrong direction for approx 1 hr / day ???
I wonder if anyone ever worked out how much that cost in Fuel ??

Steam tubines were more reliable but give me diesels anyday ( especially with air conditioned control rooms ).

We had one stoppage at sea on The Maipura and that was during the India /Packistan war when we had to change crews in Rangoon and our original Pakistani crew left us a present by putting sand in the Forced Draft
fan bearings .We were able to proceed slowly on natural draft until we replaced the bearings . ( That was the only time I saw the C/E in the engine room at sea )

Do you mean soot blowers or boilers on the Maihar Derek ?
She had four Scotch boilers

japottinger
31st May 2008, 17:19
As a steam man am perhaps prejudiced but passed on grease driven ships.. Experiences with breakdowns were:
Recip. on Maihar (I):
Slack nut on top of Edwards air pump conn rod; slack nut on LP cyl. piston junk ring (at about 6ft dia. there were a lot of bolts on cyl. cover to take off!) All happened just after taking her from long spell at Stephens at Glasgow.
Slack bottom end bolt on IP bottom end and spacer came out and shattered when it hit the endge of the bedplate, in Indian Ocean during monsoon.
Manipur turbine:
Never ending problems with leaking economiser tubes on the FW D type boilers
which resulted in lost feed water.
LP cylinder cover cracked, yes cracked!
This was when anchored off Southend on way home, the crack started at the square inspection opening in the top half cover, first we noticed was when the vacuum went. Repaired by Thistlebond, a fibreglass car repair type kit. CH eng. Johnny McCallum said if it hold full vacuum then we will go, luckily held until we docked at Tilbury. As I left then not sure what perm. repair was effected.

paullad1984
6th June 2008, 22:28
Bit of a slight diversion, but Graf Spee (german WW2 "pocket battleship") had diesel engines(MAN i belive), but her bunkers were full of the same fuel oil used in current steam ships, she had to use a steam treament plant to make the oil useable in her diesels! She was supposed to be able to do 28kts (more like 24 according to some reports) at full speed.

japottinger
6th July 2008, 18:25
It was also recorded that one of the reasons influencing Langsdorff to give up the ghost was that the multiple diesels aboard could not guarantee the long journey back to Germany.
In the end all different ships different strokes, some diesels ran for ever, some steam also, other diesels and steam always broke down.
Having always been in steam my contention was that with a recip. job it was the engine could cause problems, the opposite with turbine ships with watertube boilers.

japottinger
6th July 2008, 18:26
Re above I was referring to the Graf Spee

paullad1984
7th July 2008, 13:14
From what i can gather the Graf spee's diesels ran well, but the treatment plant used to convert the bunker oil to diesel was damaged by shell fire from exeter and could not be repaired, she had about 16 hours worth of useable fuel left when she docked in montevideo!

cryan
23rd July 2008, 22:26
Steam is Gentlemans engineering?? perhaps in a quaint way.
Modern Diesels especially Sulzer RTA and the like are very reliable and extremely efficient. it can be hard work in port pulling units and liners but this is more due to fast turnarounds of 12 hours and less which mean some very fast and skilled Engineers are required especially as we now may operate with only three officers and two crew down the pit.
It is my belief that Engineering is purely about progress and in the marine world that means efficient and cost effective power generation.
Steam turbines only have one moving part so as long as your oil is good and you don't over speed it should be fine, but then sails don't have any moving parts and are probably more reliable.
Steam queens (lol) may be gentlemen but clipping across the Indian Ocean at 30 knots with 6-7000 boxes and one almighty pounding heart pouring out close to 100,000 horses worth of power--thats real mens engineering!

spongebob
23rd July 2008, 23:46
Yes Cryan there is something about the slow steady beat of a well engineered Sulzer or equal. Steam turbines though remain the ultimate pieces of propulsion machinery with its minimal moving parts and reliability but it has a weak link, ie the boiler. How many times over the years has the source of power let the ship down. Water treatment or lack of it was usually the big bogey as it was with many land based boilers but get this right and a steam ship is poetry in motion.
Economics? well that's another story

cryan
24th July 2008, 00:38
Don't worry Bob couldny give up the chance to have a dig at the steam boys.
Diesel is also more flexible though especially for things like offshore support or towage.

spongebob
24th July 2008, 03:56
Reminds me of the old song

"he could not compete with the slow steady beat

of Ivan Skavinsky Scavar"

Sung to the tune of the man on the flying trapeze

Basil
24th March 2009, 19:30
the treatment plant used to convert the bunker oil to diesel
I think it was Bunker C we used on British Monarch in her B&W four stroke.
The treatment consisted of running it through the De Laval centrifugal purifiers to remove solid contaminants and water. It was fed to the injector pumps at a fairly high temperature - about 100C IIRC.

Also worked on Pametrada and De Laval steam turbine mains. The De Laval installation with Bethlehem Steel LP vaps and only a couple of valves for manoeuvering to full away was easy peasy (Thumb)

Satanic Mechanic
25th March 2009, 00:07
I think I have said before, but the best running ships I was ever on by a country mile were steam ships , also the worst ships I was ever on were steam ships

Ian J. Huckin
27th March 2009, 17:26
Several motor ships built in the 70s did not have any steam systems at all. All pre-heating, fuel heating, accom. heating etc was carried out by a special oil called Thermal Fluid (BP Transcal 68?)

This fluid was heated in a somehat conventional looking package boiler but the Thermal Fluid was pumped around all the systems pressurized by TF Circulating p/ps. Waste heat from the main engine exhaust was captured in a waste heat exchanger in the stack....this was the potential problem area.

I belive there was at least one incident (on a ferry) where a tube failed and pressurized TF was pumped directly into the exhaust trunking....yikes!

I sailed three ships with it and it was excellent. Especially after sailing LB Doxfords with Scotch boilers and all steam auxilliaries, even steering gear!, Valve maintenance on TF was practicaly non-existant. Pump overhaul was routine and not excessive. And the package boilers were very reliable (roof fired)

Makes for the perfect motor ship.

In conclusion...motor ships: work hard, play hard and I believe working under pressure gave you the opportunity to appreciate and respect the rest of the lads providing they kept up. Bonding and all that.....(Thumb)

waldziu
28th March 2009, 17:28
All boiler tubes are rolled and expanded into place...no matter what the pressure. My experience has been that only the superheater tubes are then welded in to place. All the generating tubes and screen tubes are just rolled. Working pressures to 1050 psi and superheater outlet temps to 950 F have been my experience.


Brings back memories, up the Gulf, on patrol. Shut down the stb'd blr carry out an external clean so that the shipwright can weld the leak in the econnomiser tube. Six hour shift three steaming the port blr and then three hours working on the other blr. Yes sir it wre somewhat warm on them there top plates. The only joy was the Cheif Pinko Faggot voulenteering his day work boys to help us. Grey funnel war canoes were so much fun at times.



Pinko Faggot:- A light weight electronics engineer.

Satanic Mechanic
28th March 2009, 18:09
Yes Cryan there is something about the slow steady beat of a well engineered Sulzer or equal. Steam turbines though remain the ultimate pieces of propulsion machinery with its minimal moving parts and reliability but it has a weak link, ie the boiler. How many times over the years has the source of power let the ship down. Water treatment or lack of it was usually the big bogey as it was with many land based boilers but get this right and a steam ship is poetry in motion.
Economics? well that's another story

And just to add that extra super duper bit of super duperness to the boiler - make it gas fired - absolutely delightful. Actually I 'm quite aroused by the thought of it(Thumb)

Klaatu83
29th March 2009, 19:35
I sailed on a lot of steam ships for the simple reason that the U.S. kept them long after the rest of the world switched over to diesels. We were still building them until around 1980, and a lot of the old World War II vintage steamships were still operating well into the mid 1980s. Farrell Lines' container ship S.S. Argonaut, which was built in 1978, was retired in 2006. I believe that Horizon Lines may still be operating a few 1960s and 1970s vintage steam-turbine container ships to this day.

Diesels have advantages in initial cost, size, fuel consumption and manning. Most modern marine diesels have unmanned engine rooms, which means that there are no engine room watch-standers, and the engines are monitored at night from the bridge. However, that doesn't mean that the engineers are idle. It simply means that they spend each and every day performing maintenance, and there's a lot of maintenance.

All the steamships I've sailed on required 24-hour watch-standers, even those that were "automated". However, they were infinitely more reliable than diesels. One five-year-old diesel ship I sailed suffered more engine casualties in four months than ALL the steamships I've sailed on COMBINED. I've often heard it said on those old team turbine ships that the hull would wear out before the engines did.

Steam turbines are much smoother-running than diesels. They can also be reversed at any time, which diesels can not. On Farrel Lines' three diesel-engined "E-Ships" container vessels (Endurance, Endeavor and Enterprise), you could not start the engines astern if the ships were making headway of more than about four knots. If you tried then the engines simply wouldn't start. That sort of thing can be embarrassing when maneuvering into port.

Basil
1st April 2009, 13:49
Water treatment or lack of it was usually the big bogey
As 4th I had the water treatment contract.
I was young and keen and made copious notes and corrosion drawings which, many years later, S1 used for a paper as part of his materials degree at Imperial. Lecturer must have wondered WTF lad in 1992 was interested in water tube boilers :confused:
must have thought he fancied power stations.

peter drake
2nd April 2009, 22:35
No marine engines but if you get chance go to the Manchester museum of science & industry or Wigan pier. There are some 100yr old steam engines working every day which sound as if they have just been built
Pete

cubpilot
2nd April 2009, 23:41
In defence of the motor ship, I sailed on the same 3 ships as ian Huckin with MAN main eng and thermal fluid for all heating needs. The thermal fluid made for a much 'cooler' engineroom without all that humidity created by leaking steam. In the 5 years i was on those ships we had just one stoppage due to a cam profile breaking up. I also sailed on a small ship on the australian coast fitted with a 3 cyl doxford. in the 6 months that engine never had a stoppage.
The reason for the reliability, good design and well built and owners who spent money keeping them reliable. In contrast i sailed on other ships with parsimonius owners who may have had well built ships but failed to look after them.
I also did a little steam time but those ships had 4 legged open crankcase recip engines so could not be compared to turbines.

Klaatu83
3rd April 2009, 17:14
Those automated diesel plants are more efficient than the old steam plants when they work properly, but cost a fortune in both time and money when they don't. One diesel ship I was on was immobilized in Charleston, South Carolina when a computer chip burned out on the Norcontrol engine control system. We had to wait three days not only for the part to be flown in all the way from Norway, but for a special technician to install it as well.

steamer659
19th May 2009, 04:43
Yes, but no one here has even mentioned one thing about the Foster-Wheeler ESRD Reheat Cycle on Steam Ships- The SunShip Ro-Ro's and Trinidad Tankers- They were VERY efficient, 1440 psig at the Steam Drum- Flue Gas Reheating, I sailed on the SS Bayamon as a Relief 3 A/E many years ago- Had a feed pump atatched via mgnetic coupling on one side of the main reduction gear and a generator on the other....I prefer steam at least 2 to 1 over firecracker plants...But, lower fuel consumption- ease of fully automating, being able to easily train crew.....But today., look at the Flex engines- and the controls......But I still prefer steam!

Billieboy
25th May 2009, 17:31
Part of my time, (apprenticeship), was spent on triple up and downers and horizontal dual expansion engines in Cardiff docks, I've also turned LP piston and junk rings rings, six foot diameter, do it wrong and they come out square! The boilers, twin steam and water drums, were coal fired, (lumps not PF), with weight loaded safety valves, the boilers dated to 1890! still at full load in 1958.

My first trip to sea as a j/e was on a four cyl Doxford with steam auxiliaries, the beast broke down after 21 hours full away, and rarely got a 24 hour run after that! It was 8 months 12 days and 17 hours of purgatory!

Thereafter I sailed on steam turbines, much safer more comfortable and cleaner, even though some vessels required 17 hour days, it was much better than removing scraping and refitting ALL bearings on a Doxford, dead ship, at sea off Nicaragua! Steam is always best in my view.

As a Cockburns valve Engineer, I worked on most of the big liners and lots of the big(then) BP and Shell tankers as well as lots of FoC steam tankers that had once been owned by the big names in earlier times, even then the steam gear was in good(mostly) order and generally trouble free. Who's heard a Full Bore safety valve, going off like a Bofors? Not much of a problem, if one has all the bits to fix it! Had to sail a tanker from Bremerhaven to Rotterdam once because the chief didn't trust the safeties, 36 hours in Rotterdam and all was fixed, chief as happy as Larry!

Steam is the best, just like Watt, (not who), said!

steamer659
26th May 2009, 03:20
Steam Drum Safety Valves, Especially the non-pilot types which didn't open the superheater safety first, when actuated before the superheater safety usually went off with a loud "report".

This would normally be considered a highly unusual occurence as the Superheater Safety is set at a much lower pressure (pressure drop across superheater plus 10-15 psig) sometimes as much as 75-100 psig lower....

But then again- it may have been the Superheater Saftey- the old timers could tell a whole lot about the noise a safety valve made before it popped- simmering, (weak spring, nozzle ring obstructed) chattering (blowdown ring set too shallow) or banging loudly....

Oz.
26th May 2009, 05:37
A very interesting thread! I found steam to be great, but would be much better if we could have got rid of the boilers!

spongebob
26th May 2009, 09:14
Oz, the boilers are life's blood to any form of steam engine and all this talk about safety valves prompts me to re tell this story;

I am sure that some of my hearing damage comes from this one practice of floating safety valves on naval ships as an apprentice and also over my many years with Babcock.
In the eighties we were commissioning a new gas fired boiler fitted with a new design Hopkinson double spring, high lift Safety valves that did not work to plan and after a day of setting, floating re setting and re floating while “living” on the boiler tops to hear the sizzle, and watch the lift I drove home 100 kilometers from the boiler site in complete silence. It was eerie, like living in a vacuum, no road or engine noise, no radio, just total silence. Recovery to near normal took almost 12 hours.
Yes we were wearing hard hats and ear muffs but the constant bang of 40000 lbs of steam per hour venting at 250 pounds /sq in to atmosphere will penetrate any thing when you are standing along side the vent pipe

Bob

Satanic Mechanic
26th May 2009, 09:36
I was standing next to a Full Bore when it lifted - wasn't wearing earmuffs - actually painfull

G0SLP
28th May 2009, 19:53
I agree with the comments about Thermal Fluid - much more civilised than 'hot fog' [=P]

Billieboy
11th June 2009, 10:20
The heavy oil fuel had steam tracing and there are visco-therms that kept the heavy oil to its optimum temperature.(Thumb)

Many Marine Engineers will be sorry to hear that the VAF factory in Dordrecht (NL), was recently destroyed by fire. Presently there is no news as to whether the company will be rebuilding. (Cloud)

marinemec2004
19th November 2012, 17:23
The difference between a "Steam Engineer" and a " Motor Engineer"??????
The Steam Engineer sees a pool of oil on the plates, he walks around it!
The Motor Engineer sees a pool of oil on the plates he walks through it!!!!!!!!!!!
Ha, only kidding. Been both sides, Steam -Stoker in RN, and Junior in Merch.
Motor, Junior in Merch. Steam is an obviously more uncomfortable working enviroment. As in past replies from various guys on here, the temperatures were always 100 degrees F+. From my experiences, when a steam ship was running smoothly, there was very little to do except manage the different parrameters and take logs -Loads of Logs especially with Joe Shell. However if you had a "steamer " which was unreliable, then "field days" were the norm! Motor ships were ( to me) much more enjoyable, much more running maintenance was required and ( to me) it was far more interesting...
Ive worked both sides, Engine room /boiler room rating as well as Engine Room /boiler room engineer. I wisened up though, and went Pump man /Deck engineer. Free from all that noise and heat, own boss ( Chief eng. was my boss at sea, and CHOFF was my boss in port.) Best job Ive ever had. Interesting, Responsible and welll paid! As Pumpman, nobody on the vessel ( crew side) earned more than myself . Ah the good old days!!!

A.D.FROST
19th November 2012, 17:52
Only ships I know that were re-engined from Motor to Steam were the Royal Mail ships ALCANTARA and ASTURIAS

japottinger
21st January 2013, 17:01
Having sailed on both and despite being a " motor man " I have to defer to steam turbines . They have only 1 moving part ! They were quieter and watchkeping was somewhat boring . Maipura was described by all as sweet as a sewing machine .
The boilers on steamers were however the curse and did require a lot of work ( thats why most vessels had multiple boilers )

Rolling or plugging bolier tubes down the Red Sea was not considered "Fun ".

Equally each watch had to " Blow Tubes " ; Going on the boiler tops to open the sootblower master and then blow tubes was "not fun " when you consider the E/R temp on the plates under the Fan inlet was around 120 to 140 east of Suez .The boiler tops were so hot if work had to be done ( pack a gland etc ) we would put the tools in a bucket of water so they could be handled !
Average time on the tops was about 5 to 10 mins then a break .
Also when we blew tubes the bridge was informed so they could alter course depending on the wind direction to avoid the deck being covered with soot .
Considering it took about 20 mins to blow the tubes on each boiler ( Maihar had 3 ) it meant we were going in the wrong direction for approx 1 hr / day ???
I wonder if anyone ever worked out how much that cost in Fuel ??

Steam tubines were more reliable but give me diesels anyday ( especially with air conditioned control rooms ).

We had one stoppage at sea on The Maipura and that was during the India /Packistan war when we had to change crews in Rangoon and our original Pakistani crew left us a present by putting sand in the Forced Draft
fan bearings .We were able to proceed slowly on natural draft until we replaced the bearings . ( That was the only time I saw the C/E in the engine room at sea )

Helo Derek, I assume you mean SS MAIHAR re if blowing tubes. In fact she had 4 Scotch boilers, all brand new by David Rowan when she was "re-built" in circa 1957. As far as I can remember I could not see one rivet in the construction, somewhat novel I suppose an all welded boiler. The pipework was well arranged with the feed check valves on the front to one side just above the four furnaces at shoulder height, I think I can remember some ships had these on the back side of the boiler.

japottinger
21st January 2013, 17:26
Trying to think of any problems experienced on steam ships relating to main machinery.
SS Maihar (1) In two trips, Triple Expansion 4 Scotch boilers
One spacer between top and bott. halves of HP bott. end bearing came out and hit the side of the bedplate when revolving. Nine hour stoppage in monsoon in Indian Ocean outward bound as the spare was too long to fit between the bott. end webs!
Has to saw about one inch off each end, of approx. 5 x 3 ins section solid cast iron.(To ensure half round cut out for bott. end bolt was central)
(2) Junk ring bolts slacked off on LP piston, Shore side fault as we had just left Glasgow after rebuild.
That all folks.
SS Manipur in 3 trips Double Reduction HP and LP turbines, 2 Foster Wheeler D type boilers
(1) Tooth broke off main gearwheel coming out of lock in Newport SW. Big wheel and mating red. gears sent to Rowans who machined a 6 ins strip out of each.
(2) Never ending problem with water leaks on Foster Wheeler D type economiser tubes.
(3) Crack appeared in LP turbine cover just at corner of a big square bolted plate inspection opening. This when about to heave up anchor off Southend inbound.

Robert Bush
22nd January 2013, 03:39
As a decky it seems to me that ships are much like cars. After they are say ten years old if they have not been well maintained they become very expensive.

Was on a crude carrier belonging to a major oil co. Have noticed these companies spend money on telling the public how good they are, this one had not been well maintained it seemed to me.

Went in the engine room for an inspection it was very dirty with oil in the bilges and lots of leaks, and loose gear in the steering flat. Spoke to the Chief Engineer about this he said" It's a hot engine room and I tell the boys to stay in the control room."

Started the cargo discharge slowly it was ship to ship. A little later after asking for an increase in the pumping rate there was a loud bang and the pumps stopped. A certified welder was helicoptered out and after a total 24 hour stop he left and we resumed pumping, not for long though about an hour later another loud bang and a repeat performance.

The air conditioning had not been working since the ship's arrival, July in the US Gulf and the deck machinery was so corroded that brake band broke when tightened by a skinny Filipino.

This was diesel ship that had been converted from steam. The Engineers and Mates were British. I felt sorry for them.

Satanic Mechanic
22nd January 2013, 04:53
Ooooooh did it have a name that sounded a little like British Racehorse!!!

Plane Sailing
22nd January 2013, 06:44
Ooooooh did it have a name that sounded a little like British Racehorse!!!

Or Mobil's Hawk perhaps - steamer re-engined with Pielsticks but kept the 60 Bar boilers for the cargo system.

Discharging in Singapore, four cargo pumps and two ballast pumps going full chat when one of the maindeck cargo lines splits near the manifold. Look at the pretty black palm tree....................................

No choice but to hit the emergency stop in the CCR. Now that was something you don't get to experience every trip!! Boilers tried very hard to show their displeasure by ripping themselves free - it was very hard to concentrate on all the funny noises coming from the boiler flat when answering the phone and listening to irate engineers enquiring as to my parentage.

Really lads, did you honestly think we'd do that just for the fun of it?? (might have thought about it though (Jester) )

Oh and a question for Supers - which part of the lobotomy process causes you to believe a 20 year old single hulled VLCC which is 5 years past its sell-by date can still discharge a cargo as if it was fresh out the yard? Perhaps the QA dept got to you and you believed all the pieces of paper would stop the ship from wearing out??

It's ok though, I'm better now. The Glenlivet helps, no really it does. Oh is it time for my lie down in the nice padded room. I like the red smarties the best......................................

Varley
22nd January 2013, 11:47
Dear me, You must have had a very poor breed of super indeed to have expected a single hull job or a VLCC to pump according to spec. Double hulls were introduced only to improve cargo handling capacity - wot evri skoolboi kno. (Actually, I suppose they were, but in one circumstance only!).

Were there supers after QA departments were introduced?

NoR
22nd January 2013, 11:58
I was on only three steamers RFA Regent, CS Ariel and CS Iris The latter two were sisters and had two triple expansion steam engines and two scotch boilers.

I was astonished at how quiet they were, no vibration either.
Occasionally my berth was in the engineers, alleyway and even down there it was dead quiet and smooth apart from the occasional whoop from LP feed pump (?)

engineer64
22nd January 2013, 15:57
Dear me, You must have had a very poor breed of super indeed to have expected a single hull job or a VLCC to pump according to spec. Double hulls were introduced only to improve cargo handling capacity - wot evri skoolboi kno. (Actually, I suppose they were, but in one circumstance only!).

Were there supers after QA departments were introduced?

I always thought double hulls was to prevent leakage of oil if the ship was damaged.

Brian Smither
22nd January 2013, 16:46
I always thought double hulls was to prevent leakage of oil if the ship was damaged.

Possibly so, but RN ships had double bottoms in which oil fuel was stored, hence the bloke who looked after this was known as the 'DB Leading Stoker' he was responsible for ensuring the boilers were supplied from tanks with fuel in them and at the same time kept the ship on an even keel. He worked with the 'Fresh water Tanky' who made sure the water tanks were always topped up from the Evaporators and too kept an eye on the 'trim'.

Both were cushy jobs as long as you kept a beady eye open. You could always tell them, their overalls were immaculate and they would always be found sunning themselves up top! whether on or off duty.
Happy Days.

Varley
22nd January 2013, 18:24
Some RN ships/boats, I am told, pressed up the fuel tanks with sea water as the bunkers were burned and stability would not have been possible without doing so.

Brian Smither
22nd January 2013, 19:41
Some RN ships/boats, I am told, pressed up the fuel tanks with sea water as the bunkers were burned and stability would not have been possible without doing so.


Hi Varley, Pleased to meet you!

Not to my knowledge, probably because all the ships I was on frequently had their tanks topped up either in harbour or at sea from an RFA. In fact I would say the majority of the time we 'RAS' ed to keep those involved on their toes! Hence the need for the DB Killick who ensured tanks were kept evenly on line to the boilers. Contamination from sea water was constantly checked. When he dipped a fuel tank he would put a paste in the recess in the weight before lowering the tape down the tube into the tank. If the paste changed colour from blue to red it indicated the presence of sea water. This was done more to check that we had'nt sprung a leak in the tank. I am pretty certain that if it did change colour that tank would be isolated until we returned to harbour for checking. Think about it, if sea water was under the oil fuel and it was thought to be all, oil once that water reached the boiler the fire would go out! That would have been too risky.

It was important to have, at all times full tanks in case we had to go shooting off somewhere in a hurry. Unlike the MN, during the 'cold war' era we were always on alert, practicing prevention and survival from nuclear fall out and exercising with ships of NATO navies and submarines, kept us busy!

Whilst I was on Diamond' then the newest with all the latest gadgets we were in the forefront. I am amazed at the progress over the past 40 years to what we have now. Makes me feel Neanderthal !!

Happy days.

Satanic Mechanic
22nd January 2013, 20:10
Some RN ships/boats, I am told, pressed up the fuel tanks with sea water as the bunkers were burned and stability would not have been possible without doing so.

I've heard that one - it involved keeping a level in the tanks by replacing the fuel used with water. This requires a 'floating suction' for obvious reasons, and is used as you say to maintain ballast

I was told this by an ex RN stoker - never managed to find out if its true

surfaceblow
22nd January 2013, 21:06
I have been on some stick ships build in the 50's were the Deep Tanks were dual purpose Fuel and Ballast. On a occasion once the fuel was stripped out of the tank the deck department would refill the tanks with sea water for ballast.

It was normal practice to heat the tanks in advance of transferring the oil to the settling tanks. Each Watch would step on the settling tanks drains to remove the water that settled out. There were also high and low suctions on the settling tanks to make sure that the water did not reach the burners.

Since the Chief Engineer did not want to get water into the fuel lines the Deck Department filled the tanks viva the Fire Hose into the sounding tube. I was on one ship where this practice over pressurized the tank.

The Deck Department requested 70 psi on the Fire Main on the previous watch and at the end of the 4 - 8 watch with the 8 - 12 watch at the operating platform we felt and heard the tank failed. The only thing that prevented the tank from completely failing was the tank moved the catwalk in the shaft alley against the fuel manifold.

The next morning on the 4 to 8 watch I opened the manhole cover and found that the tank still had the blank in the vent from the shipyard testing of the tank.

At Breakfast I was ordered to the Captain's Office while in the office I was ordered to sign a statement that the tank rupture was my fault. I told the assembled group that I would not sign the statement and that since I was the Third on watch with the Second Assistant Engineer I was not the one who was responsible for the watch. Also the Deck Department request for the Fire Main to be pressurized at 70 psi was logged at the time it was requested there was no indication given for the use of the sea water. Then I informed the assembled group that I was not onboard the ship during the shipyard period when the tanks were test nor was I involved in the inspections to ensure that all of the tanks were ready for use.

The next day I was told by the Chief Engineer that I could be logged for not signing the statement. So I told the Chief that was alright I'm allowed to write a statement in my remarks section in the official log book. I never heard any thing about the tank failure again.

Joe

surfaceblow
22nd January 2013, 21:10
I've heard that one - it involved keeping a level in the tanks by replacing the fuel used with water. This requires a 'floating suction' for obvious reasons, and is used as you say to maintain ballast

I was told this by an ex RN stoker - never managed to find out if its true

On the Ships that I was on that did use the Fuel Tanks for Ballast it was the Cadet's job to watch the overboard for signs of oil and to call down to stop the pump.

Joe

Brian Smither
22nd January 2013, 21:16
I was told this by an ex RN stoker - never managed to find out if its true[/QUOTE]

Perhaps it was the same stoker that told me that they only had snooker tables on Aircraft Carriers!!!

chadburn
22nd January 2013, 21:22
With Warship's powered by the lighter G.T's keeping the "balance" is even more important, fortunatly the RFA are not far away although I understand that along with the dual powerplant's (more economic unless they go everywhere at full trot) the new Destroyer's and future Carrier's have an increased fuel capacity to increase their range without causing problem's and having to call on the RFA as often as it now does with the present vessel's

Brian Smither
22nd January 2013, 21:55
With Warship's powered by the lighter G.T's keeping the "balance" is even more important, fortunatly the RFA are not far away although I understand that along with the dual powerplant's (more economic unless they go everywhere at full trot) the new Destroyer's and future Carrier's have an increased fuel capacity to increase their range without causing problem's and having to call on the RFA as often as it now does with the present vessel's

Very true, though of course G.T's run on fuel more akin to paraffin and are certainly far more economical than the old steam plant, and with all that spare space available fuel capacity must be enormous.

I have long forgotten our range on 'Diamond' but we did once steam at high speed, 30 knots from Gibraltar to Chatham non stop. I wish I could remember the exact time taken (approx. 48hrs) but I do remember we were very low when we got there.

Someone mentioned steam heaters in the O F tanks, that is true, only used in very cold conditions, though normally the fuel passed firstly through the OF heaters in the boiler room before the O F pumps. Very cold F O moves very slowly.

I'm still intrigued by the 'floating suction' mentioned, what happens in rough weather or high speed turns, can't imagine losing suction at such vital times!

Who knows?!

Satanic Mechanic
22nd January 2013, 22:03
As far as I understand it the suction entered the top of the tank after which it was a flexible hose with a floating suction mouth arrangement at the end floating on or near the surface .

Dont have a clue as to the veracity of the story - never seen it - was told about it once and thats about it!

Satanic Mechanic
22nd January 2013, 22:08
Someone mentioned steam heaters in the O F tanks, that is true, only used in very cold conditions, though normally the fuel passed firstly through the OF heaters in the boiler room before the O F pumps. Very cold F O moves very slowly.

Actually on that subject - normally HFO is kept heated in the tanks around 40 degrees before being heated to around 70 in the settling tank before being heated to around 85 for purifying/clarifying the service tank is at around 85. The actual engine/ boiler supply temperature is variable depending on viscosity.

However there was a period where heavier than oil bunkers started to make an appearance - some fun finding the water level in the bunker tanks and of course it could render water seal type purifiers unusable. This was where ALCAP purifiers came from that measure water content at the outlet and sludge/drain accordingly

Brian Smither
22nd January 2013, 22:46
Actually on that subject - normally HFO is kept heated in the tanks around 40 degrees before being heated to around 70 in the settling tank before being heated to around 85 for purifying/clarifying the service tank is at around 85. The actual engine/ boiler supply temperature is variable depending on viscosity.

However there was a period where heavier than oil bunkers started to make an appearance - some fun finding the water level in the bunker tanks and of course it could render water seal type purifiers unusable. This was where ALCAP purifiers came from that measure water content at the outlet and sludge/drain accordingly

I find this very interesting because I always thought this was simple so I have dug out one of my old 'Engineering Course' work books - 1961.
In The RN then it was simple; Fuel Oil known then as FFO was stored in in tanks in which there were steam heating pipes to maintain it at 70F.
A supply pump @25psi fed the oil to the heater which raised the temperature to 150F then via a strainer to the service pump max 900psi. From there to the furnace via the regulating valve.
It mentions that no water should be present because it can emulsify with the oil and will boil off at 240F @ 25psi. This causes cavitation in the service pump and erratic combustion.

So I think at least in the RN, they would not have had water in the fuel tanks intentionally. My book also mentions to check for leaking heater pipes and leaking plates and door joints when water is present.

Have'nt looked at this book for years!

Satanic Mechanic
22nd January 2013, 23:06
Check the drains twice a watch for water. Boiler oil doesn't need to be purified.

I was on a vessel with a line of test cocks up the side of the bunker tanks in case off heavier than water bunkers

Plane Sailing
23rd January 2013, 08:25
Can anyone explain in simple terms what the difference is between purifying and clarifying? Could the same piece of equipment do both??

JT McRae
23rd January 2013, 09:21
A purifier and a clarifier can be the same piece of equipment. A purifier can only be used for heavy oils up to about 0.99 specific gravity, as it has a water seal within the rotating bowl, so if the processed liquid s.g approaches that of water, this system cannot work. Purifiers are used for solids separation and water removal.
To process the really heavy oils, your separator must be converted to a clarifier. This is done by removing the gravity or dam ring, and then no water seal can be used. A clarifier can successfully remove solids, and small quantities of water.
I hope this is reasonably clear.

Plane Sailing
23rd January 2013, 09:34
Thanks JT, that makes sense.

surfaceblow
23rd January 2013, 09:43
Can anyone explain in simple terms what the difference is between purifying and clarifying? Could the same piece of equipment do both??

The difference between purifying removing both dirt and water is the ring dam. There are different size ring dams for each specific gravity of oil. A purifier requires a water seal to prevent the oil from escaping from it. A clarifier uses a solid ring dam that does not allow the water to separate the dirt is pushed away from the center discharge port. A clarifier does not use a water seal. You can use the same equipment if you can change the ring dams. Newer machines have the capability of just dialing the specific gravity instead of changing the size of the ring dam.

At times the oil report will require both clarifing and purifying so you set up one separtor to discharge into the next machine.

Joe

Duncan112
23rd January 2013, 16:54
This may help http://www.alfalaval.com/solution-finder/products/s-and-p-flex-range/Pages/howitworks.aspx and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQYZ-honNj8

I fear however that Alfas advertising puffery " the Alfa Laval S-separator combines heavy fuel oil and lubricating oil treatment into a single separator" is at best over hopeful

Satanic Mechanic
23rd January 2013, 16:56
ALCAPS are basically set up as Clarifyers but carry out both functions courtesy of a capacitance probe in the oil outlet that detects water content. They can then carry out various combinations of draining and sludging to get rid of water or sludge. Can be a bit of a bugger to set up but pretty good once going.

Edit: I cant see them on the Alfa Web site - I wonder if they have stopped making them

Edit Edit: Ignore that - they are now called S types - grrrrrrr

Edit Edit Edit:I should just have read Duncans link right the first time

nav
23rd January 2013, 21:40
Some RN ships/boats, I am told, pressed up the fuel tanks with sea water as the bunkers were burned and stability would not have been possible without doing so.

Ark Royal converted fuel tanks as they emptied to store boiler feed water to ensure there was enough in stock during her dash to Honduras to fly a couple of Buccaneers over Belize City Airport as a show of power to imminently invading Guatemalans. It's a great story of naval and Fleet Air Arm ingenuity and tenacity told incredibly well in Rowland White's "Phoenix Squadron." They stopped a war.

Fuel Oil known then as FFO


FFO = Furnace Fuel Oil

spongebob
23rd January 2013, 21:57
I had an early introduction to Alpha-Laval separators with the little hand cranked unit used to separate the house cow's milk into cream and skim.
It was a muscle building exercise hand cranking the bowl rotation up to minimum speed which was when the bell stopped ringing!
I certainly remember the big Alpha units aboard Rangitane and the constant attention needed with the ship burning boiler oil.
All Union Co ships I sailed on burnt 'Marine diesel', a relatively clean brew, so purifying was straight forward while the lube oil purifier kept the oil the colour of honey.

Bob

Varley
24th January 2013, 00:49
Ark Royal converted fuel tanks as they emptied to store boiler feed water ...


I remember well the wingeing that John Benn made when instructed to ballast one of the fuel tanks after a little hydraulic damage cause by blocked overflow float arrangement - worried that when it went back into fuel he would have to contend with even more problems with purifiers. I think any steam ship chief would have had a bigger litter were it suggested that he should feed any sort of boiler from a bunker tank!

Is it correct that RN was late to strict and effective chemical treatmants and could go for very much shorter periods between boiler cleaning than USN early in WWII?

nav
24th January 2013, 02:08
I think any steam ship chief would have had a bigger litter were it suggested that he should feed any sort of boiler from a bunker tank!

Trying to do this from memory as I lent my copy of Phoenix Squadron out and never got it back but I think it was Avcat fuel tanks - AVGAS, kerosene, paraffin or TVO (Tractor Vaporising Oil) to us humbler members of the species.

engineer64
24th January 2013, 16:41
I can understand Ark Royal converting aircraft fuel tanks to store Boiler feed water. I was in Ark Royal 1961-63. Loss of feed water even then was horrific, if my memory is correct 200 tons/day loss was usual. On occasions domestic water was shut off, sea water showers were used.
It is also correct that the RN was late in adopting boiler feed water treatment, in a Destroyer of WW2 vintage during the early 50's internal boiler cleans came around after fairly short periods. Adm. Le Bailly went aboard a USN ship in the Pacific fleet during the war & writes on this subject how backward we were.

Malky Glaister
24th January 2013, 16:51
Double hulls, ie Virtually no framing with in the wetted area of the tank improved cargo discharge rates beyond belief.
Corrosion was much reduced.
Whether double hulls were sold on this concept or the holing and leaking is a moot point.

Now if only the boilers ( and their control systems) were as good as the turbines!

regards

Malky

Satanic Mechanic
24th January 2013, 19:24
I can understand Ark Royal converting aircraft fuel tanks to store Boiler feed water. I was in Ark Royal 1961-63. Loss of feed water even then was horrific, if my memory is correct 200 tons/day loss was usual. On occasions domestic water was shut off, sea water showers were used.
It is also correct that the RN was late in adopting boiler feed water treatment, in a Destroyer of WW2 vintage during the early 50's internal boiler cleans came around after fairly short periods. Adm. Le Bailly went aboard a USN ship in the Pacific fleet during the war & writes on this subject how backward we were.

200 tons a day - that's freakin ridiculous. My personal best was 240 tons over night on a B&W Marine radiant but that was a burst S/H tube, from memory the highest constant daily make up I saw was around 70 and that was enough to have a major steam leak blitz which took it down to around 35 - enough to maintain

engineer64
24th January 2013, 20:02
We had 8 Admiralty 3 drum boilers, most leakage was from joints, glands etc. The ship had 4 engine rooms. The loss may appear a lot to you, if you had been on the ship & had seen the Senior Engineer Officer having a breakdown because of the stress over trying to keep the ship operational, you would understand.The figure I gave was a maximum figure & was not every day, if we got consumption down to 150 tons it was a winner.

Satanic Mechanic
24th January 2013, 20:15
Water paranoia is of course endemic on steam ships but holy cow I have never heard of that amount of regular consumption - I can only imagine the senior engineers mental condition - poor bassa

chadburn
24th January 2013, 20:34
Water paranoia is of course endemic on steam ships but holy cow I have never heard of that amount of regular consumption - I can only imagine the senior engineers mental condition - poor bassa

Which vessel's did you serve on?

clevewyn
24th January 2013, 22:43
We had 8 Admiralty 3 drum boilers, most leakage was from joints, glands etc. The ship had 4 engine rooms. The loss may appear a lot to you, if you had been on the ship & had seen the Senior Engineer Officer having a breakdown because of the stress over trying to keep the ship operational, you would understand.The figure I gave was a maximum figure & was not every day, if we got consumption down to 150 tons it was a winner.

Not forgetting the catapults which must have used up a good few tons in a day.

Malky Glaister
24th January 2013, 23:02
Any one using seawater contaminated heavy fuel needs his head looking at. From very bitter experience with stupid naive superintendents and equally moronic ships masters insisting that this contaminated fuel is used then blaming the Chief for excessive liner wear and a totally knacked fuel oil system, well it peed me off big style.
Even burning salt contaminated oil in boilers ruined both pumps and burner nozzles and caused furnace and tubes to become blocked.
The fuel oil seperator room, well I lived there. Caused by stupid idiots.
It costs a lot of money to debunker a ship but to hell with the engine.

bad memories from several ships

regards

Malkty

NoR
25th January 2013, 01:04
When I was at Portland 3/o on Black Ranger another RFA gave a frigate the contents of the slops tank rather than the FFO they were expecting. Can't remember the outcome. Maybe someone else can?

Varley
25th January 2013, 01:14
Any one using seawater contaminated

Malky,

That would seem intuitive (especially in the case I cited as sodium and vanadium combineds is a quick killer of the gas turbines involved) however with BFO the fuel was deliberately emusified as part of washing to remove sodium salts from the muck and then floculated before settling and then the troublesome puification). The water 'cushion' that settled out on floculation had (so I am told) a considerably greater concentration of sodium salt than seawater.

This amateur's conclusion is, then, that washing fuel with seawater will still reduce the amount of salt in in the fuel although the water content is worse than if delivered from the dodgiest Suez barge.

If you look at the kitchen chemistry the salted preserved meats and fish (for those lucky enough to be so victualled) on 'wooden walls' would HAVE to have been washed first in seawater before cooking - there could not have been sufficient freshwater to spare enough for anything more than a final rinse.


David V

Malky Glaister
25th January 2013, 03:39
Bitter experience, Varley. I had non on the GTV 's. Their BFO was somewhat different to that used on motor vessels generally.

My bitter experience resulted in on one ship in particular was ALL piston rings worn out within hours, fuel injection equipment worn out rapidly. And guess who gets the blame. To my dismay the ships captain sent off his version of a fuel sample and despite my strong recomendations the fuel had to be used with disastrous results.
This happened on several other ships also when really supers should have put down their feet and refused but such was the rule by accountants and bankers etc that the ships staff had no option but to use contaminated fuel and surprise suprise no one in the office knows anything about it!!
No wonder then that I retired as soon as I could. I now look after a coal fired mill boiler and salt is only used in the ion exchange water softener!!
I still love salt water but I have not much to do with it and water paranoia happens only when opening my bill.
To all supers reading this.

DO NOT USE SALTWATER CONTAMINATED FUEL

regards

Malky

howardws
25th January 2013, 09:24
Is it correct that RN was late to strict and effective chemical treatmants and could go for very much shorter periods between boiler cleaning than USN early in WWII?

My late father was RN and told me that one ship that he was in in the far east during WW2 had extended boiler clean times because the Senior Engineer, against orders, used boiler chemicals supplied by the USN.

Satanic Mechanic
25th January 2013, 10:19
Which vessel's did you serve on?

Not telling


But I will say this that I am still working on new steam ships to this day (BIG clue as to the trade there)

chadburn
25th January 2013, 17:53
Not telling


But I will say this that I am still working on new steam ships to this day (BIG clue as to the trade there)

Steam Ship Cleaner?, Plumber?

chadburn
25th January 2013, 19:02
On the old Cargo steam job's the feed water make up was around 12tns per day, I can well understand the high consumption on a Aircraft Carrier especially if she had some age about her.

Varley
26th January 2013, 00:56
Malky,

Chatted around this before. Colleagues suggest there is a difference between what is water soluble in the way of sodium salt and that that isn't. I will have to get my prize book out and read it ("Bunkers") - Don't ask how I came to win such book. Probably a plumber got the "Norton's other theorems".

Satanic Mechanic
26th January 2013, 10:43
Steam Ship Cleaner?, Plumber?

The vessels trade - not me - I'm just a sweet satanic mechanic

chadburn
26th January 2013, 15:37
The vessels trade - not me - I'm just a sweet satanic mechanic

A jack of all trade's but neither Master nor Chief Engineer of any it would appear, just a sacarin sarcastic mechanic who for some reason want's to keep his past secret, don't be daft.
Let's run it past you again, pray tell us which steam ship's have you served on and what Rank to gain all these experience's you keep wanting to share with us all?

Brian Smither
26th January 2013, 17:28
On the old Cargo steam job's the feed water make up was around 12tns per day, I can well understand the high consumption on a Aircraft Carrier especially if she had some age about her.

I did my fair share of 'Evap watchkeeping', the old steam coil types were capable of 2 tons/hour. Descaling could take an hour or two out of a 24 hour cycle. Quite a lot of water could be made in 24hrs but bearing in mind it was'nt only boiler feed water, it was used for washing/cleaning too.
I don't remember now how much feed water we went through per day but we often dumped feed water tankfuls if a 'cloud' appeared when tested with silver nitrate due to contamination by priming. Even though the watchkeeper would check regularly when distilling to reserve feed tanks (you never distilled to a feed tank on line) a 'mystery' cloud could appear. Could also be due to seawater creeping in somewhere especially in the older ships. Engineer officers were very strict about regular checks.
I suppose today it is all done by reverse osmosis?

chadburn
26th January 2013, 18:10
Looking at your "active" Brian , our Marine Engineering day's are of the "older" version, my last steam M.E. vessel was in 1967. In today's world you can buy a mini reverse osmosis kit for a motor yacht quite cheaply. My figure was based on 200 day's at sea and 165 in Port.

Varley
26th January 2013, 18:32
The 'vap is usually heated from the jacket water/HT water of a motor ships as well (on some medium speed ships and diesel electric too as well as stone crushers). RO plant only used where insufficient waste heat for 'vap. Don't know about the yachties (nor do I care!).

Large RO plant on retrofitted livestock carrier - can't remember if she also/originally had 'vap but wouldn't have supplied enough for the cargo.

Burntisland Ship Yard
26th January 2013, 19:11
Have read this string with retrospect interest.........

On the VLCC's I was "appointed to" a typical feed water make up ranged from 20 to 28 tonnes at sea [soot blowing twice a day/ cargo pumps/hot butty??]

From a production stand point [ and I must be fair on this point, despite previous critisism of the class], when we were swinging on the hook/along side the Danish class condensate cooled vap could just about support both feedwater make up and potable water supplies.......

Cold shocking a vap every 24 hours.................. I am curious ...............

Brian Smither
26th January 2013, 21:48
Have read this string with retrospect interest.........


Cold shocking a vap every 24 hours.................. I am curious ...............

It was a long time ago now, but it would depend largely on the salinity concentration of the water. In the Med I would assume descaling would have been less frequent. But what I do remember is after the 'shocking' the door was swung open after removal of many nuts and the scale raked out into a sack or drum. The stubborn stuff was chipped off with a hammer, no wonder the copper coils always looked so battered! The scale was often quite heavy, one eighth thick was normal. Funny how you remember such mundane bits of useless information, but don't know what I did with my glasses!!

Varley
27th January 2013, 01:28
I don't like to challenge a plumber at his own game but I thought the scaling up was down to the operation (in the main). Early steamers used sea water feed and continuous blow down - too hot, not enough excess, too much saf acid.

As with other golde goose processes. Forcing the bird to lay at too high a speed will kill it!

surfaceblow
27th January 2013, 15:09
I was very glad that I only had to suffer on one ship with a steam coil evap that sat in the middle of the machine shop. The rest of the steam ships were low pressure evaps with their electric salinity cells that dumped the output to the bilge when the salinity level got to high. Even with the salinity cells there was the occasional salting up of the feed water and potable water tanks.

While on a ship under contract to the US Government we had to transfer potable water to a Sub Tender since she could not keep up with the water demand. We had to keep both evaps running on live steam just to keep the tanks almost full. After the first transfer the off watch engineers went across the barge to see why the Sub Tender could not supply their own water. The Chief Engineer on the Navy Vessel would not allow the Evaps to be open since there weren't double valve isolation. After a few words with the Chief Petty Officer of the watch we got them to shut down some of their boilers and we supplied the safe acid and tanks to clean all of their evaps. All of the demisters were all caked up with salt that any water passing thru them would be to salty for human consumption. After about two weeks lying across from the Navy Vessel we were told to pack up our stuff and move back to the dangerous anchorage.

I have been on a few ships with RO's the salinity output was always higher than a Low Pressure Evap but they produce more water and use less fuel.

Joe

Brian Smither
27th January 2013, 16:04
Varley, Are you talking about boilers on Sea Water? They could only have been smoke tube like Scotch marine's. Water tube boilers would'nt have lasted 5 minutes. I have served on Bar boats with Scotch boilers and our attention to adding boiler compound was not that vital. We topped up with fresh water frequently from shore supply as we rarely went on long trips. Annually we would 'hop' from port to port up the Scottish coast through the Pentland Firth timing the tide in our favour otherwise we would be going nowhere. Max speed 8 knots! Our destination would be Aultbay, Loch Ewe to service the Mooring buoys and enjoy a great run ashore. A dance would be laid on a bar set up and we left when the last bottle was empty! On one occasion leaving early next morning, we forgot to 'let go aft' and took a lump of the jetty with us! I don't think too many were about to witness the event!
I remember we were given boxes of Kippers in Fraserburgh, or was it Buckie? and always met with great hospitality wherever we called in. Those days will never be repeated. Para Handy would have been proud of us!

Varley
27th January 2013, 19:13
Brian, I was drawing a parallel (or I hope I was) - Great Western, for one, had saltwater boilers.

Father served (perhaps not sailed) with an ERA who's been on a Woodbine delivery voyage and was illustrating their engine room difficulties with the fact that they had been on No.5 feed water tank by the time they arrived "How many FW tanks did you have?" asked the old man. "4" came the well rehearsed reply! (The actual number may be wrong but you get the idea).

What a great time around the Scottish coast you had - I am glad you almost mentioned Vital Spark before I did.

Brian Smither
27th January 2013, 19:56
Varley,
Para Handy is my hero. A friend here in the Dordogne has opened a bar and named it 'Vital Spark' It draws much curiosity from the locals! I can relate to the days of the old 'puffers' as we were not miles away. Talking of water, as we have been, apart from the skipper and jimmy, the crew had two bathrooms side by side served from a head tank above which was topped up by a semi-rotary hand pump. When you wanted a shower you needed to pump at least 50 strokes to get enough water, you had to be quick because someone in the other bathroom may have used all the water just as you were soapy all over!
All this in the modern navy as we were led to believe! But it was fun. We had neat rum instead of 'grog' (2 and 1) which was saved for a primer before a run ashore. Worked hard played hard was the name of the game! Give anything to go back.(provided I could manage it).

nav
27th January 2013, 20:09
Varley,
Para Handy is my hero. A friend here in the Dordogne has opened a bar and named it 'Vital Spark' It draws much curiosity from the locals!

Do they have Highland Voyage on the Jukebox?

Brian Smither
28th January 2013, 16:15
Do they have Highland Voyage on the Jukebox?

I'm not sure Nav, but will get the CD, for him, that will totally blow the French customer's minds. Thanks.

surfaceblow
28th January 2013, 17:11
There are a few Highland Voyage video's on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRfZQ0qLv04

Joe

chadburn
28th January 2013, 17:22
Varley, Are you talking about boilers on Sea Water? They could only have been smoke tube like Scotch marine's. Water tube boilers would'nt have lasted 5 minutes. I have served on Bar boats with Scotch boilers and our attention to adding boiler compound was not that vital. We topped up with fresh water frequently from shore supply as we rarely went on long trips. Annually we would 'hop' from port to port up the Scottish coast through the Pentland Firth timing the tide in our favour otherwise we would be going nowhere. Max speed 8 knots! Our destination would be Aultbay, Loch Ewe to service the Mooring buoys and enjoy a great run ashore. A dance would be laid on a bar set up and we left when the last bottle was empty! On one occasion leaving early next morning, we forgot to 'let go aft' and took a lump of the jetty with us! I don't think too many were about to witness the event!
I remember we were given boxes of Kippers in Fraserburgh, or was it Buckie? and always met with great hospitality wherever we called in. Those days will never be repeated. Para Handy would have been proud of us!

I most probably mentioned before, doing the old salinity test at the back of an old Scotch Boiler with the Pot and float was sometime's interesting and depended on the length of pipe you needed to open the Test Cock. I alway's thought that the RN Bar boat's looked a good number.(Thumb)

Hugh Ferguson
28th January 2013, 17:38
With apologies!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaDG1W0KQr0

nav
28th January 2013, 18:23
With apologies!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaDG1W0KQr0

Great movie Hugh, steam at its best. You can see why we went to diesel/electric though. The maintenance must have been horrendous.

Nice of the drivers to give that old diesel a tow home!

nav
28th January 2013, 18:56
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP9_cbl5cjY

Steam tugs working the Clyde and the shipyards at full stretch.

spongebob
28th January 2013, 19:51
I never stop wondering about the powers of Google search and about the recent failings of my once famous powers of recall.
I was going to add a post re HMNZS Royalist and the ignominy of her being towed home by a diesel ship after a boiler failure in the Pacific.
Before doing so I googled the ship's name to get the date facts right etc and what should pop up but this whole thread in its entirety, but in a different format, and a post by me on the very subject four years ago!!

Bob

JT McRae
29th January 2013, 09:18
Hi Bob

Could you dig out your "Royalist" post and then re-post it on this thread? I remember the Royalist story being an interesting one and one that was taught to us as young "tiffies" as an ultimate condenseritis horror story.

Chillytoes
16th February 2013, 11:40
Just going back a bit to the questions on purifiers and clarifiers - it is not uncommon to have both in line to treat HFO. Put simply, the purifier separates out any water and most solids and then discharges to the clarifier which because it has no dam ring, subjects the liquid to greater centrifugal force, so removing all remaining solids. But without a dam ring any water that has got past the purifier cannot be removed with the clarifier.
During two separate oral examinations I argued this arrangement with the examiners (both sub-continental gents) who insisted it was the other way about. Goodness knows how their ships ran!
Varley, you asked about water treatment, or lack of it, in RN ships during WWII. An excellent explanation of the conservatism of the time can be found in 'The Man Around the Engine" by Vice-Admiral Sir Louis Le Bailly. It is well worth the read.

Varley
16th February 2013, 18:32
Chillytoes, much obliged for the tip. David V

zebedee
19th February 2013, 17:04
I remember well the wingeing that John Benn made when instructed to ballast one of the fuel tanks after a little hydraulic damage cause by blocked overflow float arrangement - worried that when it went back into fuel he would have to contend with even more problems with purifiers. I think any steam ship chief would have had a bigger litter were it suggested that he should feed any sort of boiler from a bunker tank!

Is it correct that RN was late to strict and effective chemical treatmants and could go for very much shorter periods between boiler cleaning than USN early in WWII?
Hello Varley,I have just read your query about the use of boiler compound in the Royal Navy in the early part of World War II. Quite coincidentally, I was going to post a query about biography of a Royal Naval engineer called Cook, I'm fairly certain that there was no "E' in his name. In his story he relates that he spent some time on the HMS Hood. This has stuck in my memory because he mentions that after a dry docking so much paint had been removed that she rode several inches higher in the water. Later he was on the battleship that was at the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. I think he must have been the executive engineer on this battleship because he borrowed boiler compound from the American Navy and used it in his boilers after cleaning them. This was in direct opposition to the orders of the Admiralty Department in Bath (I think,) which was adamant that boiler compound would cause foaming! This was in spite of the fact that it was in wide use in land-based power stations in the UK at that time. Apparently this department held the opinion that boiler cleaning gave the crew a rest! I think he must have been a very brave man because doing this would obviously have put his career on the line. Two points arose while they were in Tokyo Bay: he started to show an American Navy engineer through his engine room and it was so hot that halfway through the American gave up and refused to go any further. The day after accepting surrender, at the closing of the day the Royal Navy reinstated its "Sundown" ritual ceremony. Apparently this was so impressive that the entire American fleet stopped to watch. Unfortunately I have forgotten the title of this book and I intend to put a query on ships nostalgia hoping that somebody somewhere could come up with the answer. A Google search gets bogged down with James Cook of Wivenhoe. Best wishes, Lionel.

Brian Smither
19th February 2013, 18:17
I think this is the appropriate thread to boast that today is the anniversary of the 61st year in which I joined the RN. February 19th 1952 C/KX907725 Fisher 'B' class HMS Raleigh. I have celebrated with a tot of Pussers' rum obtained through a good friend in UK, kept in my drinks cupboard for special occasions.
I know there are many of you out there can give me many years, I cannot believe I have lasted this long, is it perhaps that the RN gave me a good start in life to appreciate the benefits of comradeship and team work. Had many unpleasant jobs to do but we got on with it, no good complaining, who is going to listen?
Boiler cleaning I do remember, sitting inside the top drum and shooting the little wire brushes down the tubes and afterwards having to retrieve them and fill the box exactly otherwise you would have find those that were missing. I can remember remaining below for 24 hrs until the job was done, soup and bread provided! Not an easy job!
Happy days!!

Varley
20th February 2013, 00:54
...I was going to post a query about biography of a Royal Naval engineer called Cook, I'm fairly certain that there was no "E' in his name. In his story he relates that he spent some time on the HMS Hood.... boiler compound from the American Navy and used it in his boilers after cleaning them.

Lionel, Much obliged, presently can't add to 136 above. David V

John Briggs
20th February 2013, 01:55
Sailed on three steam ships. Two turbines and a triple expansion (10 knots if lucky).
One thing I hated as a cadet was being stuck down aft in mid winter in London
docks on propeller watch while they were warming through on a turbine ship.

Fred Field
24th March 2013, 18:12
The eternal argument!
All I can say is that I am glad I never had to sail on a double acting 4 stroke. The double acting, opposed piston 2 strokes were bad enough, almost as bad as the H&W variation of a medium speed Doxfords as fitted to the Rhodesia and Kenya Castles together with the Pretoria and Edinburgh Castles.
Another one I am glad I am to young to have had experience of 'blast injection'!

surfaceblow
24th March 2013, 19:23
Sailed on three steam ships. Two turbines and a triple expansion (10 knots if lucky).
One thing I hated as a cadet was being stuck down aft in mid winter in London
docks on propeller watch while they were warming through on a turbine ship.

I have a feeling you did something wrong to have been told to watch the prop. In the 30 years that I have been on ships getting wheel clearance to start the process of getting the plant ready for maneuvering we never had a person station to watch the action of going 3 to 5 rpm ahead and back astern.

After getting wheel clearance on a motor vessel the Deck Watch did not mention that the container crane was parked in front of the bridge so when we blew down the Main Engine we moved forward hitting the crane with the bridge.

Joe

Burntisland Ship Yard
24th March 2013, 21:26
All my time on steam ships, we advised "the bridge" was it ok to put "steam on the job" mates problem thereafter,,,

surfaceblow
24th March 2013, 22:09
All my time on steam ships, we advised "the bridge" was it ok to put "steam on the job" mates problem thereafter,,,

We had to wait for the Wheel Clearance to put the steam on. When I was "Cadet" Apprentice after checking on the Engine Department was all present the Deck Cadet did the Deck and Steward Departments. Afterwards we had to walk around the vessel checking for stowaways. Then it was back to the Engine Room to report to the First Engineer.

Joe

Brian Smither
24th March 2013, 23:11
After getting wheel clearance on a motor vessel the Deck Watch did not mention that the container crane was parked in front of the bridge so when we blew down the Main Engine we moved forward hitting the crane with the bridge.

Joe[/QUOTE]

Reminded me of when HMS Triumph, Aircraft Carrier, came alongside in Chatham, knocked over a dockside crane which in turn demolished a brand new Heads and Bathrooms block which had been specially built for the use of the ship. Don't remember the year, 50's 60's I think.

alastairrussell
25th March 2013, 00:55
Ten Commandments for the Diesel Engineer



1) Thou shalt keep thine Engine clean and in adjustment, that thy life in its company shall be long and the owner shall increase thy pay.

2) Know thine engine and all its parts and functions, else thou shall be in some unholy spot.

3) Be not wise in thine own conceit. Remember the makers instructions and keep them holy. Lest repairs be thine undoing.

4) Be not loose in thine jaw hinges, for no man knoweth all about diesels. The truly wise absorbeth much knowledge and exicuteth little he who doeth so shall gain repute among his fellows and favours among his superiors.

5) For all things in this life that thou desireth thou shalt pay plenty, and for wisdom of experience no less. Advice from the multitude costeth nothing and is usually worth just that.

6) In the books thou mayest read what to do and when, but only the voice of experience may tell thee why and how, else thy reading of what and when shall plague thee with smoke.

7) God maketh the earth to rotate endlessly without bearings or oil, but not thy Diesel.

8) Curse not thine engine when it turneth not, curse rather thine own stupidity.

9) Steam engines and gas engines may long turnover, though sloppy, a Diesel not so. With gauges and mikes be thou ever busy.

10) The eternal eye watcheth universal operations, but thou shalt not rely upon it as to thine Diesel. Thine own vigilance is the price thou payeth for the job.

oldman 80
25th March 2013, 01:33
Sailed on many steamships and many motor ships.
Some of the motor ships had bigger steam plants than steamships. (Large Tankers, Ore Oil Carriers and O.B.O.'s)
Pure steamships were much more reliable from the "breakdowns" perspective.
Steamships were far less "efficient" than motorships.
Maintenance Requirements on steamships were minimal compared with motorships
Steamships were almost "silent runners" compared with motor ships.
Steamships always lacked astern power, compared with motor ships.
Steamships always less "manouverable" than motorships as a result.
Steamship engine rooms were like "showrooms" when compared with motor ships -ie. much cleaner / good looking.
On steamships the decks could get dirty from soot - blowing tubes. An alteration of course was often necessary to minimise that effect.
Feed water supply - carefull monitoring required - both quality and quantity.
Steamships required someone aft (in many ports) on "propellor watch" when "flashing Up" & warming through in preparation for sailing ( Maybe 24 hours total) - cadets hated that.
(propellor constantly rotating very slowly).